In the event planning world, reputation is everything and competition is fierce. The only way that you’re going to be booking the best events and managing the gigs you dream of is if you work hard and know how to go out there and fight for what you want. Fortunately, in all of the resources out there today for event and wedding planners, there are business coaches and groups that can help.
Event planning is a huge industry. It's got a lot of room for growth, but it’s also got a lot of competition. There are hundreds of people all over the country starting event planning companies and solo planning careers each year. It can be nearly impossible to keep up. Plus, now many event planners are competing with a global marketplace, or at least a national one, creating the need to stand out even more.
Business coaching can offer a lot of insights and perks. Not only will you get trusted business advice from someone who’s already done what you’re trying to do, but you’ll get an unbiased, uncensored opinion on how you are doing or how well your business is planned out.
Coaches help you break bad habits, giving you an honest look at your business and your own planning skills. They also help you network and connect with other people in your industry, help you set realistic goals and strategize to achieve them, and ensure that you have the best chance of setting yourself up for success as an event or wedding planner.
In this guide, we’ll cover 10 of the best coaching options, including solo coaches and mastermind training groups, to help you improve your planning business. First, though, let’s talk about hiring the right people for the job.
If your event planning business is slow to grow or you’re just starting out and want to get ahead of the game in the beginning, a business coach is a great choice. There are several different benefits that come from using their professional expertise, but you have to choose the right one for the job. Several different factors come into play here and your needs might be a bit different than someone else’s. However, as a general rule, you’ll want to look at things like:
Although there’s no exact number that you can put on this, the more experience a coach has, the better. It’s not to say that the person with less experience isn’t a good coach. They just might not have as much expertise and advice as someone who’s been doing it for 20 years. You’ll want to consider how long they’ve worked as a coach, as well as how long they worked in other careers, to determine whether they are the right fit for your coaching needs. Along with the other details, experience definitely counts.
All coaches have their own way of doing things. Some prefer to offer a one-off training session or a limited coaching experience. Others like the format of ongoing training courses offered either online or in person. It doesn’t really matter which you prefer, so long as you choose coaches that offer the type of program that best suits your needs. If you want a custom consultation for a tailored solution, for example, you’ll want to hire a coach or group that offers that option, for one example.
It doesn’t matter how good a coach is if they can’t help you with your specific industry. You may not need a specific event planning coach, per se, but you should choose someone who has experience with this type of work or marketing, at the very least. If nothing else, the principles that they coach on should include things like thought leadership and changing the way you think about owning a business to become more successful.
Some coaches only work with one-on-one client sessions. Others offer an array of solutions, including online webinars and meetings, group coaching, virtual courses, live seminars and events, books and blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and so much more. Find the coaches that have the materials you like best. If you’re a visual learner, sign up for their YouTube feed. If you like podcasts, download them to listen on the go. Just make sure you choose a coach that uses the types of media you like to maximize your benefits.
Kathy has been planning events for over two decades, with more than 1,000 successful events under her belt in her career, across 15 countries, no less. As a global coach, she has a different perspective than many and offers a unique training and mentoring experience. She can help event planners and wedding planners to grow the business by creating a brand that offers an elevated level of service and is committed to delivering the best experience every time. She has a blog on her website and there are several different coaching programs and resources available, too, including a podcast and a newsletter that you can subscribe to.
Lindsey Nickel is a go-to marketing and business coach for event and wedding planners that want to get fully booked and grow faster than before. She can help planners stand out in their oversaturated and highly competitive market, and she knows how to help you generate more leads, book more clients, and grow your profits with simple steps. It’s all focused on action and accomplishing things, so everything is set up in a totally doable strategy based on your specific coaching needs. Her website, Lovely Day Strategy, has plenty of resources, including a blog and access to her masterclass.
DR Roberts Event Management is a successful planning and coaching organization that offers its own event management solutions along with a selection of courses and coaching services for others who are just starting out in this industry. They understand that this is a unique industry, and it has its own unique considerations and can provide one-on-one coaching and mentoring along with a host of other training and coaching solutions.
This coaching group will focus on your pain points and your business goals to come up with a strategy to make changes in how you operate. They have a variety of coaching solutions, including email and phone sessions, in-person coaching, and so much more. Group coaching is even available for businesses that have a few employees that want to benefit from the expertise.
Candice Coppola is the former owner of event planning company Jubilee Events. She’s also a podcast host and published author, and sold her event planning business in 2019 to pursue her career of coaching others to success. Her main focus is on helping wedding planners grow their business, but she has also helped other event planners over the years. If you need a solid strategy and an insider’s perspective on how to make sure you create success, this is the coach to consider. She has quizzes available to help you find out about your strategy and style, and has been featured in People, Elle, and other magazines. There is a host of tools and resources at her website, including information on how to request one-on-one coaching services.
Debbie Orwat is the founder and owner of the Planners Lounge and has 14 years of experience in the event industry. She's opened three successful businesses and helps others succeed in their event planning businesses, which is now her primary focus. She offers one-on-one counseling and mentoring, group coaching, and a blog as well as other online resources. She has unique experience from several parts of the industry, including selling two successful businesses, that allows her to coach you on all kinds of business topics. Of course, the focus is also her background in self-development and personal growth, which is what all of her coaching is based in.
Cotton & Oak offers a unique training program for creatives, small business owners, and entrepreneurs considering event planning careers. The program offers tips on advertising, social media, building a brand, attracting clients, communication, and so much more. They'll even provide you with insight on creating a work/life balance as a business owner and event planner. The coaching sessions are available via email, phone, or in-person, and there’s a monthly ongoing program for those who want ongoing support on hand.
Keshawn Hughes offers a simple 12-step coaching guide to help wedding and event planners and entrepreneurs in the industry to become successful. The program covers everything from setting up shop to marketing, branding, networking, and more. You'll even learn about building a portfolio, why professional certifications matter, and find plenty of resources on the website. You can book one-on-one or group coaching sessions and you’ll find the guide available for purchase on her website.
The ActionCOACH network is one that we like because it offers solutions to business owners of all industries. Just answer a few questions about your event or wedding planning business and let them match you with the perfect coach to help you grow your business. Brad Sugars is among the first of the professional coaches to even offer such a service decades ago, and today he is the owner and founder of this organization. It helps you focus on the specific needs of your event planning business to ensure that you get the best advice and coaching possible. While most larger organizations don’t seem very personal, ActionCOACH offers quite a tailored experience, which is why we like them.
Liz Scott is known as the “marketing mastermind”, and for several good reasons. In her career, she has helped thousands of people and businesses to improve their own marketing efforts. She founded Brighter Strategies, a coaching and consulting firm that helps businesses from all industries to meet their goals and grow like never before. Liz Scott is all about changing the way that you think about business and she’s known for getting fast results. You can explore her blog, webinars, books, and other resources, or attend live events and schedule one-on-one or group coaching for your event planning business.
The Flying V Group’s partner and co-founder Robb Fahrion is an impressive coach that can help just about any small business navigate the tumultuous economy and the difficult times we’ve been through. He focuses on adaptability and agility to keep up with the changes and has a commitment to help you create new revenue streams every day. Robb will immerse himself in a client’s business and attempt to see things from their perspective in order to help provide the best results. Robb is all about making your business work for you and for an industry like event and wedding planning, he can be a great asset.
When it comes to making smarter moves in your business, taking work off your plate is always a good choice. When you hire the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai to handle things like live chat, after-hours phone answering, and even Facebook and SMS message answering, you’ll free up more of your time to focus on helping your business grow.
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