The meetings and events industry is a great place to start to build a personal brand, but once your brand is created, then what? When you’re in events, you’re in the “experience” business, so it’s an ideal place for creative individuals who want to carve out a personal brand through content creation.
Meetings and events have some very unique opportunities for those that want to create engaging and enticing content. It’s through this content that we start to build the “know, like and trust” factor with our ideal clients very quickly.
Before we dive into ways that event professionals can create content for their clients and customers, let’s review the objective for building a personal brand and creating content in the first place.
As defined by Wikipedia, Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.
The process of personal branding involves finding your uniqueness, building a reputation on the things you want to be known for, and then allowing yourself to be known for them.
When it comes to content creation in the events industry, you are not only “creating and influencing public perception” of you as an individual, but there are a plethora of opportunities available to influence your customers’ perception around your product or offering as well. Your content can create trust in you as their go-to person for your service, but also to create transparency in your operations.
Here are a bucket-load of content creation tips for the hospitality industry:
- “Behind-the-scenes” at your organization – whether you work for a meetings and events firm, a hotel, a destination or an event tech firm, there are plenty of “behind-the-scenes” opportunities for you to film.
- Take your clients on a tour through the facility back-of-house kitchen or behind the bar
- Do you have an employee break area or employee housing complex that you’re particularly proud of? This content could work well for both your client’s and for a recruitment campaign for seasonal employment
- Take your customers through your hotel spa or other amenities onsite
- Take your clients behind-the-scenes at events and meetings in similar size to their own
- Walk your clients through an AV set up, and demystify the operations of event tech
- How To’s – these pieces of content can provide both education and entertainment to your clients and customers – Your short videos could include:
- Cooking tutorials, baking tutorials and mixology lessons
- “How to increase attendance at your next event.”
- “How to create social media buzz around your event.”
- “How to best prepare for a post COVID event in your neck of the woods.”
- “How to engage volunteers when conference planning.”
- Tips on how to use your product or service – there are a number of ways that you could showcase tips and tricks as it pertains directly to your offering.
- If you work in hotel sales, showcasing a tour of your ballroom with various setups for meeting planners works well. Bonus tip if you can partner with both your AV and a decor company to show how you can transform a space into a client’s dream setting.
- Also consider showing non-traditional meeting spaces being transformed into extra useable, desirable meeting spaces – the basement parking lot garage transformed into a tradeshow space, the outdoor tent turned into an afternoon coffee break location, etc
- Does your restaurant have any private spaces available for booking? Show us the spaces and how it interacts with the rest of your space
- Can you walk through what engagement with your event planning firm looks like? What questions will you ask prospective clients about their events?
- Interviews with colleagues and staff – introduce your client’s and customers to the personalities that make up your organization.
- Your event managers
- Your marketing managers
- Your onsite support staff
- Your registration gurus
- Your various supply partners
- Answer FAQs – this is a great way to engage with your customers, and perhaps save yourself some time in the future. Explore FAQs through one of the other content tips listed, including team members interviews, how-to tutorials and video snippets. FAQs can make a great series of content if you’re looking to create something consistently; your customers can come to expect your FAQ segment and start to look forward to it!
- Highlight new products or services – This will keep your clients informed of new offerings and changes at your venue.
- During gathering restrictions -the way you deliver your services has likely changed. Consider being front and centre by helping your customers out with the changes
- Post-pandemic return to operations – there will likely be changes ongoing; help your organization out by continuing to update your clients to help create clarity and trust in your services
- Partnerships and collaborations – if one of your company’s main drivers is outside tourism, consider partnering with other local businesses to showcase the strength of your destination as a whole. Make it a night, or a weekend, of discovery for your clients and customers.
- Partner with other local restaurants, breweries, wineries and hotels
- Partner with local farmers and suppliers that help you feed your clients and customers
- Partner with sister hotels, and highlight the different services and amenities at each
- Focus on CSR initiatives – Do you or your organization contribute to causes and other social responsibilities throughout the year? Let your client’s in on your journey!
- Work with community organizations such as the food bank, Habitat for Humanity, etc
- Does your venue invest in locally grown products? Herb gardens, bee habitats and micro-greens are some common themes with venues that have the space.
- Does your venue take a public stand for or against social issues? If your personal brand’s values align, consider creating content in collaboration with your company.
Regardless of the content you create, keep this cardinal rule in mind: It’s not about the perfectly curated images, or the perfect copywriting skills, rather its about your willingness to show up and serve your community and clients.
Leanne Calderwood, CMP believes developing a personal brand is the key to setting yourself apart in the hospitality industry. Serving as a ConferenceDirect site selection associate for the past 14 years, she used the industry’s hiatus in 2020 to help other sales professionals to find their voice and create a brand that attracts business and opportunities.