Letters of Reference
As you begin to accumulate events under your belt, start asking clients for letters of reference. A letter of reference in the event planning field can be as informal as a thank-you note from a client or as formal as a character letter from a previous employer. Letters of reference can be used in conjunction with photos from an event or testimonial for an advertisement.
The goal of a letter of reference is to build your reputation as a quality event planner. For this reason, the letters should be from positive client experiences. For example, if a client wrote a letter singing your praises but complained about the photographer you recommended, you would not use this particular letter as a letter of reference.
A potential client shopping for an event planner may ask for a past client referral. You can also archive this material to present to future employers. Be sure to date the letters and use the most recent ones when presenting to a client.
Who Should I Ask for a Letter?
Before becoming an event planner, ask your previous employers for a letter. You can suggest your employer include skills or attributes you have mastered that relate to event planning. Also ask your supervisor for any client letters in which you were thanked or named personally. Once you become an event planner, you should approach any satisfied client with a request to write a letter on your behalf. This request can be mentioned at the end of your follow-up call.
Event planners display these letters or quotes from the letters in a number of ways:
Framed in the office
In a scrapbook
On a Web site
Find a creative way to display letters of praise. Or for a more subtle approach, simply state “letters of reference are available upon request” on printed material and brochures.
The old adage stating that it is better to give than receive could also refer to thank-you notes. Make a habit of sending notes following an event and you will be sure to receive plenty in return.