Author: Kaleigh Wiese
If you’re like me, your event pro friends are like your family. I love collaborating on clients’ weddings, networking at industry events and simply hanging out. During COVID-19, we need our friendors more than ever. Working from our homes — often alone — can feel isolating for an industry that thrives on bringing people together and celebrating. To combat any sadness, frustration or disappointment during this tough time, I urge you to envision the future successes of your business. We will get to the other side of this public health crisis and, when we do, the wedding industry will be stronger. In the meantime, we can implement these three ideas to support each other.
Pro Tip #1: Host a Virtual Happy Hour With Your Friendors
Organize a get-together with your wedding pro friends. You can set up a Zoom account for free, create an event, invite anyone you want, and distribute the link (with Meeting ID and Password) via email, Facebook group, etc. It’s casual, so attendees can come and go as they wish. Here’s a few ideas for your virtual gathering:
- Ask a DJ to play the first 10-20 minutes while people get settled
- Prepare conversation starters in case of a lull
- Consider a ban on discussing COVID-19 *highly recommend*
When I did exactly what I’m suggesting to you, more than 70 people joined the call and many asked when we could do it again. Our virtual happy hour is now a weekly tradition. Did I mention you can schedule a recurring meeting? It gives you something to anticipate all week.
Pro Tip #2: Reach Out to a Pro and Schedule a Call to Brainstorm
You can set up a free Zoom account, FaceTime, or pick up the phone (old school!). When quarantine began, I decided to allot 45 minutes every day for a stroll through my neighborhood. During my walk, I often call a fellow pro to discuss ideas for the future of my business. Here are some questions to get the conversation started:
- How can we partner on upcoming weddings and events?
- Are there any services that you would expect me to offer as a [planner, designer, photographer, videographer, florist, DJ, stationer, et al.] that I do not currently provide?
- Is there a way I could help you with a project in progress or something in the future?
- Do you have any experience with [insert any service, subject area, program, app, etc. that could help your business]?
Phone dates are equal parts enjoyable and helpful. These conversations may lead you to pursue a new direction, add accountability for setting goals, or inspire development for the next chapter in your business.
Pro Tip #3: Send an Encouraging Note to a Pro You Want to Get to Know
When social distancing is required, get back to basics! (Yes, I’m recommending another old-school method of connection.) Send a note to someone you’ve recently met or worked with, possibly for the first time to let them know you are thinking about them; express an interest in collaborating again; or invite them to the virtual happy hour you’ve scheduled (Pro Tip #1). This level of personal touch is ideal for cultivating new relationships or reconnecting with old friends.
Simply grab a blank card or order new stationery online. Receiving personal mail — especially now — is guaranteed to bring a smile to someone’s face. Your thoughtful gesture will be remembered after this chapter of life is behind us. Don’t forget the stamps!
Now is the perfect time to connect with other pros. Make new friends and keep the old.
I hope these tips were helpful! For brand tips and other ways to stay connected (tangibly and digitally), follow me on Instagram at @gokaleigh.
Kaleigh Wiese, Méldeen
About the author: Kaleigh Wiese is an endless creator, visual brand educator, entrepreneur, and public speaker. She gives wedding pros the rundown on defining their brands. She is the founder Méldeen (Stationery Company) and LABEL by Meldeen (Brand Education + Design). She has worked her entire career helping creatives find their visual voice. When not working, you can find her with her pups, on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas. Follow her @gokaleigh to learn more!
Photo Credit: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com