Sunday, April 20, 2008

What is going on with this Economy?

I started The Red Carpet Events in July of 2001 in the height of event planning, then there was September 11, 2001.  Needless to say the event planning industry was changed forever.  People were afraid to travel and the thought of celebrating after the horrendous attack on the US was non-existent.

Between 2002 and 2006, the industry started to rebuild itself steadily and slowly came back to the consistent booking environment it was prior.  Then, the American economy took a turn for the worse and we're back to square one.   Now the planning industry is in a state of emergency where clients are in panic, jobs are being lost and the hesitation of planning of an event is prominent.  The corporate industry is even dictating the social events with the apprehension to plan a wedding or family celebration in fear that a job will be lost and there will be no resources to pay for the soiree.  The consumer is also not ignoring that fact that 2008 is an election year and traditionally, one hesitates to allocate a budget, let alone choose a government party.

So, as an event planner, what do we do?  How do we weather the storm?  How creative can you truly be when the need for a event is not a priority?  There is some stable hope in corporations with annual meetings, executive retreats and conferences, but the focus on holding them internally in the office conference room has become the number one goal and incentive trips to Nevis are a thing of the past.  Since the hotel and venue rates are not dictating the economic change and are in fact making the persuasion more difficult, currently, there is no incentive to recreate the past.  

Historically, the economy will eventually experience an up-spin and will make it's way around to a positive, fruitful environment.  But until then, the best focus is to remain on building your business and brand internally.  Get yourself prepared and wait for the economic change to come.  The country is depressing right now, and a need for flair, a smile and celebration would be the best case scenario to spark up a change.  Try your best to keep your chin up, bunker down for the storm and enjoy the peaceful and profitable beauty once it's passes.

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