Anyone who would start their own business learns early on, as I did, to study their competitors and try to offer something unique in a battle for similar clients. However, I think that many of us can become obsessed with fighting the competition and forget that there is so much power in working together. This is why I have fostered meet-up groups for the event industry and many other opportunities for event planners to get together and brainstorm, learn together and share best practices. Here are a few other ways in which we can learn from and support our "rivals" -- other event planners.
Rule out fear
We generally refrain from asking other event planners about how they charge, how they handle difficult situations, etc. We are fearful that they will wind up taking our clients or just not be very helpful in what they recommend. However, there is an incredible power in learning from our peers, and I think it's very important that we become OK with not knowing it all -- face our fears and ask for help. I have been shocked at how willing others are to offer good advice. Of course, it means that you also need to help others when you know something that could empower them; this kind of sharing economy can really enhance our industry.
Blog with others
There's a blog-sharing platform called Triberr that I use and love. The concept is simple -- partner up with several other people who write on topics similar to yours, and share each other's content. Whenever Jeff Hurt or Jenise Fryatt posts a blog, I share it on my social channels and vice versa. This allows us to work together and get more eyeballs on all of our content. For bloggers, it's a great way to extend one's reach and also support other people in the industry. I have a Triberr group for the event industry, and you're welcome to join as a first step in this direction.
One of the hard parts about our industry is that we don't study and get a masters degree in order to become a planner. Instead, many of us learn on the job, take courses where we can and rely on our peers. So, if you learn something that's really helpful from an online class or webinar, share it! This is one of the great reasons to have a blog or Twitter account -- it allows you to have a place to share the things you're learning, and it allows you to learn from others.
To put it simply, the more we all collaborate, the more we help the events industry move forward.
Liz King is the CEO and chief event specialist at Liz King Events (lizkingevents.com).