Hi Chelsea from EventPlanning.com and today we’re going to talk about building your event planning portfolio. Your event planning portfolio is very important. It’s such a crucial piece that you’re going to bring with you the first time you meet your clients so they can get a sense of how professional you are in the work that you can do. It can be the traditional book… that you can bring to them with traditional clippings and pictures and articles and everything like that. Or it can be a page on your blog or website. Or it can be something that you can show on your tablet or computer like a slideshow which is definitely my favorite and preferred. I think it looks really professional and it’s very easy to switch out pages depending on which client you’re meeting. Because you do want to make sure that you personalize this for every client that you meet. So whatever client you’re meeting… if it’s somebody that’s going in for a wedding, and you know that their budget is a certain amount, or they’re having a certain amount of people, or maybe you know the venue beforehand… it’s great to add tidbits of information that can be beneficial to this particular client. So today I’m going to talk about what to put in your event planning portfolio. The first one is event photos. These speak way louder than words every time. I personally love before-and-afters so if you can get the venue “before” with nothing in it and then an “after” shot with a wide-angle lens, that’s the best. If you don’t have very much experience what you can do to get these event photos is to do a mock photo session. So you can get vendors and you can trade ideas. And usually these vendors will help you out for free or little cost because they want the photos as well. So you’ll set up maybe a buffet table that has a nice place settings or even a backdrop or something like that get those nice professional photos that you can use for your portfolio and for your website. Another opportunity to get event photos is to help out a friend or relative that is planning an event. And say that you will help out for free but in exchange for those photos, that you can use for your materials. The second thing for your event planning portfolio that is so important is the client testimonials. Every time after you plan an event for a client you want to try to get a testimonial. Just one little sound bite or quote is fine with maybe their picture if they are okay for you to use that on your website or in your portfolio is a great place to start. What really speaks volumes is if you can get them to give you a whole recommendation letter. What I like to do and what I’ve seen that works best… is I actually type out bullet points so however I helped this particular client overcome a struggle or meet their bottom line or whatever it was, I write that out in a letter for them and make it so easy, so it doesn’t take up too much of their time. That’s great to put in here. I think that recommendations speak louder than anything else. The next thing is if you have any press clippings of course those make you look so professional, and can be great. Sample timelines and inspiration boards: A sample timeline could be from a past event that you worked or it could just be one that you made up, knowing a little bit about your client before you go in to meet them. This is really important because one of the big points of being an event planner is being as organized and having everything together as much as you can. So having a timeline that shows exactly how the day is going to breakdown is crucial to booking your client. Inspiration boards: I like to go on to Pinterest and find a lot of different pictures that can reflect what that particular client is looking for, and include that into my portfolio. The next one… if you have any certificates or any education, definitely included into your portfolio. It will help increase your professional style. The personal profile and photo: so I like to include a personal profile and photo because it helps you be relatable to the client. Just a smiling photo or one of you actually working and setting up the event is great. And the last thing that I think is really important and doesn’t necessarily have to be a page in your event planning portfolio which should be mentioned while you’re presenting it… is i want you to talk about “How you’ve solved problems in the event planning world” and “How you’ve helped your clients reach their bottom line”. So maybe it’s a client that has wanted to save money and that’s why they hired you as an event planner. Or maybe it’s someone that needed a certain amount of consumer engagement, or maybe it’s somebody who needed to get brand awareness out about product or company. Meeting a client’s bottom line is very important. That is kind of… the whole reason why are hired, and can really be a selling point for you when you’re presenting your event planning portfolio. For more lessons like this and for more information… head to EventPlanning.com.