Monday, December 6, 2010

Relocating at start of recession causes event planner to rebuild

Showcasing experienced entrepreneurs offers an added marketing communications or social media element to help promote their businesses. In addition, it provides a forum through which they can share solutions to unique business challenges that might be the answer to a similar challenge with which yet another entrepreneur is struggling. This openness of information flows with the following story offered by

Melissa Bingham, president
Bingham Marketing & Events

Bingham Marketing & Events offers full-service event and meeting planning for businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals. I also work with many smaller businesses on their marketing needs which includes developing and implementing their marketing plans.

Unlike most event planners, I bring the marketing experience to everything that I do. I really look at everything from a marketing prospective. Every event, every promotion, and every social event is all about marketing no matter how obvious or subtle. I always start out with asking what is the client’s goal, what are we trying to achieve?

My Ideal client is someone who wants to make a mark or establish a presence and enhance their brand. They know they want to make a great impression and difference in their business, but don’t exactly know how.

My family relocated here two and a half years ago, so my initial challenge was to re-establish myself in the Chicagoland marketplace. I’ve had my company since 1997 in both Indianapolis and Detroit, and when we moved here in the summer of 2008, I had a grand plan of what I was going to do and how I was going to market the business. Then the market turned. Consequently, the Detroit business that I thought was going to continue was cancelled. At that point, I had to step back and re-evaluate not only how I was going to establish whole new client and vendor bases, but also how I was going to do that on no marketing budget.

Because the Chicagoland market is so diverse, I made the decision to initially focus in a microcosm and then slowly expand my base outward. I began networking like crazy. I looked at what organizations I wanted to join, what types of events I needed to attend, what kinds of things could I volunteer for to get myself known. I have been fortunate that most of my business over the years has come by way of referrals. I have been working harder than I ever have to gain new clients. As a result, 2010 has developed into a good year. Now, my plan is to move out of this microcosm and widen the scope of my business by attending more diverse events and making more connections.

Editor's question: What case studies of entrepreneurs successfully starting or rebuilding a business during a down economy can you share?

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