No matter where you’re located in North America, you’ve likely started to cringe every time you fill up your gas tank and budget at least $50 more a week for the same groceries you’ve been ordering for years. These are just a couple of the very significant signs that a recession may be on the horizon. The inflation rates are higher than we’ve seen in four whole decades, which is a key sign of a potential recession due to banks having to increase interest rates to combat this inflation. And economists are telling both Americans and Canadians to start preparing. So, as an event professional—whether you own your own business, are a freelance planner, or are an executive in charge of strategic events for your company—how do you start to prepare your event business for a recession? Today, we’re going to share a few tips.
Tweak Your Sponsorship Opportunities to Prepare Your Event Business for a Recession
One of the greatest revenue drivers for events is sponsorship. But, when companies start tightening purse strings in prep for a recession, inevitably, landing sponsorship deals gets immensely more difficult.
So, it’s important to determine what your ideal sponsors want and cultivate custom packages meant to engage them specifically. One way to do this is to offer five-figure packages that span events throughout the year to cultivate brand recognition and engagement at a higher level. You’ll need fewer of these high-ticket sponsorship packages to meet your goals, and instead of selling sponsorships for each individual event, you can cover all events in one deal.
Get Ready for Another Pivot (& Embrace Virtual Events)
Just like the pandemic, you may have to get a little creative with your services, so mentally prepare for that in any way possible. You can even start brainstorming now about how you’ll tweak your audience and services to be recession-friendly.
For this, you may want to remember that virtual events are still here to stay but will likely regain even greater popularity during a recession because they are slightly more affordable with a greater reach.
Rid Yourself of Debt & Cut Expenses Where You Can
As a business owner or executive, numbers and P&L statements are likely a staple of your day-to-day. You need to remain vigilant with that during a recession and in preparation for one. If you have debt, pay off what you can now so that if business slows, it doesn’t impact your liabilities negatively. Similarly, take note of what promotion strategies are working and which are dollars wasted, which software programs you’re using and which you’re subscribed to but don’t use, and if you don’t work in the office anymore, get rid of rent and work from home. These small actions will make a big impact in tumultuous times.
Hire Contractors, Not Full-Time Salaried Employees
One of the worst things you can do is stop investing in support and do it all yourself. We’ve been over this before! In a high burnout industry, you need to keep your support for admin, planning, marketing, etc., or you’ll never grow. But rather than taking on full-time or part-time employees that require guaranteed hours despite workloads, hire contractors. Check out this post for some roles you can fill with contract labor.
Focus on Pitching Big Brands & Luxury Clientele for New Business
Statistically speaking, recessions hit the middle class the hardest. The rich remain rich, the big brands don’t typically waver (and sometimes even grow). So, don’t stop pitching new business. That’s the worst thing you can do. The key is to change your target audience to speak to those who are the least impacted or even impacted positively in the case of low-price brands that may skyrocket out of necessity during that time.
EBA Can Help Your Team Prepare for Event Success, Despite the Potential Recession
No business is recession-proof. But your success depends on how well you prepare. Our team of creative event experts has weathered many storms over the past few decades of combined experience. We know how to run a business and cultivate an event strategy that is still profitable despite external forces. If you want help preparing your event business or strategy for a potential recession, schedule your complimentary 20-minute strategy session with one of our EBA experts today!