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Independent Life: Independent Event Planners Must Clearly Define Their Market Position

Who was the first person to walk on the Moon? Neil Armstrong. Who was the first person to fly over the Atlantic Ocean in a plane? Charles Lindbergh. Do you remember your very first date? And the second?

Who was the second person to fly over the Atlantic Ocean in a plane?

Some people might tell you that Buzz Aldrin was the second person to walk on the Moon, but what about the third astronaut to tread on the lunar surface?

By now, you get the picture. What is it that you want your clients and prospects to remember about you? Which category, product, service or niche do you want them to associate you with?

What is the positioning you want to have? How will your prospects and clients remember you?

Clearly define your market position!

Surprise, Surprise! How to Leave a Lasting Impression

I remember exchanging information with someone who handed me the smallest business card I had ever seen in my life. On it were the words, “If you give me more business, I could afford a bigger one!”

Not only did it make me laugh, but I still remember it years after.

Personally, I always tried to surprise my clients and create unique experiences for their attendees, and for them personally as well. They knew about my creativity, my readiness to have fun and my will to execute on memorable ideas.

From creating the first “dine-around” in the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland, to crossing Paris in a motorcade with a police escort to attend the FIFA World Cup Finale at the Stade de France.

[Related Content: How Independent Event Planners Can Survive Commission Cuts]

From playing polo while riding on elephants in India to singing and dancing with a local group in the streets of a favela in Rio. From a fake arrest during an inspection with a client in St. Petersburg, Russia, followed by a private vodka testing with a Red Army choir, to touching down on the Icelandic Volcano Eyjafjallajökull a few weeks after the end of its eruption—I never stopped looking for the next crazy idea that my clients will remember … and that my team and I enjoyed executing! While I was still actively planning meetings, that is!

Position Yourself for Independent Event Planning Success

You might think that finding your positioning is easy and that you don’t have to spend much time thinking about it. Well, let me ask you a question: As an independent planner in a very competitive and changing industry, how much do you value your personal and/or company branding and the word of mouth it generates?

If you are like me, a lot.

That’s why I would suggest that you consider your positioning as an essential step in the development of your business and that you start thinking about it even before preparing your business plan.

One easy way to start is to be ready to answer one question: What do you do?

In other words, what is your market position?

[Related Content: Every Independent Event Planner Is an Entrepreneur]

Yes, I know; it’s a simple question, but can you answer me immediately if we meet for the first time at a reception and I ask, “What do you do?” I’m not talking about your elevator pitch.

What I’m after is a simple answer; one sentence that will trigger my interest and make me eager to know more about you and your business. You would be surprised how few people are ready to answer.

Now you can move immediately to the next article, or you can stop for five minutes and start thinking about your market positioning and exactly what you do. Write it down so you can come back to it.

Or better yet, shoot me an email and let me know!

Carpe diem noctem que (seize the day and night!).

Independent Life is a monthly column by meetings industry veteran and author Eric Rozenberg, who writes about the challenges and opportunities of being an independent meeting planner and entrepreneur.

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About the author
Eric Rozenberg | President, Event Business Formula

Eric Rozenberg, CMM, CMP, HOEM, FONSAT, is an entrepreneur, speaker, podcaster and Amazon bestselling author. He has helped thousands of entrepreneurs grow and manage their business better. His podcast "The Business of Meetings" is the first podcast in the meetings and events industry dedicated to business owners. Eric is a current member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and The Strategic Forum. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Belgium-based Demoucelle Parkinson Foundation. Connect with Eric at or