COVID-19 rocked the live events industry into a state of crisis at the start of 2020 and continues to do so. We event professionals are working hard to whatever it takes to save our hard work and investment in the event rental business. Use the following tips to learn what event companies should prioritize during Covid-19. Let's create an action plan to prepare for recovery.
Party Rental Company Resources
Small businesses continue to struggle; and, the wedding and events industry is one of the hardest hit. Therefore, your top priority is generating working capital and staying lean.
The CARES Act provided economic assistance with small businesses meeting certain requirements. The Paycheck Protection Program is now closed, but your event rental business may still be eligible for a low-interest rate Emergency Injury Disaster Loan. In addition to receiving loan funds, your business will receive a $1,000 grant for each employee of the business (this does not include independent contractors).
Additionally, all businesses will need to stay lean during these times. Think of ways to cut costs. How can you lower your overhead and cut unnecessary expenses without losing staff, or hurting morale?
Think of ways to pivot. Maybe use your staff to become a temporary, local moving company? Your rental company knows where to source inventory, you could turn part of your showroom into a retail space for certain goods that people can now take home.
There are many ways to get creative and think outside the box. We know for sure the same business model won't be able to function under the current environment. The Goodshuffle Blog has lots of great articles full of content from experts in their fields on helping your business during COVID-19. Don't give up hope and read on for ways to breathe new life into your party rental business.
Marketing: Getting in Front of Clients
One of the three things event companies should prioritize during covid-19 is marketing. This begs the question, "How do you get clients, especially now?" With businesses shuttering, differentiate yourself by remaining visible. In this paragraph, learn a few helpful tips to attract clients during tough times.
Repeat clients are your golden goose. They are much cheaper to retain than new acquisitions. Therefore, make a genuine effort to contact them without being "salesy."
Some examples include: gift cards, early booking discounts, referral bonuses, partnering with other vendors, giveaways, and bundling inventory into package deals.
Drive interest through social media
Focus your efforts on platforms to target your intended audience. For example, Instagram is best for millennials, while Facebook is better for boomers.
Don't have time to post? Look into scheduling software. There are many free versions like Planoly and Tailwind, which you can upgrade later.
A refresh, or rebrand
This move powerfully engages customers by showing your business is relevant and on trend. Create press releases to show off your new look and announce on your social media platforms.
Consistent marketing material and messaging
Tap into your connections and link up. Industry colleagues will likely refer you to their clients when you are fresh in their minds. For instance, show off some great recent photos of any shoots, events, or inventory.
Safety for Customers and Team
Next, you must prioritize safety. Now that you have the client, you must implement and adhere to the latest health and safety guidelines. Aside from established routine workplace precautions, your business has the added burden of preventing the spread of the coronavirus and keeping your team and customers safe. You can add internal notes to your inventory items so that your team knows how to properly clean them.
For instance, build trust when your business is professional and compliant with current guidelines. This assures clients you use precautions. This creates value; it is why you charge what you charge. More effort and costs go into cleaning and sanitizing your rentals thoroughly and wrapping them up than before. When clients understand this, they are more likely to invest in your rentals.
Don't just tell clients, but show them. Do you use Instagram or Facebook stories or live videos? Show your crew puling items off the shelves with masks and gloves, with the cleaning products, and performing the work to prep orders professionally. Any chance you get to snap behind-the-scenes photos shows your customer how much you value them with the work you perform. Create a blog post for this on your website, or show pictures in your email list with any new updates!
Event Inventory Audit: What is Working and What Isn't?
Finally, take the guess work out of what is profitable and what isn't— perform an inventory audit. Goodshuffle Pro provides hard data on what rents in your inventory; numbers don't lie. Once you know your big sellers, start designing campaigns around the inventory.
For instance, lounge furniture may not be hot now due to social distancing requirements, but tables and chairs are in high demand for small, allowable gatherings. Double down on showcasing beautiful images on your website landing pages and social media channels.
Next, sell off lagging inventory. It is important for two reasons— it provides cash flow and it frees up valuable space in your warehouse from products working against your event rental business. You are paying every day for a product to sit there and not make money! Venues, other rental companies, and past clients might unexpectedly be interested in your old inventory.
Priorities in Order
Now that you know what event companies should prioritize during COVID-19, you can best prepare for the comeback of in-person events. The events industry is strong and resilient— we'll be on the other side of this soon.
Curious how Goodshuffle Pro streamlines event business's processes?
Anna is a wife, mother of two sweet and precocious boys, and the lead designer and creator of Provenance Rentals, a boutique specialty & vintage rentals & prop house in Inglewood in Los Angeles decorating for the romantic, unique, and chic client whether the event is corporate, or personal, all over California and beyond.
Feature Image by Karina Pires