When I started my creative business as a wedding planner, it was the primary focus of my brand to create the most amazing high-end weddings for a specific identified target market. I have evolved with my brand and have expanded into a new portfolio of clients – corporate clients!  As I have intentionally graduated into this new market of clients, I have learned new planning techniques, terminology, networking platforms, etc., that have changed the dynamics of my business.

As I am a sharing individual, I want to share with you my top 12 tips to get you focused in the right direction to work with corporate clients.


Just as you identified your ideal wedding client, you must do the same with corporate clients.  As you come to terms with who you want to serve this can be a multi-layered identifier.  To explain, you can’t just say I want to work with corporate clients.  You need to be able to identify if the clients you want to serve are brands, small business owners, large corporations, government entities, government contractors, non-profits, etc.  Secondly, within that realm of your ideal client what is your sweet spot of event experience you want to offer such as conferences, business retreats, brand activations, galas, brand launches, etc.  Define and refine your corporate audience.


If you have primarily been working with wedding clients, that means you need to do a makeover of your brand identity.  Take a deep long look at your website to see if it attracts your ideal corporate client…if not, then you need to make the change instantly.  

  • What do the images on your website portray? Now, your wedding portfolio is a body of work that you built your reputation, but now it is time to attract a new client, so you need to balance the body of work you are showing. 
  • What is the language saying? Make sure the copy of your website speaks to your corporate target market. If you were like me, everything that was on my website previously spoke to wedding clients, so I had to quickly get the language on my website revamped.
  • What is your brand marker – your logo saying? Look at your brand colors, how is your logo designed (most brands in the wedding business have very whimsical logos); get rid of cursive scripts in your logo.
  • Change the language! – Make sure that you have edited all your marketing materials to include proposals, contracts, email templates, etc. and eliminate all words related to weddings! There is nothing worse than sending a contract or proposal and it has wedding-related terms.


Just as you interface with your wedding clients with an appropriate customer relationship management tool, you need to implement the same with corporate clients they are familiar with using.  Most corporate clients are very familiar with platforms such as TEAMS, Sharepoint, Salesforce, etc.  Be sure you inform your client of the platforms you are using, and ask if you are required to use their platform.  This is essential to know as sometimes you will need to use your own platform (to interact with your internal team) and then the client’s platform as this is how “they” want to do business.


Corporate events are a different world from weddings and social events!  Just as you built your network in the wedding industry, you definitely need to do the same with corporate events.  Join and network with industry associations such as MPI (Meeting Professionals International), PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association); join your local chamber of commerce or national chamber of commerce such as US National Chamber of Commerce or US Black Chamber of Commerce; join destination management organizations (in DC, I am a member of Destination DC).  Attend FAM trips offered by Smart Meetings, Northstar Meetings Group, etc.


Sometimes when embarking on a new endeavor, sometimes you will have to become a novice all over again to become the elite professional.  This is time for you to humble yourself and to lean into peers that are proficiently and successfully experienced in corporate events.  Learn from them not only by sitting down to hear their journey but also working with them on events to gain true experience (this means you may be taking a back seat and doing things that you normally hand off to your team members – but remember you are there to learn).



The terminology is different, so you not only want to walk the walk but talk the talk too!  Terms such as event production, drayage, estimate of charges, run of show instead of timeline, plenary, concurrent sessions, SMERF – Social, Military, Educational, Religious, and Fraternal, DMC – destination management company, client resume etc.  In addition to learning the new terminology, it is also important to learn your client’s language and acronyms they use in their own business.


Not only is LinkedIn a key asset to networking, it also now the place for you to showcase your work, post your blogs, give your target audience insight into your professional brand and knowledge.  Now you can create a personal and a professional LinkedIn page, but it is your personal page in which your target audience is looking to connect with you.  So, make sure it is clean, professional, and you are building brand credibility in this social media space.


I am not talking about educational certifications (they are important too) but I am talking about supplier diversity certifications that will keep you ahead of the competition and in the eyes of corporate clients who are seeking to satisfy their diversity and inclusion initiatives.  Such certifications include MBE (Minority Business Enterprise), WBENC, Small Business & Diversity Certification (these are within your state), LGBTBE, and major corporations offer these certifications as well.


Corporate client transactions surpass the budgets of your weddings and social events sometimes ten-fold.  You need to be able to balance the financials of the corporate client and have a substantial amount in your own bank account to upfront certain costs.  Corporate clients prefer sometimes to write one check for their expenses and that comes to you.  Are you financially capable of fronting client expenses?  You must be mindful of your spending habits, managing vendor financials, and then making sure on the backend that your accountant is aware of the ins and outs of the monies floating through your business.  At tax time, you want to have your financials documented appropriately so Uncle Sam is not coming after you.


It can be a challenge to determine if you are going to leave behind a portion of your business that you have built successfully, and your name is marked in stone with the industry that this is your niche.  So, you will need to determine if you are all in for corporate events, or if it is going to make up a percentage of your business.  If you are making a complete transition, make sure you follow the steps above and get guidance to make sure you move into this new opportunity with minimal challenges.  If corporate events are going to be only a portion of your brand, then make sure the clients you are working with can easily access information on your website.  This may mean when communicating with corporate clients that you provide them with direct hyperlinks to the corporate information on your website, so they do not have to pilfer through pages to get to what they need.

I hope this helps as you begin your transition to corporate events.  There is plenty more to share so I will be sure to come back in another blog to share more.

(Photos in this blog is from our client’s event.  Photography: MFields Photography)