In my 16 years (and counting) of hosting events, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers have asked me questions on how I began as an events host. And they have sought my advice on how to build their own events hosting portfolio.
Since I’d like to be as friendly and helpful as I can as much as possible, I have graciously and generously answered all their queries as if they’re paying me. But I’m actually just doing it for free as an act of courtesy.
When I started events hosting in the year 2000, the internet and social media were not yet that widely used in the Philippines compared to how it is now. Back then, I had to do my own research by all means possible and learn some useful lessons the hard way.
As a way of paying it forward through all these years of blessings, this article is dedicated to both budding and experienced events host who’d like to take their events hosting skills to the next level.
Here are just nine ways how you can creatively build your portfolio:
1. Host events for free.
When I started events hosting for family and friends in 2000, I was just doing it for free because I was enjoying it. A few years after, someone offered to pay me a minimal fee to host a wedding reception. This event actually got me thinking and so I did a thorough research how I could position and brand myself as a newbie events host.
If you’re a newbie, I suggest that you volunteer to host events in your school, at work, in any organization you’re involved in, and even at family reunions.
Doing pro bono events hosting will build both your confidence in hosting, as well as hone your people and communication skills further.
2. Collect photos and videos of your events hosting stints.
To convince your potential events hosting clients, you need proof that you really are a credible and in-demand events host. You need to gather photo evidences of your events hosting stints, whether they’re done for free or with charge. It will be so much better if you have videos of you doing the actual hosting so that potential clients would be easily convinced seeing your hosting prowess.
3. Create a blog, a website, or social media accounts for your hosting services.
Building your own brand as an events host is paramount if you want to succeed in this line of business. Creating an online presence in the form of a blog, a website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even YouTube accounts will surely enhance your brand and expand the reach of your market for potential hosting clients.
Take advantage of the myriad of free platforms for blogs, websites, and social media accounts you could use. After all, in this day and age, you’ll appear more credible if you have any or all of these online platforms.
4. Advertise your events hosting services online.
Aside from building an online presence as mentioned in step #2, you would benefit more in being found by people looking for an events host if you advertise your services online.
Websites like JobsDB, Serbida, and the likes offer free advertisements with certain limits, which you could upgrade for a fee. OLX.ph would also offer you free advertisements in your first few months, but would eventually ask you to pay them to “refresh” your ad.
5. Print a business card.
If you really want to take your events hosting gigs seriously and professionally, ask a graphic artist to design a business card for you.
Aside from including your name, contact details like mobile number and email address, include your website, blog, or social media accounts there too, if available.
6. Expand your network of purposeful connections.
Whether you like it or not, you have to go out of your comfort zone and meet people from different walks of life. This is the only way you can keep your business and make it grow.
In my experience, I even had to undergo interviews and auditions with events and marketing agencies to get certain roles related to events hosting.
Your purposeful socializing should not only be done by adding social media connections. Personal interactions and meaningful conversations would be good triggers for potential partnerships and hosting clients.
7. Ask people to refer and recommend you.
Whether by word of mouth or in writing via your online public accounts, you should ask people to refer and recommend you for other potential hosting or hosting-related events.
After just hosting an event, you may ask your client for feedback of how you served at their event through text or Facebook message, and even via email. You may then use their positive comments as testimonials on your online platforms as part of your marketing strategies.
Being part of charity events would also help you build a wholesome image and relational branding style for your potential hosting clients.
8. Be part of Facebook groups related to events hosting.
In the Philippines alone, there’s a whole gamut of Facebook groups related to events hosting which you could join to be updated with possible events hosting opportunities.
Here are some that you could check out and consider becoming a part of:
- Taping.Taping / Raket / Gosee
- C.A.R.E.S. Casting…
- R4KET! RAK3T
- Raketeros / Raketeras
- Event Suppliers Philippines
- The Wedding Market
- Soon to Weds
- Wedding / Events Suppliers
- Party Events Specialist and Party Needs
9. Make a video or an online portfolio of all the events you hosted.
As you grow in your events hosting experiences, continue to collect photos and videos of your events hosting stints which you could use as fodder for your online portfolio whether in the form of a .png. or .jpg poster, or better yet a video which you could upload on YouTube.
Don’t forget to include testimonials coming from your hosting clients in your video or online portfolio as these are very convincing tools to connect with other potential clients.
Also, remember to update your portfolio with details of your current hosting gigs. And never rest on your laurels. Have a habit of lifelong learning even in honing your events hosting skills, and for sure, you’ll never run out of hosting opportunities.
I hope these handy tips would serve you well in your pursuit to level-up your events hosting business, whether you’re doing it as a side job as I do, or for full time.
I wish you more repeat businesses and success in the future.