Launching an event planning business, The Importance of Networking & Balancing all the moving parts
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Hey, guys, welcome to podcast.
I'm your host Jenna Redfield, and today we have a very special guest. This is Trey Bartel, and she's going to introduce yourself to us. How are you? I'm good. How are you? Thanks for having me today. This is your first podcast?
Dre Barthel 1:15
Yes, yeah. So what do you do? And what's your business? Sure. So I'm Dre and I'm the owner and creative director of coffee. We are a boutique events business. And we partner with a variety of organizations bringing their brand and mission to life through creative events and experiences. Cool.
Jenna Redfield 1:29
So we kind of connected I don't even know. We have a lot of mutual friends. Yes. And I think I met you for the first time at Kayla Hall. It says conference here your own way conference. Yeah, Amber. Correct. And I've always had you on back in my head. I'm like, she should be on the podcast at some point. And I know you just said this is your first one. So that's awesome. So what what do you do on a everyday? or How did you get to this place? I guess I'll start with that. And then we can move on to like your day to day. But what how did you get started with this business?
Dre Barthel 1:56
Well, I have been doing events for Gosh, over 20 years, but in different capacities, whether it was on the personal side of things, doing people's weddings, baby showers, but then when I started having a professional career, I always landed on the events committee wherever I work to say we're going to throw a party or a run or whatever it was, I was kind of the go to gal. And so I quickly started to develop a passion for it. And so once I did it more actively, then I realized I really want to do this on my own. I had a job in sales for about four years. And that kind of woke up the entrepreneurial bone in my body of building a business. And so the dream kind of came out of that.
Jenna Redfield 2:35
So when did you launch? Was it last year? It was August?
Dre Barthel 2:39
So I haven't even been here yet, which is crazy to believe. But yeah, about eight months ago, I am happy.
Jenna Redfield 2:44
And so what specifically do you do? Are you mostly corporate events? Or is it like weddings or what? No,
Dre Barthel 2:52
yeah, we're more in the business side. So we do corporate events, fundraisers. So we do a lot of Gala's and different types of events for nonprofit. And then we do smaller gatherings. So if a company wants to do a sales incentive dinner or a staff appreciation picnic, those are the kinds of events we do. People ask What are you ever going to do weddings? For right now? It's no, but we've had a couple high profile clients that say, will you please do my daughter's wedding? Of course, we're going to say yes. But we're not pursuing that at this time.
Jenna Redfield 3:24
Okay, that's interesting, because I think a lot of event planners do both right? They, you know, or they're just a wedding planner. Right? A lot of just corporate business. But I guess maybe there are I just don't know that. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 3:35
there are a few for sure. for you.
Jenna Redfield 3:37
So how did you decide on the name?
Dre Barthel 3:41
Yeah, I love when people ask that. So my heartbeat is to gather people together, whether that's in the professional personal capacity. And so I knew that something with gathering had to be in the name. So I literally typed gathering into my, my laptop, and coffee was in the list. And I thought coffee. That's an interesting, what does that mean? So then I just typed covey in. And it said, most commonly use when describing small gathering of people, or a flock of quail, or ducks. And I'm like, what, and my husband and my boys are huge duck hunters. So I thought this was the perfect marriage of my heartbeat and intention for the business and then incorporating my family.
Jenna Redfield 4:20
Because they're super important to me. So. So how do you like I have so many questions. So you so you're married and have kids? How, how does that balance happen for you?
Dre Barthel 4:32
Yeah, it's really hard. I know, people always say balance is a unicorn. It's just choices you have to make every day of what's going to be most important and where you need to be the most present. I know, that's kind of a cliche word right now catchy thing is present over over perfect. You know, you hear that a lot. But it's really true. I mean, you have to decide when you wake up in the morning, what is going to bring the most life to me and to my family today? And what do I value? So I think you have to kind of always go back to your core very use as a person and as a business owner, and just pay attention to the things that are going to tie into that. I mean, gosh, yes, there's days that you go off the tracks a little bit. But for me, it's just really deciding what are the most important things I need to get done today and really try to stick to that.
Jenna Redfield 5:16
Yeah. So how, what is your process? Like, especially for event planning? Because there's so many different things involved? How do you stay organized? Like how do you start, you know, the process of planning an event?
Dre Barthel 5:27
I think the most important is the discovery process with our clients really getting to know what is their intention for the event? Who is their targeted audience? What are their goals? What's the bottom line, and that really dictates the conversation, because then we can bring all the fun things like the pretty decor and the room and the venue. So I think it's that discovery process for sure. And then I for me, personally, there's a couple tools and platforms that I like to use. And then I create a lot of my own templates as well, to really make the process streamlined for my clients and very user friendly, so that they always know that and they have good, we have good communication.
Jenna Redfield 6:05
So what kind of things do you ask right away? I guess like, and do you do like discovery calls? Or is it more like, Oh, I booked them? And I just got to figure it out? Yeah,
Dre Barthel 6:15
I've learned the hard way for sure. But I think you learned pretty quickly like you, you have to value your own time for sure. Because I think probably many of you that especially creatives, how many times have you driven out had the meeting and you realized it wasn't a fit and hours have gone of your time have gone by? So I do do a screening call now. I think it's super important to have that conversation over the phone to ask us questions. Tell me a little bit more about your business. Tell me about like the things I said earlier, what is it that you're hoping for? What's the intention for the gathering? Who's your audience? And I think pretty quickly, we can determine if I'm the right fit, if they're the right fit for my brand. And then we choose to have a meeting face to face.
Jenna Redfield 6:53
That makes a lot of sense, because I do think I used to be wedding videographer. Oh, yeah. Yes, I did echo. So I would meet with brides at a coffee shop. And then they would like not choose me. So it's like, well, I asked in my time, you know, and it's nice to have that like 1015 minute conversation. Yes. online, or I guess not in person.
Dre Barthel 7:13
Right? Yes. And you always have that risk of even if the phone call went really well. And then you meet for in person, either there's no chemistry or they've gotten more information since you've spoken that,
Jenna Redfield 7:25
you know, maybe their budget
Dre Barthel 7:28
got cut, or they lost a team member or they have a new team member that can delegate that can take that task on. So you always have that risk of it not working out. But I think that conversation in the meeting still valid, because they'll remember you, they might refer someone else to you. That's true. So don't let go of the possibility.
Jenna Redfield 7:48
Yeah, that's a really good thing is even if you don't work well with the client, they might think of you for future things that happened to me a lot x Okay. Well, I've had a few different businesses. When I was doing video editing and stuff, I didn't still get referrals from people that ended up not choosing me because it was a lot of them. Like they don't know what they're doing. And so they don't know how much work it's going to be to actually do professional videos where they have to hire an editor, right? So they go into it. And then they're like, Oh, my gosh, this is a lot of work and a lot of money to get it, you know, invest in to get it looking professional. And so then but then they're like, they would send other people to me, because they're like, Oh, I know, this girl understands it? I don't know.
Dre Barthel 8:25
Yeah, that's good. And I think to the way our culture is going, it's all about collaboration and cheering each other on. And so I think you not only will they refer you to something else, but you might have some other creatives in your life that can help them. So I think don't minimize the opportunity to give your friends some love and say, Hey, have you hired a videographer hadn't hired? So I think it's a great opportunity to also give referrals because we've talked about this we love connecting? Yes.
Jenna Redfield 8:52
Well, one thing that I actually I talked to someone this morning, I had a coffee chat. But what I said is find people in your same industry that you can also refer because if you if you say your your book that date, you don't want to come empty handed saying I'm sorry, I can't help you. It's like, no, I'm sorry, I can't help you. But I have this other person that I recommend. Yeah. So like each community over competition is a huge, I guess, buzzword right now but honestly is true is if you can't if you're not taking it, give it to someone else who deserves the opportunity to work and get money in Absolutely.
Dre Barthel 9:23
Yep. I love that. And that's what I've done. I've really gotten to know some other gals that do exactly what I do. Because there are situations where I am booked or maybe it's not the right fit, but it'd be great for them. So I think there's this wonderful way to support one another and have that list of Yeah, you can refer have their business card ready, whatever it may be.
Jenna Redfield 9:41
When when I ended my video business, I'd still get referrals like months later from people that had heard of me or something. And I was like, I can't do it. But here's 10 other people, like heard a really great and yeah, so that's super important. So so when you are planning an event, what kind of systems you set, you mentioned systems, what kind of systems are
Dre Barthel 9:59
going to be so when I first started, I kind of reached out to the creative community and said, hey, what systems are you using for your proposals, your bookkeeping, and a photographer friend of mine, Kate Becker, who's amazing. She recommended honey book. And so I checked it out love it. I love it so much. It's been such a great user friendly platform. For me. It's online, it's web based. So you can access it even from your phone, they have an app that you can use as well. And what I love about it, it literally it tracks my pipeline. It tracks it has my contracts in there my proposals. There's lots of different bells and whistles within the tool that I can use to manage my business.
Jenna Redfield 10:37
So I know a lot of people that use that. Yeah, that's awesome. I use them sada which is similar plot. Okay. Yeah. And I do find that honey book is kind of more geared towards event planners. Yeah. And people the wedding industry, right. So yeah, so it works really well for me. So it's cool. I do recommend any book to a lot of like wedding and event professionals. Yeah, yes. That's awesome. Yeah, I think it's good to be organized. So what how? Because when you first when you first started your business, did you use that? Or was it months into it? I
Dre Barthel 11:05
used it right away. Okay. I think I did some of that research before my launch, because I just I wanted to do things well, and I wanted my process for my clients to be real great. Let the onboarding process for them. Because I know, I mean, the reality is things are just going to be clunky, sometimes. But I thought if I can educate myself, before I bring on a client, I wanted to be able to do that. And excellence.
Jenna Redfield 11:25
How long did you plan and launch before you launch like
Dre Barthel 11:29
it really quickly, actually, I mean, I've been dreaming of this for a really long time, probably about three or four years of owning my own business. And I knew it would be something with events and gathering people together, whether it was conferences, you know, I have all kinds of things on my wish list of things I want to do. But I didn't know what it was going to look like I had kind of a crazy career journey. I mean, you know, I used to think my resume was so random. And it didn't make any sense. But it's so fun to look back now and see everything I've done has led me up to this. It's giving me this scale and opportunity. And so I had been working for a nonprofit as the Director of Development and events, and it really gave me a la equip me to see Yep, this is exactly what I wanted to do. And so I think it was without really thinking it through was launching me for this. But I would say gosh, only like two months. And it was like, bam, we're gonna hit the ground running. And I finally like got rid of the fear of because you know, you have all those self limiting thoughts of I can't do this, or I'm too old. Because I am probably one of the oldest gals in this creative.
Jenna Redfield 12:33
I feel like, Oh my gosh,
I mean, I always I always felt like the young one. That's like the optimal. I mean, like, I just felt like I wasn't worth it. Because I haven't had as many years of experience shows the
opposite. Yeah. Isn't that interesting? we
kind of do in our own heads. I know. It's like, what's the perfect age? I don't there isn't like that's the thing is, and I always said this is, you know, start now is like a year and a half from now. You're going to be wishing you started today. Yeah, that's the anything like working out? I don't know. Yeah. I always think that's really important. Because I started I wrote a Facebook post earlier this week about how I started everything that I'm doing now when I was 16.
Dre Barthel 13:08
Yeah, I love that.
Jenna Redfield 13:09
Yeah. Well, because it's like, it's like, yeah, I've had I'm only 26. But I've had 10 years of experience, like, so it's it's not like I waited until I was out of college. I started as early as I could. Yeah. And it's like, if you're, you know, wanting to do something started on the side, learn. Yeah, teach yourself, figure it out. I mean, if you have a full time job, and you want to get out of it, there's a lot of people in our group like that they have full time corporate job, but they want to like run their own business or side hustle. Yeah, my biggest piece of advice is to grow your business on the side to a point that then you can leap and you already have the business holding you up. Because I mean, so you quit your job, though, are you? Well, it
Dre Barthel 13:48
was actually a really beautiful transition, because I instead of them having me on payroll that's kind of mine are where I was working. We were able to transition where they were my clients. So it was like, so beautiful. naturally have a client right away. Yeah. So and it was Yeah, it was really cool. how that worked itself out.
Jenna Redfield 14:05
That's kind of how I feel like, that's a really good. I haven't really liked thought of that. Yeah, because you become almost like the consultant. Yes. Versus the employee. Yes, exactly. I technically, am a contractor here at Studio cork. I don't actually I'm not employed by them, which gives me flexibility to work on my own business, which that's why I signed up that way. I was like, technically, they're one of my clients. Yes. Yeah. That's it really Exactly. And it's like, I feel like I have more of the power and control instead of being like an employee of theirs.
Dre Barthel 14:35
Yes, yep. It just gives you more creative control. Flexibility, flexibility was really important to me, because I am a mom and I have two kids that are really busy. 11 and 13. I thought when they were little, that would be the busiest season, but oh my goodness. Now like the two I'm a taxi driver, for sure. And just the homework and the mental space that when they get off the bus, the things are unpacking. So it's like I need to have control over my schedule. And so this was a beautiful way to be able to do that.
Jenna Redfield 15:01
So do you work mostly like during the day, like nine to five,
Dre Barthel 15:04
it really ranges I try to keep a schedule, that's something I still need to work on is putting boundaries around that I am a girl, but I probably work way too many hours. And my husband always says you can actually shorten that if it's concentrated time to be amazed. I'm like, I know, he's the best time management person. But I would say on average, I'm working like eight to three, because I want to be available and my kids get off the bus. And then I put in a couple hours at night.
Jenna Redfield 15:32
But I think that's what a lot of working moms. Yep.
Dre Barthel 15:34
Yeah, it works really well for me. Because once I've had my husband time everyone's fed people are in bed, my husband's watching History Channel, and like I can clearly get on my computer and do some work. And I'll snuggle up right next to him. So it's not like we're not together, but
Jenna Redfield 15:49
it works for us. Really great setup. Yeah.
So so you do a lot of different event planning, but what are your other like side hobbies?
Dre Barthel 15:59
Well, I I'm really involved at my church. So I do a lot with women's ministry. I'm on the worship team. So I love to sing. And then what else I love photography. I'm not our photographer. But I definitely capture my life through my iPhone most days. But I have a great community of friends. So we're always doing things, whether we're volunteering together doing trips together, different Bible studies that I do. So yeah, lots of different things.
Jenna Redfield 16:25
So we've mentioned a little bit earlier about how we both like to connect. Do you think that has benefited your business over the last? I guess, almost seven, eight months?
Dre Barthel 16:36
Yeah. You know, it's just something that's always been natural for me because I love to be people's cheerleader. So it's like, how can I help you grow? How can whether it's with their jobs, or as a mom or a wife or a friend, I feel like I always land in that mentorship coaching role. And so if I'm always having my my ears open, okay, if you're in that conversation of with somebody, and they need something, whether it's a product or a service, or some kind of connection. So I think it's just paying attention and listening, being having that awareness. And so as soon as I know, I've got a gal or I got a guy, or you need to call this person, and I think having everything in your phone is important, because it's so much easier, we can just share that contact real quickly. So I think that I try to do that. Well, by having that information readily accessible and make that connection.
Jenna Redfield 17:25
Um, this is a question that I have that I've been kind of asking around. Do you still use business cards?
Dre Barthel 17:31
Yeah, I have them in a vintage lunch box to make it fun.
Jenna Redfield 17:39
so silly. But I
Dre Barthel 17:40
do I love my business card. My friend, Nicole Evelyn, she's amazing. She's a graphic designer. She helped me with mine. And I just purposely made them I don't know, just feel good look good. So that it's fun to pass them out. So I try to honor other people by Yes, I'd love your business card, and then keeping them and I just keep them I do
Jenna Redfield 17:59
do too. But it's hard because my job. I feel like my job title changes. Like, I know. So I'm like, Oh crap, I gotta get new cards. Like my email change. Yeah, phone number change or something. So I was getting annoyed. So I probably had six or seven different types of business guys last four years. Yeah, just crazy. Yeah. So my crap, this one's outdated. I can't give this on. That's my issue is outdated. With like a phone. It's always up to date. Yeah, for sure. And sure, I've actually found this new cool thing that I have to teach everyone. I never heard of it. But basically on Facebook Messenger. You can open it and click a button and and hold somebody else's phone over it. And then you connect on messenger. Oh, is that the Snapchat code? It's for messenger only, but then you don't add them as a friend. You just add them as a messenger person. Oh, that's I was at a conference. And they did that. Nice. I did not know that.
Dre Barthel 18:47
Yeah, there's so I mean, it's amazing how many different tools to capture that information. Yeah, I mean, there's even apps where you can take a picture of the business card, and it loads in the data. So yeah, so that's nice, too. Yeah. But I know, it's like people pay money. And, you know, they love their cars. So I always want to honor them in that way and take that car.
Jenna Redfield 19:08
Yeah, just I feel like when I talk to someone, I tend to be like, join my group. Follow me on Instagram, like, yeah, more of a social media. Like that's how I'll remember you. Yeah, once I get them in the moment. It's like, they'll remember me because we connected through social media, like through email, right? And maybe me, yeah,
Dre Barthel 19:25
no, an email can be tough. I have found that like I have. And that's where you just have to pay attention and know your person, know your audiences. If that person communicates best through text email. And so it's just asking that question, how do you like to communicate? And then that's what you do? Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 19:40
I think it's funny, because like, there's some people who are like, really into LinkedIn. Yeah, some people who are really into Facebook, I'm really an Instagram personally. And it's like, I kind of have to go where everyone is. So yeah, having every platform available, and somewhat active. Like I'm probably on LinkedIn the least but I also am updating it on a daily basis. Yep. Which for longest time, I was not because I was like, This is so corporate and not me. Yeah, no, but there are a lot of entrepreneurs on there, it's a good way to, you know, connect with people.
Dre Barthel 20:06
Yes. And I do love LinkedIn, I think it's a professional community. And the way you treat it is different than Instagram, it's not so much the storytelling, it's, you want to appear as the expert in your industry. So people are looking at, you know, who are your influencers? What articles are you reading? So it's important to do different things on LinkedIn than you would on Insider. I
Jenna Redfield 20:26
think you're kind of coming together, though. Yeah, for sure. I keep seeing more videos on Instagram. And I see I see.
Like, long posts that are very, I don't know, trying to get something a reaction from, like Facebook, for sure. I don't know. But I do think that LinkedIn has has to update itself with the times and what other I guess what other platforms are doing? Yeah. Because there wasn't really anything they could add. For the longest time. You couldn't add a video, you couldn't do any of that stuff. And I think they've kind of had to change with the waves of social tech. What do you what are your thoughts on social media these days? Like, how do you Yeah,
Dre Barthel 21:07
I'm still learning. I feel like the old old lady when it comes
Jenna Redfield 21:09
to social media.
Dre Barthel 21:12
Yeah, again, it's educating yourself. And there's so many resources out there now to learn about how to use social media. I think it's, you have to know who your audiences my audience on LinkedIn is different than my audience on Instagram. I've had conversations with my clients about this, because one of the things that covey is we don't just do events, we also dive into their brand and their marketing. Yes. Because if you you're throwing an event, people are going to look at your social media, they're going to look at your website. Great thing. Yeah. So I that's what makes sets us apart a little bit as we really dive into that. And so I think when you're marketing and event, you're going to say something probably a little bit different on LinkedIn than you would on your Facebook or Instagram, you still want it all streamlined and to have the same verbiage, but I think there's a way to tweak it a bit. Because on LinkedIn, maybe it's more of those professionals. So like for my nonprofits, I tell them, you paint a beautiful story on Instagram with a beautiful picture of locomotion. But on LinkedIn, let's get your donors let's get your event sponsors. So your your, your messaging is going to be a little bit different. Because how can you let them know like, if you sponsor this event, you're going to get visibility, it's going to affect your bottom line, you might increase, you know, that perception of your social responsibility. So I think that you have to really think about who's reading that post. And that's how you dictate the image and the language.
Jenna Redfield 22:30
That's a really good because a lot of people try to I and I do recommend re sort of repurposing content. Yeah, platforms, but you do have to change it depending on the platform. Yes, yes. So do you use like Eventbrite or what do you use for your events?
Dre Barthel 22:45
Yes. So if we're throwing the event of covers, yeah, so event braid is easy for us. But like, if I like I'm doing a five K, I'm have my boss five, K. And me. And we're using crown on track. It's the race management software. Yep. So it just depends on what type of event and what systems you're using to gather your registration. But my clients yet depends on if they have like for a lot of nonprofits, they have, you know, bidding for good or Network for Good. There's these fundraising platforms, okay, use where they can do the ticketing. Cool. Yeah. And that's the beauty of Facebook is you can use any of those ticket URLs to put in there. So yeah,
Jenna Redfield 23:23
yeah, I've used Eventbrite now for all of our workshops, and it is my favorite thing ever. It's
Dre Barthel 23:29
Jenna Redfield 23:30
So, like, everything you can think of when it comes to is on there, obviously. And then you can quickly make a Facebook event. Yes. For me, I have to time everything. I'm kind of one of those people where I launch it at one time, and I have to have everything go off. Yeah. So I schedule the schedule, the Instagram, I scheduled the Facebook, like I literally have it all so that at that time that I said it was happening, it goes out and I have to be everywhere and be like, okay, as I posted it here, I posted here. And it's I guess for me, it's more of like, I just want to be like a big All right. And that's kind of like I don't know if you ever do that.
Dre Barthel 24:02
Yeah, I mean, it's nice when your platforms can speak to each other. And there's good integration. So that is the nice thing about Eventbrite. It links to every, you know, social media platform. So that is one of the things to consider when you're looking at your ticketing program it does it communicate with all these other platforms,
Jenna Redfield 24:19
for sure. And I love the idea. Like we do promo codes I've done now early bird stuff, which is like a cheaper. Oh, my gosh, I have like so many, like, tips about about right, but like, I don't think anyone cares unless they put on events. Yeah, it's like if you've never used it and never have to Yeah, you know why, but like, but for me, I've become more of an event planner and event more of an event coordinator. Sure. And because I've had so many workshops, and I host a lot of events here. I've just like, for me, I think it's such a fun thing to do. Yes. And I think is such a but I feel like I don't know, all of the like corporate stuff, doing it for others. I don't really do that. So that's the stuff that you kind of do. Yeah, yeah. That's for myself.
Dre Barthel 24:58
Yeah, that's great, though. I mean, and that's the thing, sometimes when I meet with a client, they have a person already within their team that does it and enjoys it. And so sometimes they don't need me we we determine that or sometimes I'll just be a consultant where I bring in fresh ideas. Yeah, processes design. So we work together. And maybe it's a smaller package versus the full package where I'm literally making all the calls, setting up the vendors coming up and setting up the space. So that's the beauty of owning your own business. You can have different packages, you can design all that.
Jenna Redfield 25:31
So do so is most of your jobs, or is it more the planning and stuff?
Dre Barthel 25:36
I wait, it's so interesting, because it kind of started day of but it is really become more of the consulting piece where I'm on the back end and giving ideas and templates and processes and timelines and training their internal teams. And it's funny, sometimes I work myself out of a job. But then I did my job. They do and I and then I know I did my job well, if I can equip and train so that you don't, you know, necessarily always have to hear because if you're already paying someone to do your events, I love that I can come in and train you and equip you to do it. Well, you know, but I also love to have recurring business, I don't certainly want to work myself out of a job every
Jenna Redfield 26:15
Dre Barthel 26:16
because some teams some companies cannot afford to employ an events person. Yeah. So or their admin person or HR is like, I don't want to plan the company picnic. That is not what I do. And so they love when they can hire me to do that, for that
Jenna Redfield 26:30
similar for me with social media, because a lot of people they're like, I don't want to management Instagram. Yeah, it's like, they're not gonna hire me to teach them. They're just going to hire someone to do it. Yes, yeah, it's kind of it just depends on the person. I guys, I had a job once Well, I'm not I'm not gonna name names, but I had a job. And I was only there for a few weeks, because they had some budget issues and had to hire a different position. But I told them a lot of things about how I did things. And then when I left the person, and that was doing a similar job to me took over all my responsibilities. So it was like, I've kind of talked myself out of a job. Yeah, I've done I've done that before. I've talked myself out of a job because I tell them everything. And they're like, Oh, we don't need you anymore. Because we can Yeah, ourselves. I know. I know.
Dre Barthel 27:13
That's hard. That's where you need to charge a premium. Yes. So that's why when I have an event consulting package, I do charge a little bit more, because I'm giving away my brain. I you know, it's true. And so some people like Wow, that's a lot if you're coming with and you're only giving us x amount of time. Yes, but I'm basically good on you.
Jenna Redfield 27:31
Yes, that's really what it is. And I'm actually gonna be starting coaching in the future. And I'm because I think a lot of people come to me and I give them a lot of free advice. I'm like, it should be I should be charging hard. But But honestly, My issue is like, how do I price it? And then also like, what is my value? How have you figured out your pricing? Yeah,
Dre Barthel 27:52
that is one of the hardest things for sure as hell because I've had events where I look at how much time I spent on it. I'm like, Oh, I paid myself $5 an hour. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And then I've had others where I'm like, Hi, I that was the perfect pricing. I got paid for my time. Yeah. So it's really you learn as you go pretty quickly. And I think to its level setting expectations at the beginning with the client. Yeah. And you determine the pricing, but then I always have in my contracts now that if we go outside this package or exceeded X amount of hours, and I charge an hourly rate, okay, so that there's an understanding of between the two of us like, hey, we've kind of hit our max, but it's so hard.
Jenna Redfield 28:31
Yeah, it's hard. It's hard to like, Yeah.
Dre Barthel 28:34
What's the word I'm working, not implement, but enforce. It's hard. Unfortunately, I'll be like, Oh, I don't want to make that call and say we're past our hours. Yeah. Because my heartbeat is to help and to serve. And yeah, I totally, especially if it's a nonprofit, and I just I know it is not in their budget. So that's where I have to decide for myself, I'm just gonna give an X amount of hours every year, because that's just who you know. Yeah. And that's part of my core values. Is that giving back here? Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 29:00
yeah. So I think that's so true. Because I feel like as an event planner, every events different. So you don't know how long it's going to take us. So how do you kind of fit like, and maybe this is just a kind of a random question. How many hours does the average event take to plan for Yeah,
Dre Barthel 29:16
it's so different. I would see if I'm start to finish, it could take up to 200 hours, depending on the scale of my involvement. And I've done an event in 20 hours. So again, depends on if I'm just doing the consulting piece, or if I'm doing all the vendor management, and I'm doing the setup, tear down doing the returns. Because I've even had clients say, I don't want to do the turns, I will actually pay you to bring everything back the linens. Yep. So like money for Yeah.
Yeah, exactly. That's
Jenna Redfield 29:47
cool. Yeah, I'm just I'm just so curious about being a local service based industry. Company. Because I again, when I was doing weddings, it was like, three, three or four years ago, I didn't even know any systems. I was. So like, like, terrible. Yeah. Like, I could see now why I was like, if I hadn't had these systems, I would have been so much better at this job. You know. So I think now with, with the advent of, you know, things like honey book and all that it's been so helpful for people to just kind of get it. Yeah. And it's like, there's, there's no way that people don't like, Miss that invoice. Right. You know, it's, uh, yeah, it's like, you have proof that you've done everything. And people are like, Oh, crap, this person is really organized. I have Yeah, top of it, too. Yeah, you know,
Dre Barthel 30:28
yeah. And that's hard. I've actually had situations where you provide everything and then they choose not to participate or engage or implemented. And that can be really hard and you selected I feel, they can go out. And it's like, Oh, so that's a delicate, it's a delicate dance of, you can only do so much. And unless that client actually implements what you're giving them is super hard.
Jenna Redfield 30:54
Again, I don't want any news, I had a friend who asked me for help on marketing, then didn't implement any of it. And I got really mad because I did this for free. And then he didn't even do it. And I was like, I'm not ever helping you again. Because you don't value my time. And you also don't even listen to me. What the heck, why Why? Why did you even ask me to help you when you're not even going to follow what I tell you? And it's, I'm learning to be a little bit more strict with, you know, not only who I help, but also the money. Part of it. Yeah, I'm very good at giving out free advice, like on this podcast, but I'm like, I give advice, free advice on the podcast. And I know, it'll benefit many, many people. Yeah, that I talk one on one, it'll only benefit you. And if you don't take it seriously. Yeah, I've wasted my time.
Dre Barthel 31:36
Yeah. And I think as business owners, you have to sometimes you have to fire clients or not take the job. I mean, that's super, super hard, because then you think I'm gonna lose business. But there's such an abundance of clients out there. And I think I'm a believer of, you know, every it's meant to be, you know,
Jenna Redfield 31:53
how do people find you mostly as a networking? Or is it through like, actual, like,
Dre Barthel 31:58
marketing, you know, far have been super blessed with all referrals. I had established a pretty strong b2b network because of the previous jobs, especially when I was in sales. And I think it's empowering your army, I always say that, you know, equip your army of friends, your networking partners, letting them know what you do, so that they're your brand ambassadors, they're out there as your mouthpiece of who you are your core values, your core offerings, I think that that's what I've done really well as kind of empowering the people in my life to know what I do. So that that I you're kind of on the top of their mind, when they hear Oh, I need such and such, then they send them my way. It's funny is when I posted in the Facebook group asking for people, event planners, you were posted, like three or four times.
Jenna Redfield 32:42
I was like, dang, people really want her on this podcast. That's so awesome. Thank you.
I was you know, and that made me realize I'm like, okay, you know, that's the power of being a strong person in your niche, which is, and I'm planning like a bomb. Remember you? Oh, that planning?
Dre Barthel 32:56
Yeah, right. Yeah, that kind of thing. Yeah, I think it's educating people what you do, and that is also networking, I'm in a ton of networking groups, whether they're the monthly or quarterly, some are for women, some are for just business owners. So you know, there's different types. We've talked about this, there are so many out there. So you have to pick the ones that are going to serve you well. And where you can also give back? Well,
Jenna Redfield 33:17
for sure, you can go to a networking event, and I think you'll decide right away whether or not it's worth going to again, you know, I never think a networking event is useless, though. Like, you can't just show me like, Oh, crap, this is terrible. And I'm gonna get nothing out of this. You have to get something out of it. You just don't go back. But you know, at least you spent the time driving there might as well meet one or two people, whatever. Even if they're not the right, clients, they might know someone exactly, you know, yes, that that has always been something where it's like, oh, crap, I spent an hour talking to this person. And I didn't get anything out. I'm like, you never know. You never know. I think I think I might have mentioned this before. But I met someone a couple years ago. And I was volunteering as a videographer for an event. Fast forward to me applying for this job. And she was a coworker here. So she vouch for me when I do that. So like that kind of thing. is so important to I guess, this year, remember me to you know, that's like three years later? And like it comes around? I guess the the my lesson there for sure. It's that mindset of Yeah, I think you have to posture yourself up. I can't always be what am I going to get from
Dre Barthel 34:21
that person? What can I give? Because it will come it will come back? Yeah, yeah, it's that givers gain mentality for sure. Because I think also to like, maybe there's something else that they need from you. In that moment, I've had situations where it totally shifted from a professional to more of a personal that person was having a horrible personal thing going on. So it's like, actually, if you can pour into someone and gifted them with something else, whether it's to encourage them or speak life into them. That is an amazing power to, ya know, because they'll remember that that you You gave a little bit of your time and that mental space to like speaking, you know, whether it's like I said, a kind word or a piece of encouragement, because
Unknown Speaker 35:01
Dre Barthel 35:01
hustling and working so hard and exhausted. So you might
show up to a networking event and just not have it in you that day. But someone might be able to pour back in.
Jenna Redfield 35:11
Yeah, I think that that's so true. Because I think a lot of people need to remember that everyone is human. That we're not just a business person, but like also like, Oh, it's funny. A lot of my business connections have become personal friend. Yes.
And I think when I was in college, I didn't understand the point of networking. I thought it was me literally going up someone saying Hi, can I get a job? That's I thought networking was and I was so misinformed, to the point where now it is my literal favorite thing in the world. Literally. I love networking, probably more than anything. And it's because I get to make new friends, but also help my business. It's like to have section one. Yeah, I love it. Awesome. Well, I think we're gonna wrap up. So do you want to maybe tell us where we can find you online? What are your link?
Dre Barthel 35:57
Yes. Okay, so ww copy events down Calm is my website. I'm on Facebook as covey. EOVEY. Correct. And then on Instagram, it's covey events. Okay. And then I'm on LinkedIn as Bartleby AR th e L. And then covey is also I have a LinkedIn page. I haven't done a ton with that one yet. But Dre Bartel on LinkedIn is where you'll probably glean the most information or research or connect,
Jenna Redfield 36:25
correct. Yeah, so well, thanks so much. Great. And I'll talk to you guys next week. Thank you.
Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for EN at Studio Americana for producing this episode, as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art and thanks to Nikolai had less for the use of the song in the intro and outros. Thanks so much again, and I'll see you next time.