Events Business Plans
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Event Planning Business Plans
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- Limousine Taxi Business Plan
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- Nightclub Resort Complex Business Plan
- Nonprofit Trade Association Business Plan
- Online Booking Business Plan
- Personal Event Planning Business Plan
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Weddings Business Plans
- Bridal Gown Shop Business Plan
- Bridal Shop Business Plan
- Wedding Consultant Business Plan
- Wedding Venue Business Plan
If you’re looking to develop a more modern business plan, we recommend you try LivePlan . It contains the same templates and information you see here, but with additional guidance to help you develop the perfect plan.
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Event Planning Business Plan
Creativity and organization are a formidable combination. And not many of us have it. And to top it off, having good social skills, and the ability to fix problems that usually occur in every event, big or small.
If you have these skills you are a gifted individual indeed and might have thought of having an event-planning business at least once.’
But even after having the right skills many of us find the prospect of owning a business overwhelming at the very least. But worry no more! Before you start planning the most happening events in the town, all you need is an event planning business plan .
The event planning industry stood at a market value of 3.03 billion dollars in 2021 in the US and is going through a period of rapid recovery after being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Theme parties, lesser time to organize and plan for events as well as the demand for professional services have been major growth-driving factors for the event planning industry.
Event planners also help make events smoother, more memorable, and out of the box. And with the increasing want to stand out in everything you do is going to help the event planning industry flourish for years to come.
Things to Consider Before Writing an Event Planning Business Plan
Get skills and experience.
Although starting a business is an exciting prospect as it gives you freedom it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. Hence, you should go prepared with event planning skills and experience before getting started.
Develop your communication skills
Bad communication in event management is a recipe for disaster. Develop your communication and listening skills. It goes way beyond talking. You have to explain to and understand your team and clients correctly to do a good job and get good results.
Find a market for your services
Knowing your market saves you from wasting your resources, efforts, and time on mass marketing. Hence, before you decide on your niche, make a marketing plan and get started, find a market for your services.
Have a good team
How can an event planning business plan help you.
We all know that an event planning company’s success depends highly upon an organization. Be it while planning events or while carrying out other activities like budgeting and marketing.
A business plan can help you achieve just that. It can improve your efficiency, give you well-defined goals to follow, and improve your overall management.
Apart from that, planning your business gives you a good knowledge of the market structure and functioning.
Also, planning your business in its initial stages takes the tedious tasks of running a business out of the way, and lets you focus on what you are passionate about.
How to Write an Event Planning Business Plan?
This segment brings us to the main point of this article. How can you, as an event planner, write a business plan ? And what to include in a good event planning business plan?
Well, you can either seek professional help for writing a business plan, write it through a premade template, or through an online business plan software .
We have created this sample Eventel – Event Planning Business Plan template for you to get a good idea about how a perfect event planning business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.
Chalking out Your Business Plan
If you’ve organized a few events in the past and feel that organizing is your forte, and you can come up with ideas that are both creative and functional, event planning might be the right career for you.
And although most people start out by working under someone, everyone dreams of owning an event planning company. Also if you are about to go ahead and start yours, wait a moment.
Because although you might have sufficient knowledge for planning events, you need one more thing to turn it into a business. A business plan.
Yes, you read it right. A business plan can be of great help while starting your event planning business. It can take your business to lengths and depths, and solve all of your business problems.
Before we understand how you can write your event planning business plan, let’s understand the importance of the business plan .
Event Planning Business Plan Outline
This is the standard event planning business plan outline, which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Business Overview
- Keys to Success
- Net Income & Gross Margin
- About Business
- Business Ownership
- Startup Expense
- Startup Assets
- Office Design
- Step-by-Step Guides
- Event Planning Software
- Resources Manual
- Event Planners Training Institute
- Competitive Comparison
- Private Organizations and Businesses
- Public Organizations
- Age Breakdowns
- Customer Segmentation
- Target Market Segment Strategy
- Hotels and Conference Centers
- Other Event Planners
- Employees or Persons wishing to do it themselves
- Marketing and Competition
- Private and Public Organizations
- Management Summary
- Organizational Structure
- Personnel Plan
- Financial Plan
- General Assumptions
- Break-even Analysis
- Income Statement (5-Year Projections)
- Balance Sheet (5-Year Projections)
- Cash Flow Statement (5-Year Projections)
An event planning business plan consists of several key aspects. You can include the following sections to write a business plan that works:
1. Executive Summary
This is the first and foremost section of your business plan. It consists of a clear and precise summary of all your business stands for.
It is mainly written for summing up your business idea and for acquiring funding.
For example, as an event management company, you can include your business idea, a summary of your past projects, your marketing strategy, and your financial history.
2. Products and services
In this product and services section, you can include details about your services. Write down everything from your target market to the solutions your services offer and the market gap it fulfills.
For example, as an event management company, you can note the size and type of events you cater to. Also, about the variety of services you offer.
3. Market Analysis
The market analysis section will include everything you know and can find about the market you are trying to get into.
Write down everything from market trends, segmentation, and ways of reaching out to your customers to everything about your competitors like competitive analysis, your USP, etc.
For example, you can note down the strategies your direct and indirect competitors are using, branding strategies like customer reviews and website plans, etc.
4. Management and operational structure
In this segment, you can include everything about your team. And also about your daily business activities and long-term goals.
Planning this aspect removes chaos and hassles from your firm’s functioning.
For example, you can include who is responsible for onboarding clients, who are responsible for overlooking the preparations of the event, who is responsible for budgeting, and who is responsible for marketing in the first half of this section.
You can include a progress tracking system as well as an operational strategy and milestones in the second half of this section.
5. Financial Plan
A financial plan is very important for any organization or firm. Planning your finances in the initial stages can save you from a lot of struggles later on. A financial plan includes the past and the present state of your finances. Also, include the projected cash flow and profits.
For example, you can include the expenses you would incur while starting your firm and organizing your first event. And the sources you have for funding are the same.
You can also include the profit forecast as well as what amount of profits your company needs to make to survive and thrive in the market.
Download a sample event planning business plan
Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free event planning business plan pdf to start.
It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your event planning business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.
Event Planning Business Plan Summary
In conclusion, an event planning business can thrive if you work according to a proper business plan.
Also, a well-written plan would take care of everything, ranging from the daily activities of your firm to its finances. Hence, you can channel all of your energies toward your passion.
It is crucial for an event management company to be well managed internally, for it to manage all of its events well.
So, go ahead and plan all the events you want to, but before that don’t forget to write your business plan.
After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample event planning business plan template into your business plan and modify the required information and download your event planning business plan pdf or doc file.
It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.
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How to start an event planning business
If you’re looking to snag one of the 116,700+ (on average) jobs available to meeting, convention, and event managers out there, here’s what you’ll need to get started.
Step 1: Determine if it’s a good fit.
Like most jobs, your skill set and personality will largely determine your success in this field. And while you don’t need to check off all the qualities on this list, here are some things to consider before you start an event management business :
- You can keep the big picture in mind while still taking care of all the little details.
- Whether it’s Sunday brunch or the company holiday party, you’re everyone’s go-to person for all group events.
- Working within a budget and strict timeline makes you feel creatively stimulated, not stunted.
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Step 2: Research certifications.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that demand for event managers will grow an additional 11% by the time we reach 2026. With such a positive industry outlook, it’s good to find new ways to stand out amongst the competition as new event planners enter the market in coming years.
Certifications are fantastic ways to add credibility to your business , regardless of your experience level. Besides proving you’re dedicated to further your education in the field, these credentials show that respected institutions can vouch for your abilities (and your business).
Some of the top certifications event managers pursue include:
- Certified Special Events Professional
- Certified Event Planning Specialist
- Certified Quality Event Planner
There are lots more options to choose from, but these serve as a great jumping off point. However, if you aren’t able to acquire one right now, you can still get your business off the ground without it.
It’s worth noting that beyond certifications, there are no strict college degree requirements (although it seems most event planners do have some sort of bachelor’s education under their belts when starting out).
Step 3: Fill out an event management business plan.
Any cursory Google search for the phrase event management business plan will inevitably lead you to some free wedding and event planning business plan templates .
However, you’ll find that the one we’ve created (below) provides a not too much, not too little approach you won’t find in any other guides.
Each point has been carefully selected so that you can create the event management business plan of your dreams without getting overwhelmed or missing out on details you definitely need to include. As long as you check off the items we listed, you’ll have a solid business plan ready to go in no time.
Step 4: Handle all the necessary paperwork.
To start an event management business, you’ll need each of the following:
- An event management business plan (use the free template we made below)
- Approval for a tax business structure that suits your financial needs
- General business liability insurance
These documents cover all the basics. But as you gain more experience, you might want to add on things like home-based insurance or upgrade to a new tax entity once you enter into the appropriate bracket.
We won’t get into these more advanced concepts for this beginner guide, but make sure to revisit these categories before you’re officially open for business.
Step 5: Figure out finances.
To be clear, you definitely can start an event management business with no money ! However, whether your funding is from your own bank account or someone else’s, small businesses in the events industry should consider starting out with these budget line items:
- Office space and essentials. You can use the computer, printer, and supplies you already have, assuming you do have (or can at least borrow) those things now. But keep in mind: if you’d like to write off your in-home office space on your federal taxes, your room must be secluded and have its own door.
- Advertising. At the very least make sure you have a small batch of business cards and a portfolio website ready to go. If you have some cash to spare, consider getting into paid social media ads or printed marketing materials like mailers.
- Software. The good news is there are plenty of great free event management software programs available these days, so you might not even have to budget for this one!
And that’s basically it! Depending on your niche or preferences, it would be good to also use this startup costs guide created by the Small Business Association to see if there’s anything else specific to you that might be missing.
Step 6: Choose a team.
Vendors, chefs, marketing agencies, software providers, event staff, and personal or office assistants all make wonderful additions to your event management business.
You can start out on your own (which, according to small business statistics , most people do) or you can go through the process of finding, interviewing, and hiring employees.
Depending on the amount of new business you plan to take on, you may or may not need to ever hire someone to help you part-time. At the very least though, you should start compiling a list of people who fit into this network so you can collaborate, get referrals, and perhaps even sub-contract them in the future.
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What is your vision for an event planning business?
Once you’ve completed all of these steps, it’s time to review the big picture. As you figure out your plan, budget, and staffing options, your idea of what you want for your business might change. And that’s totally okay!
Learning how to be flexible is a skill all small business owners must learn. Just make sure you adjust now so you can carry your vision with you for future decision making.
How to write a personal event planning business plan
1. create an executive summary.
- Objectives. Write down your realistic and measurable business goals .
- Mission. Check out these inspiring company mission statements for ideas.
- Keys to Success. Also known as why you think your business will succeed and how you will make sure it does.
2. Make a company summary
- Company Ownership. If it’s just you, consider doing a sole proprietorship .
- Start-up Summary . Think of it like a company overview . Include your business’s back story, location, and anything else you’d basically put on your website’s About section.
- Company Locations and Facilities. Include the address you’ll put on your taxes and any long term rentals like kitchen prep spaces or coworking offices.
3. Identify your products and services
- Services. Event management services can really vary so use this section to outline what you do and what you don’t do.
- Prices. The average yearly event planner’s salary comes out to about $50,000 so plan accordingly.
- Competitive Comparison. Who are your immediate competitors? What do they have that you don’t? Record this research and look for imaginative ways to stand out. Be very honest with your assessment of how your business stacks up against them and what you should do to improve your chances of success.
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4. create a marketing analysis summary.
- Marketing Segmentation. Targeting means finding what area, demographic, or behavioral patterns your high ROI prospects all have in common, just like you’d do for any customer-focused corporate event.
- Target Market Segmentation Strategy. Now that you know who you audience it is, it’s time to research and define all the ways you plan to gain their business.
5. Do a strategy and implementation summary
- Sales Strategy. Here are the two best advanced event business pricing strategies to choose from.
- Sales Forecast. It’s a bit complicated, but figuring out how much money you think your business will make over the next six months to a year (or more) makes studying a sales forecasting guide well worth the effort.
- Milestones . Whether your goal is the total number of sales or income from sales (or something else entirely), you’ll want to formally establish what milestones you’d like to hit by when. Just leave wiggle room for the unexpected and adjust expectations as you go.
6. Write a management summary
- Organizational Structure. For event management teams, clearly defined roles are more important for teamwork than pretty much anything else.
- Personnel Plan. Here are some things to know about hiring staff for an event specifically that will also apply to your company as a whole.
7. Create your financial plan
- Important Assumptions. Business plan assumptions can be fairly complex. For now, just focus on listing your anticipated fixed and variable event planning expenses , marketing costs, and what taxes you’ll have to pay on your earned income.
- Break-Even Analysis . How much did you invest? And how much will you need to earn (after taxes, equipment costs, etc. are subtracted) in order to equal your initial investment? Keep this number handy – it’ll help you decide whether or not to take on more projects, motivate you to upsell whenever possible, and give you a realistic for success.
- Projected Profit and Loss. The IRS might want to see your profit and loss statements at some point, so make a point to regularly record your expenses and sales in one organized document.
- Projected Cash Flow. This free (and very helpful) small business book says to calculate it one month at a time for more accurate figures.
- Projected Balance Sheet. If you’ll be acting as your own bookkeeper, check out this balance sheet template to speed up the process.
- Business Ratios. Even if you’re not a math person, you can definitely handle this last (but very important) event management business plan step. There are lots of business ratios to choose from, but if you want the quickstart version go with these 3 most important balance sheet ratios for professional services firms .
Now you know how to start an event management business!
How do you become an event planner? You plan. Plan your business, plan your client’s events, and plan for a successful future.
There are lots of details involved but if you follow the ideas laid out in this guide, you’ll have yourself a healthy event management business plan along with some great strategies for reaching your goals!
For more on starting your own company , check out these tips for financing your event business , current event statistics worth considering, and event trends you should know for 2019.
Event Planning Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their event planning businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an event planning business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your own event planning business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
Source of Funding for Event Planning Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of secure funding for an event planning business are bank loans, personal funding, credit cards, and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
Another common form of secure funding for an event planning business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund an event planning business.
How To Write a Business Plan For Event Planning
When you write a business plan, you should include the following 10 key aspects:
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of event planning business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an event planning business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of businesses.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the event planning business industry. Discuss the type of business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target audience. Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy and plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of business you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types:
- Corporate Events : this type of event planning business caters to businesses, charities, nonprofit organizations, and the like to plan fundraisers, receptions, conventions, trade shows, competitions, award ceremonies, product launches, and other types of meetings.
- Social Events : this type of event planning business targets middle- to upper-income individuals and families to plan events such as weddings, birthdays, reunions, and other types of celebrations.
- Niche Events : some event planners specialize in just one of the above event types.
In addition to explaining the type of event planning business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new contracts, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your business structure here.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the industry educates you. It helps you understand the target market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards events that adhere to social distancing guidelines, it would be helpful to ensure your plan details what approach you would take (suggested venues, creative solutions for inclusion, etc.).
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section:
- How big is the event planning industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your business. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section must detail the clientele you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: private and corporate clients, high-income households, medium-income households, engaged couples, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of event planning company you operate and the event services you offer. Clearly, businesses would want a different atmosphere, pricing, and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than engaged couples.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the age groups, genders, locations, and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most event planning companies primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target market. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do to attract customers and retain your existing customers.
Direct competitors are other planners and businesses that offer event planning services.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes caterers, venues, and customers planning events on their own. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who throws a party hires an event planner each time.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other businesses with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be other businesses that offer event planning services very close to your site.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What planning services do they offer (wedding planning, baby showers, birthday parties, social events, etc.)?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior event management options (e.g., more cuisine types, better venue options, etc.)?
- Will you provide event options that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to book your services (e.g., utilizing event planning software, etc.)?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
In the product section, you should reiterate the type of business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products/services you will be offering. For example, in addition to designing the event, locating the venue, arranging vendors, coordinating personnel, and supervising the event, will you offer services such as catering, decor, and entertainment?
In this section, document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.
Place refers to the location of your event management business, conference centers, and/or venues in which you own and/or have a relationship. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success.
The final part of your event planning business marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your site. The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Social media marketing
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
- Partnerships with local organizations (e.g., getting on the list of recommended vendors with local venues)
- Local radio advertising
- Banner ads at local venues
While the earlier sections of your event planner business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your event planning business such as interviewing clients, making arrangements, keeping the store/studio clean, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 100th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in total sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch in a new market.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience as event planners or in the industry. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in event planning and/or successfully running small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you plan one event per week or several events? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say a company approached you with a massive $100,000 event contract, that would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now for supplies, equipment rentals, employee salaries, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During those 180 days, you could run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key startup costs needed in starting or growing your business:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- The total cost of equipment and furnishings like decor, sound systems, etc.
- Cost of maintaining an adequate amount of supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Event Planning Summary
Putting together your own event planner business plan is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the event planning sample template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the business, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful event planning business.
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Event Planning Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my event planning business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Event Planning Business Plan.
What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?
The goal is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of event planning business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an event planning business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of event planning businesses.
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How to Start an Event Planning Service Want to be an event planner but not sure how to start your own event planning service? Discover how to start this business in our step-by-step guide.
Feb 22, 2001
Some people get a lot of personal and professional joy out of making big events and special days even better for their attendees. If you have the hosting itch, and if you love to tackle complex problems and make big days go smoothly, you might have a future as a professional event planner.
But whether you choose to work alone or with a small team, starting an event planning service is no small task. Today, let's break down how to start an event planning service step-by-step.
What are the basics of event planning?
Event planning is the art (and sometimes science) of event ideation, planning, coordination and operation. When a big, important event needs to go smoothly, it's time to call an event planning service or coordinator.
Event planners are key service providers who can ensure event production and execution happens smoothly. They perform these duties for trade shows, senior events, nonprofit galas and much more.
Related: Find Your Event-Planning Niche
Event planning is most often used for purposes like:
- Big educational meetings, like graduations or conferences.
- Major promotions, like marketing events, product launches and fashion shows.
- Corporate events, like after-work cocktail hours, galas, etc.
- Celebrations and social events like parades, weddings, birthdays, reunions, etc.
Event planning is highly important to make sure the above and other major events go off without a hitch, especially so that the most important guests can enjoy themselves.
The primary duties of full-time or part-time, on-site event planner jobs include:
- Doing research prior to the big event.
- Event design and team-building for project management.
- Finding the appropriate site for the event.
- Creating event budgets and running fundraisers if necessary.
- Arranging for decor, entertainment and food for the event.
- Sending invitations to potential attendees.
- Planning transportation for attendees to and from the event.
- Arranging any other necessary accommodations, like seating.
- Coordinating activities for event personnel, like caterers or entertainers.
- Supervising activities at the event site.
The events industry, both for wedding planning and other events, requires good communication skills. Additionally, obtaining a bachelor's degree in public relations or related areas can be helpful but is not absolutely required. Let's look closer at this job type and business.
Why do people hire event planning services?
People primarily hire event planning services for two reasons:
- So that event-goers and guests of honor can enjoy themselves without focusing on the event.
- So that the event in question goes smoothly.
Imagine a typical example of a wedding. Many engaged couples hire event planners or event planning services to coordinate, organize and carry out their wedding plans. In this way, the couples can enjoy their special days and focus on getting married rather than worrying about things like catering, parking and kicking out rowdy guests. Instead, the wedding planner takes care of that stuff.
Furthermore, some events are so complex – particularly those with hundreds of guests or more – that it's almost impossible to properly plan and organize them without the help of a specialist. Knowledgeable, experienced event planners know how to organize groups of people, how much food to provide and other details that can make or break an important event.
Related: The Price Is Right: Turning a Profit in the Event Planning Business
Who should become an event planner?
You might consider becoming an event planner if you love hosting parties and the thrill of organizing a complex event and running it without an issue. Planners often have to handle many moving parts at once. Many event planners have histories as managers or coordinators in other industries. You should become an event planner or start your own event planning service if you feel that you would enjoy this kind of work.
It's also worth noting that event planning often requires you to work on weekends or holidays (since these are the days when people have free time to schedule and hold events), as well as handle chaotic, sometimes confusing work and competing agendas. You should also consider acquiring certification for your event planning service, as it can help you acquire relevant professional skills and attract more job opportunities . Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is an association that offers a list of degrees and certificates from colleges and universities. The right degree or certification can lead to more job opportunities and even pave the way to a higher salary.
Alternatively, try to become a CSEP or Certified Special Events Professional or CMP or Certified Meeting Planner. Both of these are given out by the MPI or the ISES (International Special Events Society), which also highlight your skills and designate you as an expert event coordinator.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's get into the steps you need to take to start an event planning service:
Step 1: Make your company
Your first step involves making your company and filing the right paperwork. You should first draw up a business plan, which will include details like:
- The business's name.
- The business's tax structure (like a sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.).
- How you'll make a profit.
Related: Check out these business plan templates to get started.
You'll also want to get an EIN, or employer identification number. This will allow you to hire employees for your event planning service if you desire later down the road.
Step 2: Choose your target market
Next, do market research and pick the target market you want to work for. For instance, if you want to primarily work with weddings, you need to research that target market to know how much to charge for your services, what's involved and what you need to be experienced in.
By doing some research ahead of time, you won't find running your first events to be too overwhelming. You'll also know how much to advertise your event planning service to be competitive relative to other services in the area.
Step 3: Consider startup costs
When you start an event planning business, you'll have to consider startup costs. Working from home or primarily by yourself will keep costs low as opposed to hiring employees (who will require salaries).
However, if you want to expand your event planning business, you'll eventually need extra equipment, business premises like an office or warehouse and more. All of these things can add up, impacting the kind of business you begin.
Note that you can always scale your business after acquiring steady work. For instance, you can start off as a one-man event planning service that only provides services to small events you can tackle by yourself. After you save up some money from some successful jobs, you can hire a few more employees and rent out a warehouse for your equipment, like cameras, chairs and more.
Step 4: Understand the work involved and hire employees (optional)
For your event planning service to be successful , you need to fully grasp the nature of the work involved and understand whether you should hire employees.
Planning and executing an excellent event generally involves:
- Designing the event, which means sketching out the feel or look of the event in question. Some clients will have very specific ideas you'll need to incorporate into the design.
- Putting together a proposal for your clients so they can improve your plans.
- Organizing the event, which involves almost everything else, like renting the site for the event, hiring vendors, hiring entertainers, organizing caterers and much more.
There's a ton of work that goes into planning even the smallest event. Fortunately, as you acquire experience, you'll be more adept at anticipating and completing this work.
Related: The Event Planning Recipe for Success
Generally, the larger the events you want to manage and coordinate, the more employees you need to hire. At a certain point, you can't be everywhere at once! Consider hiring employees when you have the cash to do so; this will allow you to plan events for larger groups of people and make more of a profit.
Step 5: Settle on a price structure and fee basis
How you price your event planning business will impact how often you get requests. You can determine your pricing structure and fee basis by things like:
- The market segment you serve: For instance, social events usually have different fee structures than corporate events.
- Your geographic location: If you have a higher cost of living, you are justified in charging your clients more to plan their events.
- Your experience and reputation: As your business gets a reputation for success, you'll be able to charge a higher premium for your services.
Step 6: Start marketing your event planning service
Once you have all of your ducks in a row and you know how to charge your clients, you can start marketing your event planning service. Do this online through Google PPC (pay-per-click) ads, social media marketing and other efforts. Don't hesitate to use in-person marketing materials, like posters or TV ads, as well.
Related: 8 Savvy Ways to Promote Your Event Planning Business
As you can see, starting an event planning service is a matter of preparation and deep consideration. If you plan everything properly, your event planning service will launch smoothly, and you'll get your first batch of clients in no time.
Check out Entrepreneur's other guides and resources today!
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