I considered becoming an event planner a number of years before having my kid. I was ready to do something other than nursing, and event organising seemed like the ideal career path for me because I like party planning. However, as I dug deeper into the field, I discovered a few drawbacks that prevented me from pursuing it as a career.
For one thing, entry-level event planners were paid less than I was as a nurse. Two, there were a lot of late evenings and weekends. Third, most organisations sought candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree as well as extra event planning credentials.
Before you determine that event organising isn’t for you, consider this: I was looking at organisations that recruited people. If you wish to start your own home-based event planning firm, you will have greater freedom in terms of work hours, salary, and the background training and education required.
What Education Do You Require for Event Planning?
Traditionally, being an event planner required a college or university degree in meeting and event planning, hospitality, or tourism. Alternatively, after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree, you would participate in a certification programme to become a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) or a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) (CMP).
However, if you want to start your own event planning firm, you do not need a particular degree or certification.
Candice Coppola of Jubilee Events, a prominent event planner, stated, “I studied art history, not event planning or event business.” I just happened to have a natural aptitude for the profession of business owner and event planner, and I was always eager to learn as much as I could (and still am).”
Jenn Sbranti of the Hostess with the Mostess went to college and received a Bachelor’s Degree in visual arts, not event organising. “To me, event design is quite comparable to graphic design,” she explained. Whether you’re developing a website or arranging an event, colour, composition, a clever, effective layout, and – simply put – generating visual candy!”
Just because you don’t need a college diploma or certification to manage a business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate yourself and learn everything you can about the industry.
Check out the following online tools, guides, and programmes:
What Do Event Planners Get Paid?
Event planners earn an average of $49,370 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; however, this is an employee, not a business owner. Patty Sachs, an industry specialist, estimates that social planners earn between $12 and $75 per hour, plus vendor commissions. Corporate planners are paid from $16 to $150 per hour, plus vendor commissions. According to Sachs, event planners often charge a fee for their services as well as a portion of some or all vendor prices.
Are You Ready to Launch Your Event Planning Business?
Develop a Business Plan
You will need to educate yourself on best business practises and tools, submit all necessary documentation, and get your legal and financial ducks in a row, just like any other home-based business. A business plan is the greatest approach to ensure that you have covered all of your bases. Don’t worry, developing a business plan doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming — you can get started with our Free Business Plan Template!
Select a Market
There are numerous types of events in which you might work. While some event planners are generalists who work on a wide range of events, it is easier and more profitable to specialise. It can be difficult to decide on a specialty to focus on, but by mind-mapping your hobbies, interests, experience, and knowledge, you can narrow it down quite easily.
Here are some things to think about:
Do you like to work with social clients (weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, engagement parties, retirement parties, and so on), corporate clients (trade shows, conferences, workplace picnics, holiday parties, meetings, and so on), or non-profit clients (charity events and fundraisers)?
Do you prefer large events (above 50 attendees) or small events?
What do you want your area of expertise to be? For example, because I adore being with seniors, I’d like to concentrate on retirement parties, geriatric milestone birthday celebrations, and anniversary parties.
Create a Website
You must have a website to compete as an event organiser. Having an internet presence helps you attract more clients; it provides a platform for you to present your work, list your services and testimonials, and makes you appear more professional. Don’t worry, creating a website is simple and inexpensive. This post has step-by-step instructions that will get you up and running in no time – and it is incredibly inexpensive!
Promote Your Company
There are numerous strategies to promote your event planning firm; the important thing to remember is that consistency is essential. Choose two to three strategies that you believe you will enjoy doing and devote time to them each day. If you find yourself hating a particular strategy or finding it ineffective, abandon it and try something different.
Are you unsure about your marketing options? Here are some ideas for marketing your company:
- Social networking sites
- Cards for Business
- Email promotion
- Networking in person
- Blogging as a guest
- Print advertisement
- Participation on the forum
- Prospecting through email
- Groups on Facebook
It’s time to interact with potential clients now that you have a website and are actively marketing your business. According to some experts, you should follow up with five to ten new prospects per day until you have a steady supply of consumers in your pipeline.
Make Investments in Your Event Planning Company
As your cash flow grows, reinvest some of it in professional growth. There are events, tradeshows, webinars, teleconferences, online courses, publications, membership sites, mastermind groups, and coaching sessions for every budget and specialisation. By investing in yourself and your business, you get the knowledge, information, and skills necessary to run a successful event planning business.
Starting your own event planning firm may appear to be a distant dream, but by taking the initial step, you may make it a reality. Best wishes on your journey!