Event planning is one of the most lucrative and highly demanded careers in the world. It’s estimated that each year, people invest about 500 billion dollars in event planning services. Therefore, many entrepreneurs have focused their attention on this promising work industry.
But, becoming an event planner implies more than talent for making parties. It requires education, experience, time, dedication and money. So, before taking the big step and starting a new career as an event planner, you must be aware of the sacrifices you must make and the risks you must take.
If the fear of failure paralyzes you, you’ll never get anywhere. You must act and make a wise decision in order to become successful. In this article you’ll learn how to become an event planner in easy-to-understand steps.
Thing you should do to become a successful event planner
There are some things you must do to become a successful event planner. Below, you’ll find a step-by-step explanation of each of them.
1. Make a decision
The first step in starting a new venture as an event planner is to make a decision. You must be willing to start from scratch, learn from your mistakes and not stop before obstacles.
2. Make a list of your goals
Once you’re ready to start, make a list of the objectives you want to achieve. Things like the salary you want to earn, the type of business you want to have and how far you want to go. At first be reasonable and set goals that you can achieve. Seeing how you achieve small goals will encourage you to achieve the biggest ones.
3. Know your duties well
Before becoming an event planner, you should know very well the functions related to your career. Here’s a detailed list of duties at each stage of the planning process:
Before the event
- Work with clients to determine the costs, scope and dynamics of the event. This includes choosing the best place and the most appropriate date
- Contact several suppliers and compare their offers
- Understand the client’s objectives
During the event
- Ensure that guests’ demands are met
- Make sure catering workers are doing their job well
- Make notes about the dynamics of the event (to include them later in a final report)
After the event
- Generate a final report with valuable information about the event related to costs, earnings, number of attendants, and more
- Apply surveys on attendants to determine the satisfaction level. The collected information will help you better plan the next event
4. Gain experience
To succeed in the world of event planning, you must know very well what you’re doing. So, success in your new career will depend on how much experience you have. Before starting your own business it’s convenient that you’ve worked for a well-known event planner.
If you aren’t ready to work full time for an event planner, volunteer to work for a nonprofit organization.
5. Think big
Whether you work for another event planner or for a nonprofit, strive to reach an important position, such as event coordinator. Accepting more responsibilities will help you acquire the knowledge and skills to lead your own business.
6. Be part of an important organization
To gain some prestige in the industry, become an important member of a well known trade organization to get some qualifications. Maybe, you’ll have to regularly pay a membership. However, the benefits you’ll receive justify the investment.
By being a member of these organizations, you’ll have access to courses and seminars that will keep you updated on the new trends in the world of event planning.
7. Take a professional course
Having a certificate on event planning is the best way to demonstrate your knowledge in the area. In order to become a professional, you must receive a good education. This will help you better understand how this business works and will connect you with other people in the industry. In addition, people will trust you and what you do.
8. Choose a niche
In general, event planning can be classified into three main niches:
- Social event planning
It covers the planning of social events such as birthdays, graduation parties, weddings and similar. A party planner can work as a full-day planner or as a freelancer advisor. In this niche, you’re free to choose the magnitude of the events that you’re able to plan.
- Non-profit planning
It covers everything related to event planning for non-profit purposes. For example, campaigns to raise funds or to support certain causes or charities. Although the economic benefits of this niche aren’t high, it brings you joy and satisfaction.
- Corporate planning
It covers event planning to promote a particular brand or product. Some corporate event planners work for a company and others work as freelancers. Usually, people without a degree aren’t eligible for this kind of work. So, you must receive a formal education to become a corporate planner.
As you can see, determining the niche of your service will help you focus on a specific objective. So, before starting your business, you should already know:
- Type of service you’ll offer.
- Type of clients for whom you’ll work.
- Budgets range per event.
- Maximum time invested in each event.
Once you have a well established business and a long list of clients, you can diversify and offer other additional services.
9. Make others know you
To be successful in this business, people must know who you’re and what you do. So, in every social event where you are, try to meet as many people as you can and deliver your business card at the end of each meeting. Contact any potential client via email and make a brief presentation about your business.
Your goal is to make friends in the industry and be recognized for the quality of your work. People who trust you will recommend your services to other friends. When this happens, your customer list begins to grow as well as the demand for new projects.
10. Build your portfolio
Every time you plan an event, don’t forget to take some photos. These are the best evidence of your work as an event organizer. Also, they’ll help you build your portfolio. Use social networks to share your photos and send invitations and brochures to any potential client.
11. Make your own business plan
On the Internet, there are hundreds of different explanations on how to create a successful business plan for an event planning company. You can even find some free templates that you can use as a guide.
12. Register your company
Follow the steps required by your local government to register your company and start working legally. With the help of a business advisor or lawyer, you can start your own company with no experience.
13. Make sure your budget is enough
Before starting your own company, make sure you have enough money to pay debts such as wages and taxes. If you don’t have enough money to complete your first event, your company will certainly fail.
14. Do market research
To get good results, you have to focus your marketing campaign on a certain target. So, you should do a thorough investigation to determine which audiences will respond best to your message and who your competitors will be.
The more specific your research, the closer you’ll be to discover a portion of the market ready to be exploited.
15. Start your own marketing campaign
To do this, you’ll need professional assistance from graphic designers, web developers and Community Managers to succeed. Start creating the website and social networks of your business and make sure to keep their content regularly updated.
Also, start your own marketing campaign and try to reach as many people as possible. The higher the audience you reach, the higher your chances to succeed.
Advertise yourself in newspapers and Yellow Pages. Also, print large-scale flyers and distribute them in different target zones. This way, people who don’t use the Internet or social networks can also know about you and your services.
16. Build your own provider network
To plan an event you need food, drinks, decoration, music, entertainment and more. Make sure you have a long list of providers for each service you need. The more options you have the better.
17. Use the best planning software
Using a pencil and a notebook to plan everything isn’t the most convenient idea. In these modern times, computers and smartphones can make things easier. Depending on the scale of your company, you must choose the most appropriate software.
There’s currently a wide variety of software available for event planning. Some suitable for small event planning businesses and others more appropriate for planning big-scale events. It isn’t convenient to choose free software because they don’t guarantee the protection of your data.
It’s better to pay an annual license to get the best planning software, such as Capterra and Microsoft Project for example.