Start Your Own Event Planning Business
The event planning service business is a $500 billion business worldwide today, with lots
of growth opportunities. The profit margin has gone up from 15 percent to 40 percent. People
hire event planners because they don't have the time and expertise to organize events
themselves. Some of the events for which event planners are hired are:
• Celebrations (fairs, parades, weddings, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries)
• Education (conferences, meetings, graduations)
• Promotions (product launches, political rallies, fashion shows)
• Commemorations (memorials, civic events)
Qualifications: The best way to set up an event planning service business is to
start as an apprentice with an event management company. This gives you useful exposure to
the industry, and you learn the tricks of the trade without investing anything. You may
also acquire knowledge about the industry by getting an event planning or management
degree or certificate from a local university and also become a CSEP (Certified Special
Events Professional) or CMP (Certified Meeting Planner).
Target Market: The target market for event planning service business is huge.
Companies as well as charities and non-profit organizations host gala fundraisers,
receptions and athletic competitions, among other events, to expand their public support
base and raise funds. Companies also organize trade shows, conventions, company picnics,
holiday parties and meetings for staff members, board members or stockholders. Besides
this there is a large social market. This includes organizing of weddings, birthdays,
anniversary parties, Sweet 16 parties, children's parties, reunions and so on.
Start-up Costs: The start up costs of an event planning service business depends
upon your business profile. A low-end event management business can be started for $8,000
while a high-end may cost $30,000 to $50,000. The main expenditure is on three heads:
equipment, number of employees and office space.
Tasks and operations: Social events generally involve more weekends and holidays
than corporate events. Some events have "on" and "off" seasons. The main tasks of an
individual running an event planning services business are:
• Research: Find out everything about vendors and suppliers, talk to
other planners who have produced similar events, read about issues of custom and
etiquette. Ask your client a lot of questions and write down the answers.
• Design: You need to sketch the overall "look" of the event. To get
good ideas you should have brainstorming sessions, either by yourself or with your
employees. Consult your notebook for client's answers to the questions you asked in the
research phase. These responses will help you thoroughly check each idea for feasibility
before suggesting it to the client.
• Proposal: The production of a proposal can be time-consuming and
expensive, especially if you include photographs or sketches. You should receive a
consultation fee, which can be applied toward a client's event if he or she hires you.
• Organization: During this phase, you'll rent the site, hire vendors
and take care of many more details. Make sure to discuss all major decisions with your
client or someone acting on client's behalf, but avoid consulting many people.
• Coordination: Ensure that everyone is on the same wavelength, that
all vendors have a general idea of the overall event schedule, what's expected of them,
and when. Make sure all your staff members know their roles.
• Evaluation: Ensure your customer satisfaction so that your client
will provide a great word-of-mouth advertising for you. You may also hire an event
planning consultant to evaluate your work.