How to start an event planning service

How to start an event planning service

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The special events industry has grown significantly over the past decade. According to recent research conducted by Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional), spending on special events worldwide is $500 billion a year. Goldblatt is the founder of the International Special Events Society (ISES), the founding director of the event management program at George Washington University, and co-author of The International Dictionary of Event Management. corporate event planner and You may develop in lots of directions if you work in a certain events field. If you are new to the event business, there is a lucrative market waiting for you on many fronts.

What's inside


·         Target market

·         start-up costs

·         Operations

·         Revenue and billing

·         Marketing and resources

According to Goldblatt's research, the profits of this industry continue to rise. Just a few years ago, says Goldblatt, the average profit margin for an event planning contractor was around 15%. Its most recent studies, however, show that profit margins can be as high as 40 percent. He attributes the industry's health to several factors, including the improving economy and the trend of corporate America to outsource their meeting-scheduling functions. Since you're not a tech startup bidding for programmers, you can get started without a lot of money.


What is Event Planning?

This question breaks down into two questions: what types of events are we talking about? And what is the organization of events?

·         Celebrations (fairs, parades, weddings, meetings, birthdays, anniversaries)

·         Training (conferences, meetings, graduation ceremonies)

·         Promotions (product launches, political rallies, fashion shows)

·         Commemorations (memorials, civic events)

This list is not exhaustive, but as the examples illustrate, special events can be business-related, purely social, or somewhere in between.

Now let's move on to the second question: what is event planning? Event wedding planners near me can manage any or all the following tasks related to that event:

·         Conduct a search

·         Creation of an event design

·         Find a location

·         Organize food, decoration and entertainment

·         Planning transport to and from the event

·         Sending invitations to attendees

·         Organize the necessary accommodations for the participants

·         Coordinate the activities of event staff

·         On-site supervision

·         Performing event evaluations

The number of these activities your company engages in will depend on the size and type of a particular event, which, in turn, will depend on the specialization you choose.


Why do people hire event planners?

This question has a simple answer: individuals often find that they lack the expertise and time to plan events themselves. Private event planners may step in and give these special events the attention they ought to have.


Who becomes an event organizer?

The corporate event planner is often people who got their start in a particular aspect of special events. Business owner Martin Van Keken had a successful catering business before he decided to plan entire events. Many other planners have similar stories. This explains why planners often not only coordinate entire events but may additionally provide one or more services for these events.

Event planners may also have started planning events for other companies before deciding to go into business for themselves. Joyce Barnes-Wolff planned in-house events for a chain of stores for 11 years, then worked for another event planning company before striking out on her own.


Become certified

Think about getting a certificate or degree from a local university in event planning or management. A list of universities and colleges recommending educational opportunities in this field.

Also consider working towards becoming a CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) or CMP (Certified Meeting Planner). These designations are awarded by ISES and MPI respectively. Many companies and some members of the public look for these designations when hiring planners. Because of the research and education required to become a CSEP or CMP, clients know that these planners are professionals.


Target market

The business markets

There are two markets for event planners near me: social and corporate. The term "business" includes not only businesses, but also charities and non-profit organizations. Charities and nonprofits hold fundraising galas, receptions, and athletic competitions, among other events, to broaden their base of public support and raise funds. Thousands of these events happen every year, and while the larger ones require specialized event planning experience, you can find smaller, local events to start with.


What's inside


·         Target market

·         start-up costs

·         Operations

·         Revenue and billing

·         Marketing and resources

Companies organize trade shows, conventions, company picnics, end-of-year parties and meetings for staff members, board members or shareholders. There is a massive market for these kinds of events. According to the Convention Industry Council's 2012 Economic Significance Study, 1.83 million business/corporate meetings, conventions, trade shows, etc. occurred in the United States only.


The social market

Social events include weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, bar and bat mitzvahs, Sweet 16 parties, children's parties, reunions, and more. You can decide to handle all these events or just specialize in one or more of them.

The market for social events, especially birthdays and anniversaries, is expected to continue to grow over the next few years as baby boomers mature. This group has kids getting married, parents have fun of golden anniversaries.


Start-up costs

How much money will you need to start your event organization business? This will depend on the cost of living in the area served by your business and whether you work from home or rent offices. It will also depend, to a lesser extent, on your own tastes and lifestyle choices.

Keep in mind that while working from home will cut your costs, you can only start the smallest event planning business on a limited budget.


What's inside

·         introduction

·         Target market

·         start-up costs

·         Operations

·         Revenue and billing

·         Marketing and resources

This table lists the start-up costs of two hypothetical event planning services. The first business is home-based and has no employees. The upscale company occupies 1,000 square feet of office space. The owner/manager of this business employs a full-time junior planner and a part-time accountant, as well as temporary employees who take care of office work and can help prepare for various events. Both owners will derive their income from the net profit before taxes. Annually, these businesses will bring in $85,000 and $250,000 respectively. The startup chart lists pre-opening costs for businesses.



Few, if any, event planners have 9-5 jobs. By its very nature, event planning tends to involve specific evenings, weekends, holidays, and sometimes even seasons. The amount of time you will need to dedicate to your work will, again, depend on the specialization you choose.

Typically, social events involve more weekends and holidays than corporate events. Certain regions of the country and certain types of events have "active" and "closed" seasons. However, regardless of your specialization (with the exception of young children's parties), you can count on working at least some evenings to coordinate and supervise events. Scheduling of these events, however, will primarily occur during office hours.


Revenue and billing

The goal of pricing a service is to mark up your labor and material costs enough to cover overhead and generate an acceptable profit. According to industry expert and author Dr. Joe Goldblatt, fees are generally determined by three factors:

Market segment served. Both streams of income produce enough revenue for a profit. In the corporate events industry, however, planners typically charge a fee for their services, plus a management fee for each item they contract out. For example, a planner buys flowers from a florist, marks them (usually 15%) and charges that amount to the customer. Another possibility is a lump sum, or "project fee", often used when the

Geographical position. Fees are higher in the Northeastern United States, for example, than in the Southeast. This difference reflects the variation in the cost of living. Additionally, areas of the country that have well-defined seasons and off-seasons base their prices in part on the season they are in.

Experience and reputation of the event organizer. If you're new to the industry, it's reasonable to charge less for your planning services while gaining expertise.

How, you ask me, are the fee-for-service calculated? The event planners we interviewed price their fee-for-service (the total cost to the client) using a “cost plus” method. They outsource the labor, supplies and materials needed to produce an event and charge their clients a service fee of around 10-20% of the total cost of the event, 15% being an approximate average.


Marketing and resources

Print advertising covers a wide range, from a free or inexpensive ad in the yellow pages to an ad in a national glossy publication costing tens of thousands of dollars. Even today, in the age of the Internet, most planners agree that a Yellow Pages ad makes good business sense. An online advertisement, simply stating your business name, is often provided free of charge when you connect your phone (if you have a landline).

You can also opt for display advertising. These are the larger, framed ads in the yellow pages. These are chargeable. If you choose a larger ad space, be sure to include your logo. You can also think about advertising in your local newspaper. Many newspapers periodically (perhaps quarterly) publish special sections for the bride and groom. These are good vehicles to promote your event planning business if you are considering doing wedding consulting.

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