How to Start an Event Planning Service

Special events industry has grown tremendously in the last decade. A recent study conducted by Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional), expenses for special events around the world is $ 500 billion per year. Goldblatt is the founder of the International Special Events Society (ISES), the founding director of Program Management Events George Washington University and co-author of the International Dictionary of event management. “Suffice it to say, the market is large enough to support and sustain their efforts,” Goldblatt said. “If you work in an area of ??special events, there are many directions in which it can develop. If you’re just entering the profession of special events, there is a lucrative market awaits you on many fronts.”

What’s inside


According to research by Goldblatt, the benefits of this industry continue to rise. There are some years, Goldblatt said, the average profit margin for the contractor Organization events was about 15 percent. His most recent studies, however, show the profit margins can be as much as 40 percent. He attributes the good health of the industry on several factors, including improving the economy and the trend of US companies outsource their meeting planning functions.

What is event planning?
This question actually divided into two questions: What types of events we talking about? And what is event planning?

The first is the first. In general, special events occur in the following purposes:

Celebrations (fairs, parades, weddings, meetings, birthdays)
Education (conferences, meetings, graduations)
Promotions (product launches, political rallies, fashion shows)
Commemorations (memorials, civic events)
This list is not exhaustive, but as illustrated in the examples, special events can be related, purely social or somewhere in between matter.

We turn now to the second question: What is event planning? one event organizers can manage all or part of the following tasks related to this event:

Conducting research
Creating an event design
Find a place
Organization for food, decor and entertainment
Planning transportation to and from the event
Sending invitations to participants
Organize all necessary services for participants
Coordinate activities of staff events
Supervise on site
Conduct assessments event
How many of these activities employees of the company will depend on the size and type of an event, which, in turn, depends on the specialization you choose.

Why do people hire event planners?
This question has a simple answer: People often find that they lack experience and time to plan events themselves. independent planners can step in and give these special events the attention they deserve.

Which becomes an event planner?
Planners are often people who got their start in a particular aspect of special events. Company owner Martin Van Keken had a successful catering company before deciding to plan entire events. Many other planners have similar stories. This explains why planners often not only coordinate entire events, but may also provide one or more services for these events.

Event organizers may also have started planning events for other companies before deciding to go into business for themselves. Joyce Barnes-Wolff internal planned for a retail chain for 11 years and then worked for another business events event planning before hitting on itself.

obtain certification
Consider getting a degree or certificate from a local university in planning or event management. A list of colleges and universities offering training opportunities in this area is available from Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

Be sure to work to become a CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) or CMP (Certified Meeting Planner). These designations are given by ISES and MPI, respectively. Many companies, and members of the general public seeking these designations by hiring planners. Because research and study is needed to become a CSEP or CMP, customers know that these planners are professionals.
objective market

The enterprise market
In general, there are two markets for event planning services: corporate and social. The term “business” includes not only companies, but also charities and non-profit. charities and nonprofit organizations host gala fundraisers, receptions and sports competitions, among other events, to expand their base of public support and fundraising. Thousands of these events occur each year, and although large requiring specialized in organizing events experience, you can find smaller local events to start.

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Companies host trade shows, conventions, corporate picnics, parties and meetings for staff members, members of the board of directors or shareholders. There is a huge market for this type of event. According to the 2012 study by the Council of the economic importance of the industry conventions, 1.83 million corporate / business meetings, trade shows, conferences, etc. It was held in the United States alone.

The social market
Social events include weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvah, sweet 16 party, parties, meetings and so on. You may decide to manage all of these events or just specialize in one or more of them.

The market for social events, especially birthdays and anniversaries, continue to increase in the coming years, the age of the baby boom. This group of children who marry, parents celebrating golden anniversaries, and to commemorate anniversaries money.
Initial costs

How much money you need to start your event planning business? This depends on the cost of living in the area of ??your business is and if you work from home offices or rent. It will also depend, to a lesser extent, in your own choice of taste and lifestyle.

Note that while working at home to keep your costs down, you can not start any but the smallest of event planning company with a limited budget.

This table shows the startup costs for two hypothetical events planning services. The first company is registered and has no employees. The luxury business occupies 1,000 square feet of office space. The owner / manager of this company employs a total time of young planner and an accountant part time and temporary employees who handle office work and can help prepare for various events. The two owners earn their income before tax net profit. Each year, these companies raised $ 85,000 and $ 250,000, respectively. The table shows start pre-opening costs for businesses.

Initial costs Low High
Rental $ 0 $ 2.300
Equipment $ 5,000 $ 17,000
Inventory $ 0 $ 500
Licenses and taxes $ $ 350,250
$ $ 100,250 Communications
You pay $ 0 $ 4,000
Advertising / Promotion $ 500 2000 $
Legal & Accounting 1500 $ 650
Insurance (Q1) $ 800 $ 1.700
Several $ 750 $ 1.500
Total $ 8.050 $ 31.100

Few, if any, event organizers have a 9 to 5. By their very nature, event planning tends to involve evenings, weekends, holidays and sometimes even specific seasons. How long it should commit to work will depend, once again, in the specialty you choose.

In general, social events involve weekends and holidays than corporate events do more. Some regions of the country and certain types of events have “on” season and “OFF”. However, regardless of specialization (with the exception of parts for small children), you can rely on the work at least some evenings coordinate and monitor events. The planning of these events, however, will be mainly during office hours.

The main tasks will have to fill in as an event planner:

Search. The best way to reduce risk (any kind) is to do your homework. For larger events, research may mean ensuring that there is a demand for the event by conducting surveys, interviews and focus group research. If you are new to the industry, organizing events, research may instead mean finding everything you can about vendors and suppliers. Research can also mean talking to other planners who have produced similar to that in which it is working events. Or you may end up reading in customs and etiquette, especially if you are unfamiliar with a particular type of event.
Whatever type of event you are planning, research should be asking your client a lot of questions and write the answers. Interviewing a client can not be what you think about the search immediately. However, it is asking too few questions, or not properly listen to the responses of a customer, can jeopardize the success of the event.

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Design. His creativity comes more into play in the design phase of planning the event, during which the general outline “feel” and “look” event. This is the time to think, either by itself or with its employees. It is also the time to go out and look through your file idea. (You do have one, right? If not, read and take notes.) Do not forget to check your laptop to the client’s answers to questions you do in the research phase. These responses, particularly in relation to the budget for the event, help to thoroughly check each idea feasibility, preferably before proposing to the customer.
Proposal. Once you have interviewed the client and makes preliminary brainstorm ideas, you should have enough information to prepare a proposal. Note that the production of a proposal requires time and potentially costly, especially if you include photos or drawings. Note that only large companies producing high-end events can afford to provide customers with free proposals. You should receive a consultation fee (suggested about $ 150), which can be applied to the event a customer if he or she engages you.
Organization. During this phase of decision-intensive, rent the site, hire vendors and take care of the details that you might think possible. Thus, on the phone until your mouth is numb. But before doing this, make sure you have a contact person (the client or a person acting on behalf of the client) with which all important decisions are discussed. Have a designated person ensures that the communication lines are kept open. In addition, social events, in particular, often suffer from “too many cooks” syndrome. Have a designated contact helps you avoid being caught up in disagreements among the participants in the event.
In general, the case, it takes more time out to plan. The main agreements are planned years in advance. Although you may not be organizing large-scale events, it is necessary to allow at least a few months for business events such as picnics, meetings or large parties.

Coordination. Once you have made the initial plans, draw your attention to each of the activities that are part of the whole event. At this point, your goal is to ensure that everyone is on the same wavelength. Good communication skills are important. Ensure that all suppliers have at least a general idea of ??the overall planning of the event. More importantly, sellers must be clear about what is expected of them and when. arrival time Vendor must appear in contracts, but verify times anyway. This is a period of “check and recheck.” Make sure all staff members know their roles.
Evaluation. The obvious, and in the most important sense, the proof of the success of an event is customer satisfaction. The goal, of course, is to end with a client who will sing your praises up and down the street, shouting to the four winds. This is the client that you hire again, and provide the famous advertising word-of-mouth for you.
There are several other ways to evaluate the success of an event. You can hire an event planning consultant; have someone who hosts parties observe your event successful; plan a round table with postal employees; get feedback from other professionals working in the event, as the caterer or bartender; or survey guests at or after the event.
Revenue and Billing

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The purpose of pricing is a service mark of their work and costs enough material to cover overhead expenses and generate an acceptable profit. first time business owners often fail because unconsciously price their services too low. According to industry expert and author Dr. Joe Goldblatt, rates are generally determined by three factors:

market segment served. Social events have a structure different from corporate events prices. In the social events industry, planners typically receive a fee for their services, plus a percentage of some or all costs of the seller. The two revenue streams produce enough income for a profit. In the corporate events industry, however, planners typically charge a fee for their services, as well as a processing fee for each contract item. For example, a planner buys flowers from a florist, the mark (usually 15 percent) and the burden of this amount to the customer. Another possibility is a package, or “project costs” which is often used when the event is large and the company wants to give a figure “not to exceed”.
Geographical position. The costs are higher in the northeastern United States, for example, in the southeast. This difference reflects the change in the cost of living. Moreover, the country as defined in and out of season prices based in part on what season you are.
The experience and reputation of the event planner. If you are new to the industry, it is reasonable to pay less for services planning, as you gain experience.
How, you may ask, is the payment for the service mentioned above calculated? Event organizers who interviewed prices of services fees (the total cost to the customer) using a “cost plus” method. workers, supplies and materials involved in the production of an event and charge customers a service fee of about 10 to 20 percent of the total cost of the event, with 15 percent being an approximate average contract.
Marketing and Resources

Print advertising covers a wide range, from a free or cheap-Yellow Pages ad for an ad in a national publication bright costing tens of thousands of dollars. Even today, in the era of Internet, most planners agree that an ad in the yellow pages is a good deal. Online advertising, simply register your business name is often provided free when the phone is connected (if you have a land line).

You can also choose to display advertising. It is the largest, aligned in the yellow pages ads. There is a charge for it. If you choose a larger space advertising, be sure to include your logo. You can also consider advertising in your local newspaper. Many articles regularly (perhaps quarterly) published special sections for flange and grooms-to-be. These are good vehicles for promoting your event planning business if you have a query wedding.

Dallas planner David Granger agrees. The problem, he says, is that customers need to see what you do, and the word of Ad accomplish this. networking is recommended and make friends in the industry. In this way, he said, “people know, trust you. They want honesty and integrity.”

Networks can help your business in two ways. If the people you have met and know what services are offered, can refer business to you or use your services themselves. In addition, networking with hotels, catering, etc. will give you the opportunity to meet some of the people whose services you need in event planning.

While networking and word of mouth are the most common strategies for customer acquisition industry, traditional forms of advertising have their uses. A distinctive card or brochure sent to a mailing list or for local businesses can attract new customers. A small ad in a local business magazine can help build name recognition. A website on the Internet can help attract customers who do not respond to other forms of media.