Anyone interested in becoming an event planner should begin the path by understanding that it is not party planning. This is the case whether you’re considering a path with social events or corporate events. The final program may appear as if the profession is about throwing great parties, but the event planning professional focuses on the rationale or goal of having an event, and whether it is achieved. And the real work is in the details that lead up to the event. My site will help educate you about how to become successful.
1) Decide what kind of event planner you’d like to become
Think about whether you want to be known as a generalist event planner (you’re willing to help people plan any kind of event), or whether you’d rather specialize in certain types of events (such as wedding receptions, high class corporate events, sports events, etc.). The latter choice allows you to develop a specific expertise in one field whereas the generalist approach will enable you to select across a broader range of events. There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches that you should consider – for example, generalist work means that you will have a wide range of events available to possible booking of your services but you won’t necessarily be able to distinguish yourself as being unique; whereas, specialist work would enable you to become renowned for certain types of events but unless you are prepared to travel across the country or you live in a big city, this could limit the options for your services being booked.
2) Get experience and volunteer your time in a variety of event services
There are so many aspects of events including, working for a caterer, a florist, volunteering for nonprofits, and working for an established event planner. Your long-term success in event planning will be based on the experience that you bring to your clients. That means, if you’re thinking about starting an event planning business, you should have a strong grasp as to what an event planner is, and make sure you have some solid skills in:
- Verbal and written communications
- Organization and time management
- Negotiation and budget management
- Creativity, marketing, public relations and more
3) Improve Attention to Detail In addition to being organized
A successful event planner pays great attention to detail. Since every little aspect of an event can have a huge impact on the success of that event, you need to pay close attention to every detail when you are in the planning stages. This will help ensure that every aspect of your event is planned perfectly without any oversights, which will help improve your chances of hosting the perfect event.
4) Start networking:
Are you familiar with the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”? In event planning, networking is key! Wherever you go, collect contact information for the people you meet. I always followed up a meeting or introduction with a “nice to meet you” email and below my signature was an elevator pitch on what event planning services we provided. For me, this was subtle and allowed me to build stronger relationships rather than just solicit people for business.
5) Consider how you want to get started
It is important to make a decision as to whether you’re prepared to start your own business or consultancy or whether you’d like to start out by working for someone else. In the latter case, you’ll get the benefit of someone else’s experience and booked clients but you won’t get paid as much and it’ll take longer for you to establish your own name. On the other hand, starting from scratch can be hard work and requires funds, business expertise, and a lot of determination; if this is your preferred option, read about starting small businesses and the types of strategies to use, as well as the pitfalls to avoid.
- Be aware that some markets are already saturated with event planners. Do your research well in advance of setting up your own business or consultancy. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you can still offer something that is better and more unique than the existing crowd even in a saturated market but what you’re offering will need to be extraordinary, and you’ll need to be very determined and consistent.
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