If you’re ready to start your event planning career, you may be searching for step by step tips on how to becomes an event planner. To help you get started on the journey, here are the basics of what it takes to succeed:
Gain valuable experience
Wondering how to gain experience as an event planner when no one will hire you without experience? It is a catch-22. But there is an answer. Volunteer. Volunteering your services gives you invaluable experience. Many nonprofits and charities host events to raise awareness and to fundraise. These organizations do not have the funds to hire additional event planning staff; their focus is on raising as much money as possible.
Volunteer to help them plan the event and put your skills to work. Work the event and gain hands-on experience. Ask questions and learn as much as you can.
Set Your Goals
Take the time to write out your business goals. How much money do you need to make? How much will you need to charge, and will you charge by the hour or by the event?
Establishing a fee schedule makes you appear professional and helps keep your income consistent. Having monthly, quarterly and annual business goals gives you a place to focus as you’re establishing your business.
Do Your Research
What type of events do you want to plan and who is your best customer group for those events? How can you reach that group of people most easily? Who is your competition for those customers? Seek out information on taxes, business licenses and certifications, small business accounting programs and all the details a successful business owner needs to know.
Researching the answers to those questions will help to narrow down your business to a specific niche, which makes your marketing more effective.
Create a Strong Business Profile
Here’s where you begin to package your skills and experience by creating your professional profile, even if you’ve never planned an event professionally.
What skills have you gained by planning special occasions for friends, family or charity events? How many people attended those events? You probably learned to interact with vendors such as caterers, equipment rental companies, and entertainers, so don’t forget to showcase those abilities, as well. Create a portfolio with photos and ask event hosts to give you a written recommendation.
Get the Word Out
When you’re starting your event planning business from scratch, your marketing strategy builds the framework for future success. You should have effective marketing techniques that include blogging, social media marketing, word-of-mouth, print advertising, and other creative avenues.
Never Stop Learning
As your client list, event portfolio and business income grow, you’ll begin to see what works well for you and what’s not productive. Learn from any missteps you might make and add that to your ever-growing base of business knowledge..