7 Key Tips for Starting an Event Planning Business
It’s important to do your research before starting an event planning business. Keep reading for 7 key tips for starting an event planning business.
Are you an experienced event marketer? If you’re looking to set up your game, starting your own planning business is the perfect way to go.
Events are becoming a popular way for businesses to promote their company. Reports show that 41 percent of marketers believe events are the most effective method they have. There’s no better time than now to take advantage of this trend.
If you’re considering starting an event planning business of your own, there are a few things you need to know. Below are seven essential tips you need to be aware of if you want to get your event planning business started the right way.
1. Get Your Credentials Together
It’s hard to get started in the event business if you don’t have a way to show your experience. Sure, you may have been working for another company for a while. The question is, can your future customers talk with the people you worked with in the past?
You can use event planning certifications to help solve this problem. You have the CMP, CSEP, and CMM certifications available to you. Figure out the type of event planning you want to do and enroll in one of these programs.
Your certification will show future customers that you know what needs to be done for events.
2. Get Your Legal Documents Ready
A lot of people start their businesses as individuals. While this may work fine for a while, it makes more sense to start things the right way. You do this by forming a business entity.
You can start as an LLC or an S-Corp. These business structures will allow you to separate your business and personal activities. Once your business is set up, you can create a new bank account for it.
Once your business structure is in place, you need to get permits and insurance for your business. Your permits are what will allow you to conduct business. Insurance is what will protect you in case something goes wrong when you’re working an event.
3. Determine Your Ideal Customer
It’s going to be hard for you to get new customers if you throw out a generic marketing message. What you say won’t resonate with many people. If you want to maximize your chance of getting new customers, you need to narrow down your audience.
Take some time to figure out the type of customer you want to serve. Do you want to work with large businesses, small businesses, social events, or charities? The way you market your value will be tailored to the type of business you want to work with.
When you tailor your message to these people, they are going to respond better when they see your advertisements.
4. Find People to Help
You may know how to plan events. The question is, do you know how to run everything else that you need to do in business?
You may be able to do everything yourself. The problem with that is you’re spending your time doing something you’re not the expert at. It makes more sense to build a team that can handle the other parts of your business.
You can hire in-house or work with an outsourcing service to handle these things. Some of the common areas you need to hire for are accounting, IT, and catering.
5. Create a Marketing Strategy
Once you have the legwork out of the way, it’s time to create a marketing strategy to get your first customer. The problem is, you have a lot of options available to you.
Marketing can be as simple as coming up with an awesome tshirt design and spreading your company’s name by selling (or giving away) some sweet swag. You would be surprised how much outreach you can accomplish with this one simple action. But there are other, sometimes more effective platforms as well.
If you want to find the best marketing platform, you need to figure out where your target customers hang out online. These are the platforms you want to be on.
Take large businesses, for instance. You will want to get in touch with the decision-makers in these companies. You’re more likely to find these people on LinkedIn.
In this case, you’ll need to optimize your LinkedIn profile and invest in their professional services to advertise your business. You’ll be able to reach the decision-makers and get your marketing materials in front of them.
6. Find Technology to Help
You’ll have a hard time keeping everything organized if you don’t use technology to help. Technology will help in every aspect of your business. Keep the following software in mind when you’re looking for tools to help:
- Project management
- Event ticketing software
- Email list
There is more software out there, so make sure to look at every part of your business to find technology to help. The more you can automate your mundane tasks, the more time you have to focus on running your events.
7. Learn From Your Competitors
Event planning is a competitive space. You’re going to have a lot of competitors that are going after the same business as you. The good news is that they have likely already done a lot of research into what works.
Look at the marketing and messaging of your competitors to see if there is anything you can learn. You don’t want to copy what they are doing. However, you can use it as an inspiration for how to run things yourself. You should also continue learning and be up to date with news and changes in the event industry.
You can also watch your competitors and see which ones don’t do good work. Reach out to their past customers to see if they are willing to work with someone new. If you can provide a better experience, you can make a name for yourself as someone that gets things done.
Starting an Event Planning Business Isn’t Easy
You can be one of the best event planners there is and still not be able to get your own event planning business running. Make sure you understand what starting an event planning business involves so that you can maximize your chance of success. A little legwork beforehand will go a long way.
Once you have your business running, you need to start advertising it. Head back to our blog to learn how you can use digital marketing to get your first customer.