Successful entrepreneurs have a knack for taking something they love and translating it into a viable business model.
This is especially true in event planning, an established industry that is broadening its reach and offering new opportunities for entrepreneurs who are interested in combining their business skills with their passion for parties.
There was a time when event planners catered exclusively to the upper echelons of society. The number of professional event planners was limited to a handful of entrepreneurs who vigorously competed for a relatively low number of clients. But those days are over as consumers and businesses increasingly rely on event planners to stage everything from bar mitzvahs to elaborate corporate shindigs.
Event Planning: Industry Overview
The first question prospective event planners need to ask is why people and organizations need event planning in the first place. The answer is simple: people want a high quality event, but lack the time or ability to organize it themselves. Most of the time, outsourced event planning is more cost-effective for businesses that engage in sporadic event hosting.
Today's event planning industry covers a lot of ground. Planners can be asked to organize a wide range of events including parties, weddings, conferences, product launches, and even community events. The services event planners provide are diverse and include site location, menu planning, promotion, hotel & travel arrangements, on-site supervision, and more – basically anything that is needed to make sure the event goes off without a hitch.
Getting Off the Ground
The best advice for would-be event planners is to start small and expand your business over time. It's rare to find event planners that launch a full-blown event planning business capable of offering a complete range of services. Instead, many event planners get in the game by focusing on one aspect of the business (e.g. food) or working for someone else before they start a one-stop event planning operation. This lets them gain expertise and much-needed contacts within the industry.
Likewise, successful event planning businesses often begin by focusing on a market niche before expanding their business model to serve the broader marketplace. Rather than launching a generic event planning business, identify an underserved segment of the local market (e.g. corporate meetings) and establish a strong presence in that sector before moving on to other market segments.