How to Start a Profitable Party Planner Business [11 Steps]

Nick

By Nick Cotter Updated Feb 02, 2024

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Business Steps:

1. perform market analysis., 2. draft a party planner business plan., 3. develop a party planner brand., 4. formalize your business registration., 5. acquire necessary licenses and permits for party planner., 6. open a business bank account and secure funding as needed., 7. set pricing for party planner services., 8. acquire party planner equipment and supplies., 9. obtain business insurance for party planner, if required., 10. begin marketing your party planner services., 11. expand your party planner business..

When embarking on a venture in the party planning business, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the market dynamics. A comprehensive market analysis will reveal the existing demand, competition, and potential for growth, guiding you to make informed decisions as you lay the foundation of your enterprise. Here are key steps to consider:

  • Analyze the local demand for party planning services by identifying the most popular types of events, such as weddings, birthdays, corporate events, or themed parties.
  • Research local competitors to understand their service offerings, pricing strategies, market share, and unique selling propositions.
  • Identify your target demographic by age, income level, and social preferences to tailor your services effectively.
  • Assess industry trends and emerging themes in party planning to stay ahead and offer cutting-edge services.
  • Collect and interpret data from surveys, social media, and industry reports to gauge customer needs and satisfaction levels.
  • Consider economic indicators and local event regulations that could impact the party planning business in your area.

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Are Party Planner businesses profitable?

Yes, party planning businesses can be very profitable. Depending on the type of events you plan and the size of your business, you can generate a significant income. With proper planning, organization, and marketing, you can create a successful and profitable party planning business.

Creating a well-structured business plan is essential for the success of your party planner enterprise. It will serve as a roadmap for your business, outlining your goals, strategies, and financial projections. Here are critical elements that should be included in your party planner business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Provide a brief overview of your party planning business, including your company's mission statement, service offerings, and unique selling propositions.
  • Market Analysis: Research the party planning market, identify your target audience, and analyze your competitors to find a niche or advantage.
  • Services Offered: Describe the types of parties you plan, such as weddings, birthdays, corporate events, and the specific services you offer, from venue selection to vendor coordination.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategies: Detail how you plan to attract and retain clients, including pricing, promotions, advertising, and sales tactics.
  • Operational Plan: Explain the day-to-day operations of your business, including the roles and responsibilities of your team, if applicable, and the tools and technology you will use.
  • Financial Plan: Include a budget, a projection of start-up costs, ongoing expenses, revenue forecasts, and a break-even analysis.
  • Milestones and Metrics: Set clear goals and objectives, with measurable metrics to track progress and success.

How does a Party Planner business make money?

A Party Planner business typically makes money by charging a fee for their services. This fee is usually based on the services provided and the amount of time and effort required to plan and organize the event. Additionally, some party planners may offer additional services such as catering, venue rental, and decorations which generate additional income.

Establishing a memorable and appealing brand is crucial when starting a party planning business. Your brand is the face of your company and should reflect the unique value and experience you offer to clients. Here are some key points to consider when developing your party planner brand:

  • Identify Your Niche: Determine the specific market or theme you'll specialize in, such as children's parties, weddings, or corporate events.
  • Create a Brand Identity: Design a logo and choose color schemes and fonts that convey the style and tone of your services, ensuring consistency across all materials.
  • Define Your Brand Values: Decide on the core values and messages you want to communicate to your clients, like creativity, attention to detail, or stress-free planning.
  • Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Articulate what makes your party planning service stand out from competitors, such as unique themes, personalized experiences, or exceptional customer service.
  • Build an Online Presence: Create a professional website and active social media profiles to showcase your portfolio, share customer testimonials, and engage with your audience.
  • Consistency is Key: Ensure that all your communications and marketing materials align with your brand identity to build trust and recognition.

How to come up with a name for your Party Planner business?

Brainstorming is the best way to come up with a name for your Party Planner business. Consider words that are associated with parties such as celebration, festivity and fun. Also think about what makes your business unique and special and use that as inspiration. Finally, keep it simple and memorable and make sure the name is easy to pronounce and spell.

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Formalizing your business registration is a critical step in establishing your party planner business as a legal entity. This process varies depending on your location, but it generally involves a few key steps that will help protect your business and ensure compliance with government regulations. Here are some essential actions to take:

  • Choose a Business Structure: Decide whether your party planner business will be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Each structure has different legal and tax implications.
  • Register Your Business Name: If you're using a name other than your own, you'll need to register a "Doing Business As" (DBA) name. Check with your local government to ensure the name isn't already taken and to register it properly.
  • Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses: Depending on your location and the scope of services you're offering, certain permits and licenses may be required to operate legally. Research local regulations and apply for all necessary documentation.
  • Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN): If you plan to hire employees, or your business structure requires it, you will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS for tax purposes.
  • Register for State and Local Taxes: Register with your state's taxation department to obtain a tax identification number, worker's compensation, unemployment, and disability insurance.

Resources to help get you started:

Explore crucial resources designed specifically for party planner entrepreneurs, featuring the latest market trends, operational best practices, and strategic tips for business expansion:

  • Event Planner Magazine: Offers comprehensive insights into event planning trends and business strategies. https://www.eventplannermagazine.com
  • International Live Events Association (ILEA): Provides industry reports, professional development resources, and a community for networking. https://www.ileahub.com
  • Special Events Blog: Features articles on event trends, case studies, and marketing tips for event professionals. https://www.specialevents.com/blog
  • Event MB: Offers free reports and articles on event technology, innovations, and event planning best practices. https://www.eventmanagerblog.com
  • Party & Event Planner Success Podcast: A podcast series delivering actionable advice and insights from industry experts. https://www.eventplanningsuccesspodcast.com
  • Catersource: Provides resources and training for caterers and event planners, including a conference and tradeshow. https://www.catersource.com

Starting a party planning business involves more than just a keen eye for detail and a penchant for organization; it also requires obtaining the appropriate licenses and permits to operate legally and professionally. These documents are essential to ensure that your business activities are in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Below are the key licenses and permits you may need to acquire:

  • Business License: Check with your city or county government to apply for a general business license, which is the fundamental permit for operating a business in your area.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): If you plan to hire employees, you'll need to obtain an EIN from the IRS for tax purposes.
  • Event Permits: Certain events may require specific permits, especially if you're planning public gatherings or events that involve food, alcohol, music, or street closures.
  • Insurance: While not a permit or license, having liability insurance can protect your business from potential claims and is often required by venues and vendors.
  • Health and Safety Permits: If your party planning services include catering or setting up temporary food stations, you may need to acquire health department permits to ensure food safety.
  • Alcohol License: Selling or serving alcohol at events may necessitate a temporary or permanent alcohol license, depending on the laws in your area.

What licenses and permits are needed to run a party planner business?

Depending on the type and location of the party planner business, licenses and permits may include a business license, health department license, insurance, liquor license, sales tax permit, and any permits required for holding large events.

Opening a business bank account and securing funding are crucial steps in establishing a strong financial foundation for your party planner business. These steps not only help in managing your finances effectively but also in gaining credibility with vendors and clients. Here are some guidelines to assist you:

  • Research banks and credit unions to find the best business banking options that offer low fees, good customer service, and additional benefits such as online banking and mobile access.
  • Prepare the necessary documents to open a business bank account, which typically include your business license, EIN (Employer Identification Number), and Articles of Organization if you've formed an LLC or corporation.
  • Consider the different types of funding available to you, such as small business loans, business credit cards, lines of credit, or investors, and decide which source aligns best with your financial needs and business goals.
  • Create a solid business plan that outlines your party planning services, target market, marketing strategy, and financial projections to present to potential lenders or investors.
  • Explore local and federal government grants, as well as crowdfunding platforms, as potential funding sources that may offer a more favorable alternative to traditional loans.

Setting the right price for your party planning services is crucial to attract clients while ensuring your business is profitable. Consider the value you bring, your expertise, and the market rates. Below are key points to guide you in establishing your pricing:

  • Analyze the Market: Research your competitors' pricing to understand the going rates for similar services in your area.
  • Costs and Expenses: Calculate all your business costs, including supplies, labor, and overhead, to ensure your prices cover these expenses.
  • Value-Based Pricing: Consider the value of your unique offerings and experience when setting prices; premium services can command higher fees.
  • Pricing Models: Decide whether to charge a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage of the party budget. Each model has its pros and cons.
  • Package Deals: Create service packages with tiered pricing to cater to different client needs and budgets.
  • Flexibility: Be prepared to negotiate with clients but know your minimum acceptable rate to maintain profitability.
  • Transparency: Clearly communicate what is included in your pricing to avoid misunderstandings and build trust with clients.

What does it cost to start a Party Planner business?

Initiating a party planner business can involve substantial financial commitment, the scale of which is significantly influenced by factors such as geographical location, market dynamics, and operational expenses, among others. Nonetheless, our extensive research and hands-on experience have revealed an estimated starting cost of approximately $6500 for launching such an business. Please note, not all of these costs may be necessary to start up your party planner business.

Starting a party planning business requires gathering the right tools and supplies to ensure every event is a hit. From decorations to organizational tools, equipping yourself with the essentials will make your job easier and your events more memorable. Here's what you'll need to get started:

  • Basic Planning Supplies: Notebooks, planners, pens, and folders to keep your planning details organized.
  • Event Decor: A variety of decorations such as balloons, streamers, tablecloths, and centerpieces that can cater to different party themes.
  • Tableware: Disposable or reusable plates, cups, napkins, and cutlery for serving guests.
  • Sound System: Portable speakers or a PA system for music and announcements.
  • Lighting Equipment: String lights, LED candles, or spotlights to enhance the ambiance.
  • Furniture: Foldable tables and chairs for guest seating and food display.
  • Catering Supplies: Serving trays, utensils, chafing dishes, and beverage dispensers.
  • Entertainment Items: Games, props, and activities suitable for various age groups and party themes.
  • Transportation: A reliable vehicle to transport supplies to and from event locations.
  • Software: Event management software for guest lists, floor plans, and schedules.

List of Software, Tools and Supplies Needed to Start a Party Planner Business:

  • Computer and Printer
  • Business Software (Accounting, Invoicing, Budgeting)
  • Party Planning Software (Theme Design, Event Scheduling, Checklists)
  • Party Supplies (Decorations, Tablecloths, Tableware, etc.)
  • Party Favors
  • Party Entertainment (DJs, Bands, Magicians, etc.)
  • Advertising Materials (Flyers, Business Cards, etc.)
  • Photography Equipment (Camera, Lighting, etc.)
  • Website Design Tools
  • Social Media Tools

As you embark on your journey as a party planner, safeguarding your business with the right insurance is a crucial step. Insurance not only protects your financial stability but also provides peace of mind for you and your clients. Here are some key insurance types to consider:

  • General Liability Insurance: Covers third-party bodily injury and property damage claims, which could arise during an event.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, it protects against claims of negligence or failure to deliver services as promised.
  • Business Property Insurance: Protects your office space, equipment, and inventory against theft, damage, or loss.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance: Required if you have employees, to cover medical costs and lost wages for work-related injuries or illnesses.
  • Event Cancellation Insurance: Helps recoup lost expenses if an event you're planning is unexpectedly canceled or postponed.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: Essential if you have a vehicle dedicated to your business, to cover damages from accidents during work-related trips.

Consult with an insurance broker to tailor a policy that fits the unique risks associated with your party planning business.

Now that you've set the groundwork for your party planner business, it's time to get the word out and attract clients. Marketing your services effectively is crucial to your success. Here are some strategies to help you start promoting your party planning services:

  • Develop a Strong Online Presence: Create a professional website and active social media profiles to showcase your portfolio, client testimonials, and services offered.
  • Network: Attend local events, join community groups, and connect with other vendors in the industry to build relationships and gain referrals.
  • Offer Promotions: Entice new customers with introductory offers, discounts for referrals, or package deals for different types of events.
  • Collaborate with Vendors: Partner with caterers, venues, and entertainment providers to create mutual referral programs.
  • Local Advertising: Advertise in local magazines, newspapers, and on community bulletin boards. Consider sponsoring local events for added visibility.
  • Collect Testimonials: Encourage satisfied clients to provide testimonials that you can use in your marketing materials and on your website.

Once your party planning business is well-established and you're ready to take the next step, expansion is the way to go. Here are some strategies that can help you grow your business and take it to new heights:

  • Explore niche markets: Look for untapped areas within the party planning industry, such as corporate events, destination weddings, or eco-friendly parties.
  • Build strategic partnerships: Connect with vendors, venues, and other event planners to create a network that can offer more comprehensive services to clients.
  • Invest in marketing: Increase your online presence through social media, optimize your website for search engines, and consider paid advertising to reach a wider audience.
  • Expand your team: Hire additional staff or freelancers with specialized skills to handle increased demand and offer new services.
  • Diversify your offerings: Introduce new services like virtual event planning, party supply rentals, or personalized party favors to differentiate your business.
  • Franchise your business: If your brand is strong and your business model is replicable, consider franchising to allow others to open branches under your brand name.

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Business , Your Event Career

How to Start a Party Planning Business in 12 Steps

So, you want to start a business as a party planner? That’s great! Party planning is a fun and exciting industry, and there’s a LOT of potential for success in this field. However, if you want to learn how to start a party planning business, it’s important to remember that it won’t be easy. It actually takes hard work, dedication, and lots of elbow grease to make it in this competitive industry.

But don’t worry—we’re here to help!

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to start a party planning business in 12 easy steps, right from scratch. We’ll cover topics like choosing the right niche, building your brand, creating a business plan, and more.

So, let’s jump right into it!

What is a party planner.

A party planner is someone who plans, organizes and runs events for their clients. They’re responsible for all aspects of the event, from planning to execution. A successful party planner should have exceptional organizational skills and be able to handle any type of event—from birthdays, baby showers, and anniversaries to corporate events and weddings.

PRO TIP: Discover the full range of what a party planner does so you have a clear idea of what you can expect!

The benefits of starting your own party planning business.

Starting your own party planning business has tons of potential rewards! It gives you the opportunity to be creative, work with clients and build relationships, and make a good living. Plus, when you’re your own boss, you have the freedom to choose how much or how little you want to work—giving you more flexibility than working for someone else!

What Are the Steps to Starting a Party Planning Business?

Starting any business is no easy feat, and that’s especially true when it comes to party planning. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication if you want to make it in this competitive industry. But don’t worry—if you’re willing to put in the effort, we have the perfect guide to help you get started…

How To Start a Party Planning Business in 12 Steps

1. choose your niche.

The first step is to decide what kind of parties you want to specialize in. This is also called finding your niche . Think about the types of events that interest you and the ones you have experience with—this will help narrow your focus so that you can build a successful business.

For instance, as a professional party planner, you can specialize in any of the following types of parties:

  • Baby showers
  • Corporate events
  • Anniversaries
  • Engagement parties
  • Bridal showers
  • Bachelor parties
  • Graduation parties
  • Retirement parties
  • And SO much more!

2. Get Professionally Trained as a Party Planner

It’s essential that you have the right skills to be a successful party planner! When you have proper training and a legit certification on your resume, it gives your clients confidence in your ability to deliver a great experience. As a result, you’ll be able to:

  • Book more clients
  • Network more successfully
  • Offer better party planning services
  • Stand out from your competition
  • Make better money

Not to mention, the right certification course will also give you some business training, too. Since you’re here because you want to know how to start a party planning business, this is obviously a must!

So, consider getting professional training in event planning and take courses offered by reputable organizations like the QC Event School .

PRO TIP: If you’re looking to be a party planner, we recommend QC Event School’s self-paced, online Event & Wedding Planning Course ! This 7-unit program can arm you with a globally-recognized International Event and Wedding Planning Professional™ (IEWP®) certification in as little as 3 short months!

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3. Know Who Your Target Audience Is

Now that you know what type of parties you’re going to specialize in, it’s time to figure out who your target audience is. Consider demographic factors like age, gender, location, and income level. How old are they? Are they married or single? What type of events do they usually host? How much money can they spend on a party planner?

By understanding these details, you’ll get a better idea of who your ideal client is and be able to tailor your services, brand, marketing efforts, and overall business accordingly!

4. Build Your Brand

Once you know what kind of parties you want to specialize in and you’ve been professionally trained, it’s time to start building your brand . As a business owner, your brand is what will make you unique and stand out from competitors.

In a nutshell, it’s that special thing that will help convince clients to book with YOU instead of somebody else!

So, think about how you want to present yourself and your business to potential clients. For example, do you want a fun and colorful brand or a more sophisticated vibe? How do you want to come across in your messaging and marketing materials? What kind of logo and website do you want? How will you capture the attention of your target market?

These are all key questions to consider when building your brand. From there, make sure your brand (and its visual identity) remains consistent across ALL of your marketing materials. This includes:

  • Your website
  • Social media accounts for your party planning business
  • Business cards
  • The tone of voice you use whenever speaking (both online and in-person)
  • Emails, etc.

5. Know Where You Plan To Run Your Business From

As a party planner, you have numerous options in terms of where you want to operate your business. For instance, you can run it from home or rent a space in an office building. Or, you can also become a virtual party planner and offer your services online.

It all depends on your preferences and budget, but whatever you decide—make sure it allows you to accommodate all of the necessary party planning supplies and materials. That way, you can provide the best possible service for your clients!

Interested in virtual party planning? Learn everything you need to know in less than a month with the help of QC’s Virtual Events Training mini course !

6. set your party planning service rates.

When starting a party planning business, you want to make sure that you set the right price for your services. Depending on what kind of parties you specialize in and the amount of time required to plan them (not to mention the cost of materials), your rates may vary from client to client.

So, it’s a good idea to have a few different pricing options available, such as hourly rates or flat-fee packages. Just make sure that whatever you decide to charge your clients is both competitive and fair for the market you are serving in.

Remember: you don’t want to undersell your services—but you don’t want to overcharge for them either!

7. Create Your Party Planning Business Plan

Creating a business plan is the next step in starting your business as a party planner. A business plan is like a roadmap that outlines the key details of your business, including:

  • Your mission statement
  • An executive summary of your party planning business
  • Short-term and long-term goals
  • A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)
  • A detailed description of the services you offer
  • Your target market
  • Competitor analysis
  • Financial highlights and future projections
  • Marketing and advertising plans
  • And so forth!

There are several reasons why you should develop a business plan. For starters, it’ll help you articulate your strategy for success and gain the confidence of any potential investors (such as a bank). It’ll also serve as a reference guide if ever need to make changes down the line.

At the end of the day, though, it’s important to remember that your business plan is unique to your business’s needs and objectives. Furthermore, it should also be reviewed and updated regularly as your business evolves and grows.

Need help writing your business plan for the first time? Small Business Administration has an article that breaks the process down into more detail—and even offers a couple examples to better help you visualize what you should be doing!

Table setting at a luxury wedding and Beautiful flowers on the table. wedding decor, flowers, pink and gold decor, candles. Festive table decor. Party planning business article.

7. Get the Necessary Licenses and Insurance for Your Party Planning Business

When starting a party planning business, you’ll need to obtain the necessary licenses and insurance. The type of license you’ll need will depend on your location and the services you offer as a party planner.

Generally, though, some of the licenses you may require include:

  • Business License
  • Liquor License (if applicable)
  • Food Handler’s Certificat e (if applicable)

In terms of insurance coverage, this will vary depending on the type of activities and services you offer as a party planner. At the very least, you should look into getting general liability insurance to protect yourself from any potential claims or lawsuits.

You can also speak with an insurance broker to discuss more specialized coverage that may be suited for your business (such as event cancellation/rain insurance).

8. Get Some Experience Under Your Belt

Unless you already have some experience planning events, it’s a good idea to get some practice before launching your party planning business.

This could involve taking on some volunteer projects or low-budget gigs at first. That way, you’ll have the opportunity to gain more experience and build up a portfolio of successful parties to showcase!

Another awesome idea is to take part in a stylized photoshoot . Working with a photographer and stylist, you can create a few mock parties to provide potential clients with visuals of what they might expect when working with your business. No, you probably won’t get paid to organize a styled shoot—however, the high-quality content you can then use in your portfolio will be worth its weight in gold!

Lastly, another idea for getting real-world experience is to turn to people you know, such as friends and family. Offer to plan small gatherings and get-togethers, or even help out with other people’s events. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about the industry, even if it isn’t in a paid capacity.

9. Put Together a Solid Professional Portfolio

Your professional portfolio should be the envy of any potential client. Therefore, it’s important to put together one that stands out and is reflective of your skills as a party planner!

How To Build a Party Planning Portfolio

When building your portfolio, make sure to include visuals of any parties you have organized in the past and provide details such as:

  • Short description of the event
  • Purpose of the event
  • Goals/objectives achieved
  • Challenges faced
  • Details of how you overcame them
  • How you exceeded expectations (if applicable)

The more detail and visuals you can include in your portfolio, the better. After all, it will give potential clients a good idea of what they can expect when working with you!

10. Build Your Business Website and Social Media Presence

Creating an online presence is necessary for any business, especially if you’re starting a party planning business. This will help potential clients discover your services and showcase your work online.

Your Website

When setting up your website, make sure to include information about yourself (including experience and qualifications), the types of services you offer, and examples of past work. You can also create some sort of booking service/application form on your website to make it easier for potential clients to get in touch with you.

Social Media Accounts

In addition to your website, you’ll also want to set up a presence on the various social media platforms, such as:

This will help build an online community and increase awareness of your business. You can then post pictures from past events, details about upcoming parties you’re planning, industry advice, and other awesome types of content. Just make sure that you’re posting on a regular basis and always replying back to anyone who comments or DMs you!

11. Determine (and Implement) Your Marketing Strategies

Having a solid marketing strategy is key to the success of any business, so it’s essential that you come up with one for your party planning business too. How will you reach potential clients and how are you going to market yourself?

Some ideas include:

  • Creating online ads (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, etc.)
  • Making use of influencer marketing
  • Working with local media outlets (newspapers, TV, etc.)
  • Maximizing email campaigns
  • Attending industry events and networking
  • Creating a newsletter
  • Utilizing traditional outdoor advertising (billboards, flyers, etc.)

Real talk: your marketing strategy can be the very thing that makes or breaks your party planning business. I know, no pressure, right? We’re not trying to freak you out or anything… But seriously, make sure to think through your strategies and come up with ones that fit your budget and target audience!

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11. Start Networking

Networking is another important step in the process of starting a party planning business. The reason for this is quite simple: networking will help you get the word out about your services, as well as give you the opportunity to learn from other party planners.

So, how should you network?

Well, the best way to network is to attend industry events and meet-ups. Here, you can make connections with other professionals in the field, share ideas, and learn from each other. You can also join online forums, groups, and association to continue building up your network.

12. Keep Learning and Stay Up-to-Date With Industry Trends

Finally, in order to stay relevant and up-to-date with the latest industry trends, it’s important to set aside time to continually be learning.

This may include attending workshops or seminars related to party planning, reading books and articles from experienced professionals in the field, or subscribing to industry websites/blogs for updates. By doing this, you’ll be able to stay on top of the latest trends and make sure that your parties are always ahead of the curve!

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know how to start a party planning business from scratch, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this journey:

Q: How much does it cost to build a professional party planning business?

A: How much you have to invest in your business depends on what kind of services you plan to offer and how much overhead costs (such as rent, utilities, advertising, etc.) you have to pay. Generally speaking, the cost of starting a party planning business can range from a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands, depending on your budget.

Q: Can you start a business as a party planner while earning your certification, or should you wait until you’re certified?

A: That’s really up to you! If you’re confident in your skills and have enough experience, then there’s no reason why you can’t start building your party planning business while you’re still earning your certification. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t have enough experience yet, it may be best to wait until you finish the certification process before jumping in.

Q: How long does it take to start a party planning business?

A: How long it takes to start a party planning business really depends on how much research, planning and preparation you’re willing to put in. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the type of services you offer and how quickly you want to get started. Once you have a plan of action and have taken the necessary steps to bring your business vision to life, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful party planner!

Q: How long should you expect to wait before seeing a profit?

A: It again depends on a few factors, such as the types of services you offer, how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in the business, and how much of a budget you’ve allocated for marketing and promotion. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year before you start seeing consistent profits.

Q: Is party planning a good side hustle?

A: Absolutely! Party planning is a great side hustle for people who love planning events and have an eye for detail. It’s also a great way to make a part-time income without having to take on full-time hours. Plus, as your business grows, you can always consider taking on more clients, expanding your services, and making your business a full-time endeavor down the road.

Q: How much do party planners make per year?

There’s no definitive answer to this question as every party planner’s income is dependent on their services, expenses, and how many events they take on. Generally speaking, though, ZipRecruiter reports that party planners in the United States alone tend to make anywhere from $13,500 to $79,500 USD annually.

Q: What are some must-have supplies that all party planners need?

A: Some of the most important supplies you should have as a party planner include things like decorative items, catering supplies, sound systems/PA equipment, and event planning software. These will help you ensure that all of your parties are well-prepared, organized, and run smoothly.

In terms of running your party planning business, we recommend investing in the following items:

  • A business plan
  • A registered business name
  • Organization tools, such as a calendar and daily planner
  • A proper website domain
  • Marketing materials (flyers, brochures)
  • Accounting software
  • And any necessary legal documents such as insurance, contracts, etc.

PRO TIP: Check out our full list of the BEST tools to help you grow your party planning business successfully!

Q: where can you buy party planning supplies.

A: You can buy party planning supplies from a variety of suppliers, both online and in-person. Online stores such as Amazon or Party City are great resources for finding decorations, catering supplies, sound equipment, and more. Local party supply stores can also provide you with everything you need to make your parties memorable.

Q: How do party planners get clients?

A: The best way to get clients as a party planner is through networking and building relationships. You can start by attending local events or industry conferences and introducing yourself to potential clients. Additionally, you should also consider marketing your services on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.

Another business-savvy way to attract and book clients is by offering them some sort of pricing incentive. For example, you could offer discounts on services or free consultations in exchange for referrals. This will help build your reputation, and it’s a great way to get new clients.

Finally, don’t forget about word of mouth! Ask friends and family to spread the word about your business and refer you to anyone who’s looking for a party planner.

Table setting. A woman decorates the table for the holiday. High quality photo. Party planning business article.

Hopefully, this guide has given you all the information you need to start a successful party planning business from scratch. When it comes down to it, running a successful business is all about staying organized and having the right resources at your disposal. With the right planning, dedication, and effort, you can turn your party planning business into a thriving success!

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How to Start a Party Planning Business in 14 Steps (In-Depth Guide)

Updated:   April 8, 2024

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The party industry is growing in leaps and bounds around the globe. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.8% from 2023 to 2032, now is a great time to start a party planning business.

how to make a party planning business

This guide will explain how to start a party planning business. Topics include market research, competitive analysis, startup costs, registering an EIN, applying for business insurance, and more.

With demand increasing across the board, from budget-friendly to luxury, there is ample opportunity to carve out your niche. If helping people mark life’s special moments sounds like your dream job, read on for everything you need to start your own party planning business.

1. Conduct Party Planning Market Research

Market research is important for an event planner hoping to craft a successful business plan. As a new event planning company, you should know about your target market, local market saturation, trending event planning services in the event planning industry, and more.

how to make a party planning business

Some of the details you’ll learn through market research for your own event planning business include:

  • Several factors are driving this growth. Busy professionals with more disposable income hire planners to pull off events they don’t have time to organize.
  • Parents are enlisting many event planners to create Instagram-worthy birthday parties for their kids. And milestone events like weddings, reunions, and corporate gatherings require professional help more than ever.
  • While the luxury party planning market is saturated, there remains ample opportunity in the budget-friendly space.

To start an event planning company, planners should target various niches:

  • Weddings: Especially budget-friendly packages under $2,000.
  • Kids’ birthdays: Focus on themes like dinosaurs, princesses, and superheroes.
  • Corporate events: Pitch one-stop services from choosing a venue to arranging catering.
  • Holiday parties: Help clients throw stylish Christmas, Halloween, and other themed events.
  • Showers: Baby showers, bridal showers, retirement parties.
  • Reunions: Help plan school, family, or military reunions.
  • Unique experiences: Party buses , paint parties, etc.

With demand increasing across segments, the party and wedding planning industry provides fertile ground for entrepreneurs to launch all types of event planning businesses. By identifying a specific niche and effectively marketing services, new planners can steadily grow their clientele and bottom line.

2. Analyze the Competition

Thoroughly analyzing the competition is critical when starting a party planning company. Here are tips to assess competitor event planners both in your local area and online:

  • For brick-and-mortar competitors, identify planners located nearby.
  • Visit their websites and social media pages to evaluate services offered, pricing, and types of events planned.
  • Note their years in business, reviews, and repeat clients to gauge customer satisfaction.
  • Observe their branding and marketing to see if a niche is being underserved.
  • To evaluate online competitors, research major planning sites that allow vendors to list profiles like WeddingWire. Search for planners servicing your area across different price points.
  • Analyze the services they offer, packages, and how they describe their business.
  • Visit their individual websites and social media pages to assess their web traffic, followers, and engagement using tools like SimilarWeb and SocialBlade .
  • High traffic and following can signal a strong online presence.
  • Search industry hashtags on social media like #birthdaypartyplanning to find local planners promoting their work and engaging with clients.
  • Their posts can provide insight into their branding, the types of events planned, and the venues/rentals they partner with. Take note of planners with satisfied client comments.
  • Look for gaps in the market – if all local competitors focus on luxury weddings, for example, there may be opportunities for budget kid parties.
  • Identify areas competitors are lacking in like styled Instagram content or robust online packages, that you could excel in.
  • Track competitors over time by subscribing to their email lists and re-evaluating their digital presence every few months.

Ongoing market research will provide the knowledge needed to position your services where competitors are missing the mark. It also helps refine your unique selling proposition and offerings over time as client demand evolves.

3. Costs to Start a Party Planning Business

When starting a party planning company, there are various one-time start-up costs to consider before opening for business.

Start-up Costs

  • Business Registration Fees – $50-$500 Registering your business as an LLC or other corporate structure will incur state filing fees and potentially local licensing fees.
  • Business Insurance – $500-$2,000/year General liability insurance protects your business from property damage or bodily injury claims. Professional liability shields against client lawsuits.
  • Office Supplies – $500-$2,000 A computer, printer, software, phone, folders, contracts, and other administrative supplies will be needed.
  • Website – $200-$5,000 A professional website showcasing services, galleries, and contact forms is essential for attracting clients.
  • Branding – $500-$2,000 Professional logo design, business cards, email design template, and other branding elements establish credibility.
  • Equipment – $1,000-$5,000 Tablets, cameras, decor items, props, signage, and storage for event supplies will be necessary. Renting certain items can minimize costs. More for luxury items or rooms such as spas , game rooms, etc.
  • Initial Advertising – $500-$2,000 Print ads, digital ads, and brochures help introduce your new business to the local market.

Ongoing Costs

  • Rent – $200-$2,000/month Many planners operate from a small home office when starting before moving to a storefront. Virtual offices are also an option.
  • Utilities – $150-$500/month Expect costs for internet, phone, electricity, and other utilities based on your office needs.
  • Business Insurance – $500-$2,000/year Insurance policies must be renewed annually. Review and adjust coverage as your business grows.
  • Accounting Software – $10-$50/month Programs like QuickBooks help track income, expenses, invoices, and tax documents.
  • Advertising – $100-$500/month Continually promote your services through channels like social media ads, SEO, and email marketing.
  • Travel – $50-$500+ per event Site visits, client meetings, and going to events will incur gas, public transit, or rideshare costs.
  • Professional Development – $500-$2,000/year Invest in ongoing training on event trends, best practices, and skills development.

By estimating costs across these various categories, new party planners can develop an accurate budget and ensure sufficient capital to cover operating expenses as they build their business. Adjusting forecasts periodically lets you scale spending in step with revenue growth.

4. Form a Legal Business Entity

When starting a party planning company, choosing the right legal structure is key. The four main options each have benefits and drawbacks to weigh:

Sole Proprietorship

This is the simplest structure with no formal registration needed beyond licenses. Party planners can get up and running quickly and inexpensively. However, the owner has unlimited personal liability for debts and lawsuits related to the business. Their assets could be seized, making this a risky choice.

Partnership

A general or limited partnership allows two or more co-owners to share resources and split profits. However, general partners also share unlimited personal liability. Limited partners’ liability is restricted to their investment, but they can’t participate in management. Overall, the shared liability is risky for service businesses like party planning.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Forming an LLC offers liability protection for all members while allowing pass-through taxation. This is the best choice for most party planners starting. It limits owners’ risk if sued and keeps things simple tax-wise. Startup costs are low, and single-member LLCs are easy to run.

Corporation

C-corps and S-corps offer the strongest liability protection but have complex regulations and double taxation. This bureaucratic structure can get costly with annual fees and paperwork. Unless seeking investors or going public, most small party planners don’t need to incorporate right away.

5. Register Your Business For Taxes

One key legal step for any new business is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This unique number identifies your business for tax purposes.

Here’s how party planners can easily apply for an EIN:

  • Go to IRS.gov and search “apply for an EIN”. Click the link to reach the online application.
  • Review the instructions and have your information ready – name, address, SSN, and details about your LLC or corporation.
  • When ready, click “Begin Application” and follow the short questionnaire. Select the type of LLC you formed.
  • On the final page, review your business information. Then submit the form to instantly receive your EIN.

The entire process takes about 10 minutes and there is no fee. The IRS will mail you an EIN confirmation letter for your records in 4-5 weeks.

With your EIN, you can open business bank accounts, apply for licenses, and file taxes. It also enables you to hire employees down the road.

Additionally, party planners must register with their state to collect sales tax on services provided. Requirements vary by location but often include:

  • Obtaining a seller’s permit or sales tax ID through your state revenue department.
  • Charging sales tax to clients and filing regular returns to remit taxes collected.
  • Keeping detailed records of taxable sales and any tax-exempt transactions.

Visit your state revenue website for specifics on registering. Fees typically range from $10-$100 depending on the state.

Handling EIN and sales tax registration upfront ensures your party planning business operates legally and complies with all tax obligations from the start. Take the time to get set up properly so you can focus on serving clients.

6. Setup Your Accounting

As a party planner, meticulous financial records are crucial for tracking income and expenses, maximizing tax deductions, and operating legally. Investing in accounting software and an accountant from the start will save major headaches down the road.

Accounting Software

Programs like Quickbooks allow planners to easily categorize every business transaction, generate invoices, manage payroll, and streamline taxes. The software seamlessly syncs with bank and credit card accounts to automatically import and log payments. This eliminates manual entry and the risk of errors.

Hire an Accountant

While accounting software does much of the heavy lifting, partnering with an accountant adds professional oversight. A qualified accountant provides services like:

  • Setting up your bookkeeping, accounting systems, and Quickbooks.
  • Training you on proper record keeping and utilizing features of your accounting software.
  • Performing monthly reconciliations to identify any discrepancies.
  • Preparing and filing quarterly and annual tax returns.

Most planners retain an accountant at least for annual tax preparation and filing. Costs range from $200-$5,000 depending on the extent of services provided.

Open a Business Bank Account

Separating business and personal finances prevents the commingling of funds and avoids red flags with the IRS. Open a dedicated business checking account and credit card only used for company expenses.

Apply for a Business Credit Card

Business credit cards allow you to keep expenses separate while earning valuable reward points on purchases. Limits are based on your business credit profile, not your score. Have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) ready to apply and obtain a higher line of credit.

7. Obtain Licenses and Permits

Before hosting your first event, party planners must ensure they have obtained all required business licenses and permits. Find information for federal licenses through the U.S. Small Business Administration . The SBA also has a local search tool for state and city permits.

Requirements vary based on your city and state, but common licenses include:

  • Business License: Nearly all jurisdictions require a general business license to legally operate. Fees are typically $50-$100 annually.
  • Seller’s Permit: Obtaining a seller’s permit or sales tax ID enables you to collect sales tax on services provided.
  • Food Service Permit: If catering food yourself or hiring food trucks, a food service license is often required. Complete a training course, pay fees, and pass inspections to obtain this permit.
  • Liquor License: To serve alcohol at events, party planners need a liquor license approved by the state or county liquor authority.
  • Raffle/Gaming License: If hosting contests, raffles, or casino games like at a fundraiser event, you’ll likely need gaming and raffle permits. Follow all regulations around reporting and awarding prizes.
  • Zoning Permits: If running your business from a home office, commercial space, or event venue, confirm zoning permits allow for these activities. Make any zoning appeals before signing leases.

Preparing guest lists, floor plans and vendor orders is the fun part of event planning. Don’t let overlooking essential licenses put operations on hold or jeopardize your business. Consult local regulators to identify all required approvals.

8. Get Business Insurance

Obtaining adequate business insurance is crucial for protecting party planners against unforeseen risks that could otherwise sink the company. Being underinsured – or not insured at all – leaves you vulnerable in scenarios like:

  • A guest slips and falls at an event, sustaining serious injuries. Without liability coverage, you could be sued for substantial medical bills.
  • Severe weather damages or forces cancellation of a major event. The client still expects compensation for losses.
  • Expensive AV equipment rented for a corporate party is stolen. Replacement costs could be crippling without protection.

To shield your assets in cases like these, partner with an insurer to obtain key policies:

  • General Liability – Covers 3rd party bodily injury and property damage claims. Vital for party planners to interact with guests.
  • Professional Liability – Protects against damages if sued for negligent services like a poorly planned event.
  • Commercial Property – Reimburses stolen or damaged equipment and decor used for events.
  • Event Cancellation – Provides reimbursement for non-refundable expenses if a client’s event is canceled.
  • Umbrella Liability – Additional liability limits atop other policies. Useful for large-scale events.

To get insured, contact business insurance brokers. Be ready with info on your LLC and the type/scale of events you plan. Review multiple quotes to find the best rates and coverage for your needs.

9. Create an Office Space

Having a professional office space lends party planners credibility and provides a centralized hub for client meetings and event preparation. The optimal location depends on your budget and stage of business.

Home Office

When just starting, operating from a dedicated home office minimizes overhead. Convert a spare room into a functional workspace for administrative tasks. Meet clients at event venues or coffee shops until you outgrow home-based operations. Costs are limited to decor, supplies, and utilities.

Coworking Office

Coworking spaces like WeWork provide an affordable upgraded office environment as your business expands. Open layouts promote networking with fellow entrepreneurs. You’ll get access to business amenities like conference rooms, printers, kitchens, and tech support for around $200-$500 per month.

Retail Office

For established planners seeking a higher-end presence, consider a storefront retail unit. This allows passing foot traffic and walk-in clients. You can meet with vendors in a conference room and display photos of events. Rent averages $1,500-$4,000 per month.

Commercial Office

Leasing space in a Class A commercial office building lends prestige to corporate clients. Expect amenities like gyms, cafeterias, shared conference rooms, and high-end finishes. Budget at least $3,000 per month for rent plus additional build-out costs.

10. Source Your Equipment

From decor to AV equipment, party planners need access to a wide assortment of event supplies. Here are the top options to acquire the necessary materials whether buying new, used, renting, or leasing:

Brand new party rental inventory allows you complete creative control but comes at a premium. Purchase basics like tables, chairs, linens, flatware, and lighting from event retailers like PartyTime Rentals . Visit restaurant supply stores for high-volume glassware, dishes, and service ware.

Score major savings buying used furnishings and decor from resellers. Check used-party supply retailers and local classifieds on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace . Thrift stores like Goodwill can yield finds. Garage and estate sales are also prime venues to discover chic vintage items. Take time to hunt for hidden gems.

Renting is ideal for pricier items needed periodically like speakers, projectors, dance floors, and tents. Event rental companies allow you to expand your inventory as needed on a per-event basis. Rates are typically daily or weekly. Coordinate delivery and pickup.

Leasing select premium equipment from specialty companies enables access to high-end gear like bounce houses , photo booths, neon signs, and games. You pay a monthly fee for the length of a multi-year contract. Build leasing costs into your client fees.

11. Establish Your Brand Assets

Crafting a strong brand identity is crucial for party planners to stand out and be remembered. By investing in professional branding elements upfront, you can consistently convey your vision across every touchpoint.

Getting a Business Phone Number

A custom phone number lends legitimacy versus using a personal cell. Services like RingCentral provide toll-free and local numbers with call routing, voicemail, and SMS capabilities.

Creating a Logo and Brand Assets

A polished logo encapsulates your brand personality and specialty. For party planners, an energetic, playful mark is ideal. Use a logo maker like Looka to design options and then refine your vision with a graphic designer.

Complement your logo with branded social media assets, email signatures, proposals, invoices, and contract templates. Apply colors, fonts, and graphical elements consistently for recognition.

Creating Business Cards and Signage

Business cards are essential for in-person networking and events. Include your logo, stylized contact info, tagline, and any certifications that build credibility. Signage like banners and yard signs help promote your brand at venues. Order professional designs from printers like Vistaprint .

Purchasing a Domain Name

Secure a domain name that matches your brand for a cohesive online presence. Aim for your full business name or a memorable short phrase relevant to party planning. Use domain sites like Namecheap and explore extensions beyond .com.

Building a Website

Your website will be a prospect’s first impression of your brand. While DIY builders like Wix make launching easy, consider hiring a web designer on Fiverr for a polished, client-focused site. Include sections showcasing previous events, testimonials, and ways to contact you.

12. Join Associations and Groups

Joining relevant local organizations and online communities provides invaluable connections for party planners. Surrounding yourself with other professionals leads to collaborations, knowledge sharing, and a stronger local network.

Local Associations

Area party and event planning associations offer both networking and learning opportunities. Attend meetups to connect with fellow planners, discuss trends, and discover new venues. Groups like the International Live Events Association provide support through all stages of business ownership.

Consider joining your local chamber of commerce as well to raise visibility among area businesses. The connections made can lead to corporate event leads.

Local Meetups

Keep a pulse on local happenings and expand your network by attending relevant meetups. Use sites like Meetup to find regular events like wedding vendor mixers, marketing seminars, and industry trade shows.

Exchange ideas in person and distribute business cards to event pros you want to partner with. Look for both general networking and party planning-specific meetups.

Facebook Groups

Engage with the national community of planners by joining Facebook Groups like Party Rental Business Owners and Creative Event Planners who are supportive of newcomers. Having an online support system provides camaraderie and advice from peers globally.

13. How to Market a Party Planning Business

Implementing an ongoing marketing strategy is essential for party planners to continually attract new clients. While leveraging your network and stellar customer service form the foundation, mixing digital and traditional tactics will help amplify your reach and brand visibility.

how to make a party planning business

Personal Networking

To start, tap into your existing contacts and ask for introductions to their networks. Offer incentives for current clients to refer friends, which is powerful word-of-mouth marketing. For example, provide a 10% discount on their next event for every new booking referred.

Digital Marketing

For digital marketing materials, consider:

  • Search ads through Google Ads targeting keywords like “party planner [your city]”. Track conversions to optimize effective ads.
  • Facebook and Instagram ads focused on your ideal demographic and location. Share beautiful event visuals and promotions.
  • Start a YouTube channel with tutorials and behind-the-scenes event videos to build expertise.
  • Write blog posts about party planning tips to improve SEO and provide value.
  • Email marketing campaigns to engage past clients and promote new services.

Traditional Marketing

For traditional approaches, some options include:

  • Creating mailers with promotions to send to prospective clients like engaged couples.
  • Distributing framed fliers and menus to complementary vendors like caterers.
  • Billboard ads in high-traffic areas introducing your new business.
  • Radio spots on local stations describing your services and special offers.
  • Hosting open house events at your office for the public to meet you.

While digital marketing enables incredible precision and measurement, don’t count out the power of traditional mediums for brands to make an entrance.

14. Focus on the Customer

Providing an incredible client experience is crucial for party planners to earn rave reviews, loyal repeat customers, and word-of-mouth referrals that fuel growth.

how to make a party planning business

Here’s why going above and beyond with customer service pays off:

  • A wedding, anniversary party, or baby shower comes just once in a lifetime. By tailoring every detail to the client’s vision and making them feel valued, you create a meaningful experience they won’t forget.
  • Satisfied clients will happily refer family and friends planning their celebrations rather than risk them having a subpar experience with another planner.
  • Stellar service translates into genuine, detailed reviews. Your reputation hinges on reviews and testimonials.
  • When you consistently wow customers, they’ll rave about you online and on sites like The Knot and WeddingWire. This social proof captures the attention of prospective clients.
  • Return customers also become a sizable portion of your bookings if you nail their first event.
  • Clients planning annual galas or milestone birthdays will come back year after year if you make the process smooth and enjoyable.

For party planners, client satisfaction directly impacts income. By providing responsive communication, anticipating needs, and handling any curveballs with grace, you assure a 5-star experience that brings clients back while attracting new ones through word of mouth.

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April 9, 2024

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How to Start an Event Planning Business: The Ultimate Guide

Event Planning Business

It's no surprise that starting an event planning business involves many moving parts. It can feel overwhelming, from identifying your unique selling proposition and having all the key skills to executing flawless events to getting all the required compliances. But not anymore. 

In this guide, we'll discuss everything about  event planning  and provide a step-by-step guide on how to start your own event-planning business. This post covers everything from determining profitability to understanding the skills you need to run a successful business.   

But before you dive headfirst into how to start an event planning business, let's take a step back and understand the basics. 

Event Planning Business

What is Event Planning in Business?

If you plan to start your event planning business, you probably know the answer to this question. Event planning involves managing the details of large or small events, including meetings, conferences, or parties. This business is typically utilized for: 

  • Large educational meetings, such as graduations or conferences.
  • Major promotions, including marketing events, product launches, and fashion shows.
  • Corporate events , like after-work cocktail hours, trade shows, galas, and more.
  • Celebrations and social events like parades, weddings, birthdays, reunions, and more. 

What Do Event Planning Businesses Provide?

As an event planner, you are expected to work with clients to understand their requirements and goals and then provide end-to-end event planning and execution services to ensure the seamless and successful execution of in-person or virtual events . 

Some of the services you must include are:

  • Event management and coordination
  • Theming, décor, and styling
  • Conferencing and exhibitions
  • Signage and branding
  • Entertainment and talent management
  • Venue sourcing and management
  • Catering and food & beverage management
  • Audio-visual production and management
  • Logistics and transportation management
  • Budgeting and financial management
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Security and risk management
  • Registration and guest management
  • Post-event evaluation and reporting 

Why Do People Hire Event Planning Businesses?

There are two primary reasons why people hire event planning services: 

  • To allow event attendees and guests of honor to thoroughly enjoy themselves without worrying about event logistics. 
  • To ensure that the event runs without any glitches. 

Consider a typical corporate conference, for example. 

A business may hire your services to create a stellar multi-day conference while their employees and attendees can focus on networking or learning. This way, they don’t have to worry about details like catering, keynote speakers, registration, and managing the event schedule. 

Event Planning Business advantages

Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting an Event Planning Business

As with everything, the event planning business also has advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are: 

  • Enjoy the freedom to choose who you work with, where you work, and how you manage your schedule.
  • Pull off a showstopping event, and chances are your clients will return repeatedly, thus building loyalty.
  • Event planning business lets you unleash your creativity as you get to design events that are unique and unforgettable for your clients. 
  • Establishing relationships with reliable vendors takes time, especially in a crowded market.
  • Growing your business needs adding resources or raising prices, which can be tricky.
  • Most of the time, although the planning takes place in advance, you must ensure your presence in the field during the event—meaning long working hours, even on evenings and weekends. 

How to Start an Event Planning Business

Here are some steps to help you start an event planning business: 

Evaluate your  event planning skills.

Event planning involves many tasks beyond the glamor of parties and events. To be successful, you must be able to handle various responsibilities. After all, successful event planners are masters of multitasking, with a talent for keeping calm under pressure. 

For example, you’ll need to create an event theme or design, find a venue, arrange entertainment, book vendors, send RSVPs and marketing information to attendees, and balance the budget. The list goes on. 

If you're unsure whether you possess all the necessary skills, consider gaining some hands-on experience. Perhaps shadow an experienced planner, assist with events at a local organization, or even volunteer for a nonprofit event. 

Create your event planning business plan.

A well-structured business plan is the foundation of any successful venture, and event planning is no different. Consider it your roadmap to success. Here are the key sections to include: 

  • Executive Summary:  Summarize your business concept, goals, and what sets you apart.
  • Overview : Outline your company background, structure (e.g., sole proprietorship), and essential details.
  • Industry Analysis : Demonstrate your understanding of the local event planning market, including potential clients and event trends .
  • Competitive Analysis: Examine your competition, identifying their areas of strength and areas you can exploit.
  • Marketing : Craft a strategy for attracting clients—how will you make them aware of your exceptional services?
  • Management: Detail your unique experience and skills.
  • Operations Plan : Describe your day-to-day process for planning and executing events.
  • Financials : Project your income, expenses, and profit expectations over your initial years of operation. 

Event planning niche

Find your event planning niche.

Finding your niche is how you stand out from the rest—it helps you specialize in a specific subset of the broader event planning industry. Also, it becomes easier for your target market to find you. Common niches and event types include: 

  • Business event planning:  Award ceremonies, charity and nonprofit events, corporate bonding retreats, meetings and seminars, conferences, grand openings, fashion shows, experiential events, holiday parties, networking events , trade shows, and VIP events. 
  • Private/social event planning:  Weddings,   anniversaries, holiday parties, baby showers, theme parties, wedding/bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, milestone birthday parties, and murder-mystery parties. 

Identify your unique selling proposition.

Identify your event planning business’ unique selling proposition (USP) to set yourself apart from your competitors. It is the reason why clients should choose your company over others. 

Here’s how you can define your USP: 

  • Identify your target market:  The first step in uncovering your event planning USP is to identify your target market. Who are your ideal clients? What type of events do they typically host? What are their pain points and needs? Understanding your target market lets you tailor your services to your client's needs and preferences. 
  • Analyze your competition:  The next step is to analyze your competition. Who are your competitors? What services do they offer? What is their pricing strategy? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Understand your competition to identify gaps in the market and ways to differentiate your business. 
  • Determine your unique strengths:  What sets your business apart from your competitors? What unique strengths do you bring to the table? It could be your expertise in a particular type of event, your creative approach to event design, your extensive network of vendors, or your exceptional customer service. Identify your unique strengths and use them to craft a compelling USP.

Consider funding and costs.

The events business can be lucrative, but getting started requires smart financial planning. Calculate your initial startup costs carefully. Price your services strategically so you cover expenses while remaining competitive. If number crunching isn't your strong suit, invest in a bookkeeper or accountant early on.

While exact costs vary by location and services offered, here's a ballpark range to get you thinking:

  • Rent: $0 to $2,300
  • Equipment: $5,000 to $17,000
  • Inventory: $0 to $500
  • Licenses and Taxes: $250 to $350
  • Communications: $100 to $250
  • Payroll: $0 to $4,000
  • Advertising/Promotion: $500 to $2,000
  • Legal Fees & Accounting: $650 to $1,500
  • Insurance (1st Quarter): $800 to $1,700
  • Miscellaneous: $750 to $1,500
  • Total: $8,050 to $31,100 

Remember, startup expenses don't have to be astronomical. Begin with the essentials, and scale up as your business grows.

Structure your pricing strategy.

Pricing your services is an art and a science. Factor in your location (cost of living varies), your experience level, and what your competitors charge. Most importantly, ensure your pricing allows you to cover costs and earn a worthwhile profit while remaining attractive to clients. 

Remember, transparency is key—explain your fee structure clearly so there are no surprises later on.

Here are some common pricing models for your consideration: 

  • Hourly rate: Ideal for projects where the scope is difficult to predict upfront. Rates typically range from $25 - $100+ per hour, depending on your skills and the complexity of the event. 
  • Flat fee:  A single charge covers your planning services. This works well for events with well-defined parameters. Sometimes, planners add a percentage of vendor fees to ensure sufficient compensation. 
  • Percentage of the event:  Typically, this will be 15-20% of the total event cost. Such pricing structure is common for complex events, as your fee scales alongside the project.  
  • Day-of coordination:  A specialized service, handling the on-site logistics on the day of the event itself. 
  • Vendor commission:  In this model, your income comes from commissions from selected vendors, rather than directly from the client. This requires careful negotiation and transparency with all parties involved. 

Obtain necessary legal documents and permits.

Don't neglect the legal side of your business. Taking these steps protects both you and your clients from potential issues:

Register Your Business :   Choose a legal structure (LLC, Sole Proprietorship, etc.) that's right for you, and register officially with your state. Obtain a tax ID—essential for everything from opening a bank account to filing taxes. 

Obtain Necessary Permits : The red tape of event planning might not be glamorous, but it's crucial. Permits vary by location, so contact local authorities to learn exactly what you need. Common examples include: 

  • Building permits (tents) for outdoor events that require tents.
  • Business license to operate legally.
  • Event permits vary by city, so contact the local government for relevant ordinances.
  • Noise permit if your event is outside.
  • Fire/fireworks permit, which you must check with your county.
  • You can get a health permit from your county’s health department.
  • You need a liquor license if you plan to serve alcoholic beverages. 
  • Seller’s permit, which you may need as an event planner.
  • Temporary use/structure permit for vacant land or temporary space for loading areas, vendors, and parking. 

Get your event planning business insured.

Obtain insurance coverage for your event planning business to protect yourself and your clients from unexpected incidents. Here are some important coverages to consider:

  • Workers' compensation:  This is mandatory in all states. It protects your employees (and yourself, if you count as an employee) in case of work-related illness or injury.
  • General liability insurance:  A must-have for any event planning business. This protects you from claims of property damage or bodily injury at an event you organized. 
  • Property insurance:  Safeguard your equipment (tables, chairs, laptops, etc.) from theft, fire, and other unexpected events.
  • Business interruption:  If unforeseen circumstances force you to temporarily shut down, this can provide financial support. Think of it as backup income if things go awry.
  • Business Owner's Policy:  This bundles several important coverages into one convenient package, often at a good value. 

Market your event planning business.

Once your business is set up, it's time to attract those exciting new clients. Here are some strategies to get you started:

  • Build a Website: Your website is your online storefront. Services like Weebly and Squarespace make it easy, even if you're not tech-savvy. Invest time in making it visually appealing and easy to navigate.
  • Boost Your Online Presence: List your business on directories like Yelp, Eventective, and Google My Business. This helps potential clients discover you when they're searching for event planners in your area.
  • Get Social: Create engaging profiles on relevant platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.). Share social media-worthy photos, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and client testimonials.
  • Traditional Marketing Still Works: Don't underestimate the power of beautifully designed brochures, flyers, and business cards. Distribute them strategically at local businesses or events.
  • Get Referrals: Happy clients are your best advertisement. Encourage them to leave glowing reviews, and feature video testimonials on your website and social media.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Caterers, photographers, venue owners—these businesses have the same clientele as you. Build relationships and create a referral network to mutually benefit. 

Related: Read some practical  event planning tips  for before, during, and after the event. 

Event planning questions

What skills do you need to run an event planning business?

The basic skills needed to run an event planning business effectively are primarily soft skills, such as organizational skills, business management skills, and presentation skills. Here are some necessary skills to run an event planning business successfully: 

  • Attention to detail
  • Customer service
  • Education (staying updated on event trends) or experience
  • Interpersonal relationship skills
  • Negotiation
  • Organization
  • Under-pressure performance 

Is an event planning business profitable?

Event planning has the potential to be a very profitable business venture. The fact that  89% of event and meeting leaders  consider in-person events crucial for revenue growth demonstrates the ongoing demand for well-planned events. 

However, the profitability of your event planning business will depend on several factors. The key to success lies in your ability to command premium rates for your services while keeping your expenses in check.            

What does an event planning business do?

An event planning business organizes and coordinates various aspects of events for individuals or organizations. This includes selecting venues, arranging catering and other vendors, creating event schedules and itineraries , managing budgets, and ensuring all necessary equipment and supplies are available. 

Do event planners travel a lot?

Event planners may travel depending on the nature of the events they plan. Some events may occur locally, while others may require travel to different cities or countries. Ultimately, the amount of travel required will depend on each event's specific needs and requirements. 

The Future of Event Planning is Yours to Create

The event planning industry offers vast opportunities for those with an eye for detail, a flair for organization, and a knack for staying on budget. Whether your heart lies in orchestrating sleek corporate events or bringing dream weddings to life, the skills you hone as an event planner are valuable in countless contexts. 

A carefully crafted business plan, paired with smart marketing and a dedication to providing exceptional experiences, can turn your passion into a truly successful venture. Find your niche, or cast a wide net—the choice is yours.

If you're ready to take the leap into the world of event planning, don't hesitate. Use this guide as your springboard. With hard work, a little business savvy, and a genuine love for creating memorable moments, there's no limit to what you can achieve.  

Up next, learn some  best practices in event management to create scalable and successful event strategies for your business.

John Hunter

John Hunter

John is the Senior Manager of Event Cloud Content Marketing at Cvent. He has 11 years of experience writing about the meetings and events industry. John also has extensive copywriting experience across diverse industries, including broadcast television, retail advertising, associations, higher education, and corporate PR.

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How to Start a Party Planning Business

Last Updated: March 9, 2024 Approved

This article was co-authored by Rachel Weinshanker . Rachel Weinshanker is a Certified Event and Wedding Planner and the Owner of San Diego Life Events, an award-winning wedding and event planning business based in San Diego, California. Rachel has over eight years of event planning experience, and her work has been featured in many notable publications. San Diego Life Events has been awarded the Wedding Wire Couple's Choice Award in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Rachel is a graduate from San Diego State University. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 83% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 239,493 times.

A party planning business can be a fulfilling and profitable opportunity for someone who is social, organized, detail-oriented, and has a flair for entertaining and coordinating events. Unlike other startups, a party planning business does not require much capital or dedicated space. However, figuring out how to start a party planning business does require some basic steps that are similar to all home based ventures, as well as those that are unique to the field.

Starting Out

Step 1 Choose a name for your business.

  • Search online and use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's trademark search tool (or your country's equivalent) to check potential names against existing trademarks.
  • You will may need to register your company as a "Doing Business As" name with your state or county government. Consult local business laws to find out. [1] X Trustworthy Source U.S. Small Business Administration U.S. government agency focused on supporting small businesses Go to source

Step 2 Register your new business if necessary.

  • Double-check with your state and local government before you start doing any business. You could run into legal trouble if you aren’t properly registered.

Step 3 Set up your office.

  • You may choose to rent out a permanent office space or a temporary meeting room when seeing clients.
  • Many professionals who work from home see clients in public spaces, such as a coffee shop or restaurant. [2] X Research source

Step 4 Set yourself apart from your competition.

  • Early on, take as many jobs as you can. This will help you establish a reputation as a great planner, which is a great way to set yourself apart!

Step 5 Price your services properly.

  • Look at how your competition prices their services to get a good sense for the range in your area.
  • How much experience do you have? A planner with previous professional party planning experience will command a higher rate than an unseasoned planner.
  • To attract clients, you may have to start out low and gradually raise your prices over time as you gain a positive reputation.
  • Most planners will charge a 15% commission per vendor. For example, if you find and hire the florist, you could charge 15% of their cost as a fee. [3] X Research source

Step 6 Be flexible and prepare for the unexpected.

  • This is especially important when planning outdoor events. Always have a backup plan for inclement weather!

Making a Plan for Your Business

Step 1 Figure out what kind of party planner you would like to be.

  • The two most popular types of party planner are corporate and social. Corporate party planners organize events for companies, while social planners focus on weddings, birthday parties, etc.
  • Many party planners pick a niche based on what they enjoy the most. This can be a specific type of event or a unique style you offer.
  • Most party planners either focus exclusively on children’s parties or only offer services for adult parties. [5] X Research source

Step 2 Consider your education and background.

  • Study your local competition. If there’s something you can do that they can’t, you can gain a big competitive advantage!
  • Establish relationships with local caterers, suppliers, entertainers, and venue owners. It will be your job to organize and coordinate these disparate elements to create a memorable event.

Step 5 Write a business...

  • Using your market research, determine the rates you will charge for your services. Don’t undercharge, but aim to set competitive rates.
  • Estimate your startup costs and secure funding. If you can’t fund the business yourself, you may need to take out a small loan or find investors. [10] X Trustworthy Source U.S. Small Business Administration U.S. government agency focused on supporting small businesses Go to source

Growing Your Business

Step 1 Market your business effectively.

  • Make sure your website is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. Try to have your company's name and contact information written clearly on each page.
  • Create flyers that show off your graphic design skills. Distribute them door to door and ask local businesses to display them on their corkboard.
  • Tell family and friends about your new business and ask you to recommend you to anyone they know who is looking for a party planner.

Step 2 Have a strong social media presence.

  • Actively and directly engaging with customers will show them that you care. Respond to folks when they comment on your posts or ask questions.
  • Use hashtags to target specific areas or holidays. For example, if you want to advertise your services for a Halloween party in Chicago, you could use #HalloweenCHI.
  • Showcase your talents by uploading photos and videos of successful parties you have planned. Be sure to always obtain express written permission from your clients if they are featured in them.

Step 3 Solicit reviews from your clients.

  • Register (or claim) your accounts on the applicable review sites that people use in your area.
  • Address any concerns or negative reviews honestly and maturely. Remember, these posts may be a first impression for potential future clients.

Step 4 Volunteer your services.

  • Always be on the lookout to make contact with new vendors the area. You never know when a client may request a specific type of food or performer.
  • Attend event planning trade shows to meet other planners and service providers.
  • Trade shows are also an opportunity to learn about new trends and developments in the industry.

Expert Q&A

Rachel Weinshanker

  • While most party planners handle administrative duties themselves, if your business takes off you may choose to hire an assistant. Even though event planning is an extremely low-risk job, you will likely need to purchase workers' compensation insurance. Check your local laws. [11] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Make sure to have some experience planning parties casually before you commit to starting a business. Not everyone is suited for this surprisingly stressful occupation. Unless you're very talented, it can be difficult to make party planning a career. Know what you're getting into before investing the time and money to create a company. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

how to make a party planning business

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Start a Small Business

  • ↑ https://www.sba.gov/content/register-your-fictitious-or-doing-business-dba-name
  • ↑ https://www.businessknowhow.com/homeoffice/clientmeetings.htm
  • ↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233684
  • ↑ [v161267_b02]. 11 February 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/37892
  • ↑ https://www.besthospitalitydegrees.com/faq/what-kind-of-degree-is-helpful-to-become-an-event-planner
  • ↑ https://www.mpiweb.org/ProfessionalDevelopment
  • ↑ https://learningpath.org/articles/Becoming_a_Party_Planner_Job_Description_Salary_Information.html
  • ↑ https://www.sba.gov/content/what-state-licenses-and-permits-does-your-business-need
  • ↑ https://www.sba.gov/content/funding-request
  • ↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/79594

About This Article

Rachel Weinshanker

To start a party planning business, start by figuring out what kind of clients and events you’d like to focus on. Additionally, do some research on the party planning industry where you live so you can think about how to set yourself apart. Next, write a business plan detailing exactly what niche you plan to fill and how you plan to accomplish this. Then, pick an unambiguous name for your business that lets potential clients know exactly what type of services you provide. You'll also want to check your state's laws to find out if you need to register your business. To learn how to market your new business on social media sites, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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how to make a party planning business

Small Business Trends

How to start a party planning business.

Starting an event planning business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. In this article, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of how to start a party planning business, ensuring you’re equipped with the knowledge and insights to become a successful party planner. Whether it’s the allure of the industry’s profitability, the evolving dynamics of event planning, or the niche specifics like wedding planning, we’ve covered it all for you. 

Why Start a Party Planning Business?

how to start a party planning business

The journey to start a successful event planning business comes with its share of perks. Not only do you get the opportunity to showcase your creativity and organizational skills, but there’s a substantial market out there ready to be tapped.

In 2022, the US party and event planning service market bounced back valiantly, boasting a size of $3.2 billion. Following a few challenging years with an annualized dip of -9.1% from 2016 to 2021, the industry regained momentum with a growth of 4% by the start of 2022, making it again one of the top service business ideas for aspiring entrepreneurs. This resurgence signals a shift, with corporate events, holiday parties, and professional social occasions, like company picnics, emerging as the frontrunners for potential growth.

Diving into this business now can offer you a chance to ride this wave of recovery, as many sectors are actively looking to revitalize their event calendars. You get to play a part in creating memorable experiences and helping people reconnect in delightful settings.

The Event Planning Industry Today

how to start a party planning business

Getting a clear picture of the current industry landscape is vital before you roll up your sleeves and immerse yourself in the events industry. Recent shifts and developments have reshaped how the industry operates in recent years.

Technology, for one, has significantly influenced the industry. From virtual event platforms to sophisticated event management software, embracing technology can give your business a competitive edge. Moreover, consumer demands constantly evolve, with a notable inclination towards personalized and unique experiences. The contemporary clientele seeks more than just an event; they crave an experience that resonates with them personally.

Furthermore, significant global events have urged businesses to rethink their strategies. Flexibility and innovation have become the keystones for survival and growth. Keeping a pulse on these trends and adapting your business model can pave the way for a successful and sustainable event planning service.

What Does an Event Planning Company Do?

how to start a party planning business

If you’ve ever been to a seamless event and marveled at how everything just seemed to fall into place, you’ve probably experienced the work of a skilled event planner. But what do these wizards behind the curtains do? Let’s peel back those curtains and uncover the myriad of roles and responsibilities an event planning business typically handles.

From Vision to Reality

At its core, an event planning company is responsible for turning a vision into a tangible reality. This means they’ll tackle everything from the nitty-gritty details to the grander aspects of an event. The planner works closely with clients to understand their requirements and preferences, drawing up an actionable plan to ensure everything proceeds without a hitch.

The Intricacies of Planning and Coordination

While the word ‘party’ sounds like all fun and games, a lot of groundwork goes into it. This includes budgeting, selecting the venue, arranging for equipment, coordinating with various vendors, managing invites and RSVPs, and ensuring proper transportation and accommodations for guests if needed.

Execution – The Final Countdown

On the day of the event, an event planner morphs into a maestro, orchestrating every detail. They ensure everything is set up as planned, resolve any last-minute hiccups, manage the event schedule, and ensure guests have a pleasant experience.

Types of Events An Event Planner May Handle

how to start a party planning business

An event planner’s role is varied, but their skill set is transferable across various event types. Let’s delve into some of the most common events they handle:

Corporate Events

These are often large-scale events organized by businesses for their employees, stakeholders, or clients. It could be product launches, conferences, workshops, or team-building retreats. Each comes with its own set of requirements, from professional settings to interactive activities, and an event planner ensures the event aligns with the company’s goals and brand image.

Arguably one of the most significant events in a person’s life, weddings require meticulous planning. From venue selection to décor, catering, entertainment, and coordinating ceremonies, an event planner makes the special day truly memorable for the couple and their guests.

Birthday Parties

Birthday parties are joyous occasions, whether a child’s first birthday or a grandparent’s milestone celebration. Planners help with theme selection, activities, food, and ensuring the birthday person is the center of attention.

Holiday Celebrations

Holiday events have a unique charm, from planning a business holiday party to vibrant New Year’s Eve bashes. An event planner can craft experiences centered around the holiday’s theme, ensuring everyone soaks in the festive spirit. For example, a Christmas party may feature a Santa for hire , while New Year’s Eve bashes may include live music late into the evening.

Charity Galas and Fundraisers

These events are increasingly popular and require a balance of entertainment and a deeper purpose. Planners ensure the event entertains, effectively conveys the cause, and encourages donations or support.

Specific Tasks Handled by an Event Planning Company

The beauty of an event often lies in its details. Behind every successful event, there’s a plethora of tasks that an event planning company takes on to ensure everything is just right. While we’ve touched on what event planners do broadly, let’s take a closer look at some of the specific roles they manage on a day-to-day basis:

Booking Venues

Finding the perfect backdrop for an event is crucial. Event planners:

  • Scout potential venues based on client preferences and event requirements.
  • Negotiate prices to fit within budgets.
  • Handle contracts, including terms for cancellations or changes.
  • Ensure the venue complies with health and safety regulations.
  • Coordinate logistics like parking, accessibility, and event flow within the venue.

Arranging for Catering

Good food can elevate the event experience.

  • Work closely with clients to finalize the menu, taking into account dietary restrictions and preferences.
  • Source reliable catering services known for quality.
  • Handle tastings to finalize dishes.
  • Ensure timely food service during the event.

Managing Invitations and RSVPs

Proper communication sets the tone for an event. Planners:

  • Design and order invitations aligned with the event’s theme.
  • Manage mailing or e-invitations to the guest list.
  • Handle RSVPs, keeping track of attendees.
  • Make provisions for special requests or requirements from guests.

Coordinating Entertainment and Activities

Ensuring guests are engaged and entertained is vital. To achieve this, planners:

  • Source entertainers or hosts, be it a DJ, a band, or a keynote speaker.
  • Arrange for technical equipment like microphones, speakers, or projectors.
  • Plan activities, games, or workshops that align with the event’s objective.
  • Manage event schedules to ensure timely transitions between segments.

Handling Decorations and Themes

The visual appeal sets the mood. In this regard, event planners:

  • Collaborate with clients to decide on a theme or aesthetic.
  • Source decorations that resonate with the chosen theme.
  • Collaborate with decorators or florists to bring the vision to life.
  • Ensure timely setup and teardown, keeping the venue’s policies in mind.

Budgeting and Finance Management

A crucial behind-the-scenes task, planners:

  • Create a comprehensive budget outline based on client inputs.
  • Monitor expenses, ensuring they stay within allocated budgets.
  • Handle payments to vendors, venues, and service providers.
  • Provide financial summaries post-event for transparency.

Unraveling the magic of a memorable event means diving deep into these intricate tasks. When thoughtfully managed, each detail culminates in an experience that leaves an indelible mark on the attendees.

Key Steps to Start Your Own Event Planning Business

how to start a party planning business

Venturing into the event planning business? Beyond the glitz and glamour of the events themselves, there’s a structured approach to planning events and setting up a successful business in this space. Here are some foundational steps for how to start a business in this exciting industry :

Market Research Local Event Planning Services

Before you dive into the event planning business, you’ll want a lay of the land. Here’s how you go about it:

  • Identify your competitors: Look for other event planning companies in your area. Understand their strengths, offerings, and pricing structures.
  • Understand your target audience: Are you focusing on corporate events, weddings, or private parties? Understanding your niche will help in tailoring your services.
  • Gather feedback: Speak to friends, family, or potential clients to understand what they look for in an event planner. Their insights can help shape your business.
  • Analyze trends: Stay updated with the latest in event themes, technologies, and preferences. This ensures your services remain current and in demand.

Crafting Your Event Planning Business Plan

Every successful venture starts with a robust hires . Here’s what yours should include:

  • Mission Statement: Define what your business stands for and what you hope to achieve .
  • Services Offered: Detail out the range of services you’ll provide, from end-to-end planning to specific tasks like catering or décor.
  • Pricing Structure: Decide on your pricing. Will you charge a flat fee, a percentage of the event budget, or hourly rates?
  • Marketing and Promotion: Outline strategies to promote your business, be it through social media, word-of-mouth, or partnerships.

Registering Your Business and Legal Requirements

It’s not just about planning parties; you’ll need to ensure your business is above board:

  • Choose a Business Structure: Will you operate as a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or a corporation? Each has its tax and liability implications.
  • Register Your Business: Register your business with the appropriate governmental bodies depending on your locale.
  • Licenses and Permits: Research and obtain any necessary licenses or permits. Some locations may require special permits for public events or large gatherings.
  • Insurance: Consider getting business insurance. Given the nature of events, liability insurance can be a lifesaver in case of unforeseen issues.

Financing Your Party Planning Business

Even event planning service requires some initial capital:

  • Startup Costs: Calculate costs for setting up your office, marketing materials, a website, and any initial hires.
  • Secure Funding: Depending on your needs, you could self-fund, take a business loan, or look for investors.
  • Maintain a Budget: Especially in the early days, track your expenses and income meticulously. This not only helps in managing cash flow but also in future financial planning.

How to Become a Successful Party Planner

how to start a party planning business

So, you’ve set the stage with your event planning business. Now, how do you ensure that your venture not only survives but thrives? Let’s delve into some crucial event planning service tips and practices that can pave the way for your success.

Essential Tools and Software

In the digital age, leveraging technology can make all the difference:

  • Event Management Software: Invest in software that helps you manage every aspect of an event, from budgeting to scheduling and vendor management.
  • Design Tools: Platforms like Canva or Adobe Suite can be handy for creating promotional materials, designing invitations, or presenting event mock-ups to clients.
  • Communication Tools: Apps like Slack or WhatsApp Business can streamline communication with clients and vendors. Moreover, video conferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams are invaluable for remote consultations.
  • Feedback and Survey Platforms: Use tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to collect feedback post-event. It’s a goldmine for improvement!

Networking and Partnerships

Your network is your net worth, especially in the event planning service industry:

  • Attend Industry Events: These can be conferences, workshops, or seminars. It’s a fantastic way to meet potential clients, vendors, or even competitors.
  • Forge Strategic Partnerships: Partner with related businesses like catering companies, décor agencies, or venues. Mutual referrals can significantly boost clientele.
  • Join Associations: Consider memberships in event planning associations or groups. They often offer training, resources, and networking opportunities.

Marketing and Social Media

Visibility is key in the event planning industry:

  • Build a Stellar Website: Ensure it showcases your portfolio, client testimonials, and services. An integrated blog can also boost SEO and provide value to visitors.
  • Leverage Social Media: Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are visual-heavy and perfect for showcasing your events. Regular posts, stories, and reels can help engage a wider audience.
  • Engage in Content Marketing: Share articles, videos, or infographics related to event planning. It positions you as an expert in your field.

Building Client Satisfaction and Repeat Business

Happy clients are your business’s best promoters:

  • Over-communicate: Ensure your clients are always in the loop. Regular check-ins and updates can instill confidence.
  • Go the Extra Mile: Little gestures, like sending a thank-you note post-event or giving a small gift, can leave a lasting impression.
  • Seek Feedback: Post-event, actively ask for feedback. This shows clients you value their opinion and are keen on improving.
  • Loyalty Programs: Consider offering discounts or added services for repeat clients. It encourages them to come back and can also lead to referrals.

Required Skills and Qualifications for a Professional Event Planner

how to start a party planning business

The exhilarating event planning industry demands a unique mix of skills. Here’s what you need to have in your toolkit, both in terms of soft skills and formal qualifications, to shine in this industry:

Communication Skills

In event planning, communication is the bedrock of success:

  • Clarity and Precision: Clear communication prevents mishaps, whether it’s understanding client requirements or conveying those to vendors.
  • Listening Skills: Paying attention to the needs and feedback of clients, vendors, and team members ensures that everyone is on the same page.
  • Negotiation Abilities: Event planners often juggle budgets, and negotiating with suppliers or venues can ensure top-notch services without breaking the bank.

Time Management

Every event is bound by time, making this skill crucial:

  • Prioritization: With multiple tasks vying for attention, understanding what to tackle first is essential.
  • Scheduling: Using tools or software to lay out tasks, set reminders, and ensure nothing is overlooked can be a lifesaver.
  • Flexibility: Things don’t always go as planned. The ability to swiftly adjust and reorganize is a trait every event planner needs.

Creative Thinking

Events are as much about experience as they are about logistics:

  • Innovative Solutions: Whether it’s a last-minute venue change or a sudden rainstorm, coming up with quick, creative fixes is key.
  • Design Sensibility: An eye for aesthetics helps in creating memorable event atmospheres.
  • Trend Awareness: Keeping tabs on the latest in event themes, technologies, or entertainment can give your events a fresh appeal.

Formal Qualifications

While not always mandatory, some qualifications can give you an edge:

  • Certifications: Many institutions offer event planning certifications. These can be valuable in showcasing your expertise and commitment to the profession.
  • Related Fields of Study: Degrees in hospitality, public relations, marketing, or business can provide foundational knowledge beneficial in event planning.

How to Set Up Your Event Planning Business Operations

how to start a party planning business

Getting your operations up and running smoothly is fundamental. Here’s how to structure this crucial aspect of your event planning service business:

Choosing a Location

  • Home Office: Many event planners start out from home offices. It’s cost-effective and offers flexibility.
  • Co-working Spaces: As your business grows, co-working spaces can provide a professional setting without the hefty price tag of a private office.
  • Rental Offices: For larger operations with a team, renting an office space might be the way to go. Ensure it’s easily accessible for clients and staff.

Hiring Staff

  • Freelancers vs. Full-time: Initially, you might rely on freelancers for tasks like design or marketing. As the workload grows, consider hiring full-time staff.
  • Roles to Consider: Assistants for handling administrative tasks, marketing professionals for promotion, and coordinators for managing events are some of the first hires many planners consider.
  • Training: The event industry is dynamic. Regular training sessions can keep your team updated on the latest trends and best practices.
  • Building a Cohesive Team: Team building activities and regular feedback sessions can foster a collaborative and efficient work environment.

Marketing and Branding Your Party Planning Business

how to start a party planning business

In the event planning service industry, how you present and market your business can set you apart. Here’s a roadmap to making your brand the talk of the town:

Digital Marketing for Your Event Planning Service

Digital platforms offer a vast audience waiting to discover your brand:

  • Website Optimization: A user-friendly, visually appealing website that’s mobile-responsive and SEO-friendly can draw potential clients.
  • Social Media Engagement: Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are perfect for showcasing event visuals. Regular posts, behind-the-scenes stories, and client testimonials can enhance engagement.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising: Platforms like Google Ads allow you to target specific keywords related to event planning, driving targeted traffic to your website.
  • Email Marketing: Periodic newsletters with event tips, discounts, or industry news can help you stay in the minds of past and potential clients.

Networking at Local Events

Personal connections are invaluable for a party planner:

  • Exhibitions and Trade Shows: Setting up a stall or even attending can get you direct contacts.
  • Community Events: Participating or volunteering in local community events can offer organic promotion.
  • Business Chambers and Clubs: Joining local business networks can help you forge ties with potential clients and collaborators.

Customer Testimonials

Word of mouth is golden:

  • Website Features: Display glowing reviews prominently on your website.
  • Social Proof: Share testimonials on social media, perhaps as short video clips or graphic cards.
  • Incentivize Reviews: Encourage feedback by offering discounts on future bookings or small giveaways for detailed reviews.

How to Grow Your Event Planning Business

how to start a party planning business

With a solid foundation, scaling your event planning services is the next frontier. Here are some steps to consider:

Expanding Services

  • Diversify Offerings: From intimate house parties to large corporate events, widening your spectrum can tap into new client bases.
  • Skill Development: Offering unique services like thematic decor, sustainable events, or technology-driven setups can set you apart.
  • Training and Workshops: Hosting workshops on event planning or allied topics can offer an additional revenue stream.

Partnerships and Collaborations

  • Vendors and Suppliers: Forge deals with decor agencies, caterers, or entertainment groups for mutual referrals.
  • Collaborate with Non-competitors: Consider tie-ups with businesses like florists, bakers, or photographers. Their clientele can be a direct lead into your target audience.

Customer Retention Strategies

Repeat business is a surefire growth strategy:

  • Loyalty Programs: Offer discounts or complimentary services for repeat bookings.
  • Post-event Feedback: Regularly seek and act upon feedback. It not only aids improvement but also shows clients that you value their opinions.
  • Anniversary Reminders: Send out reminders for annual events, be it birthdays or corporate anniversaries. It’s a gentle nudge for repeat business.

Specializing as a Wedding Planner

how to start a party planning business

Often hailed as the most significant events in many individuals’ lives, weddings demand a unique blend of skills and sensibilities. Picking wedding planning as a specialization within the broader event planning spectrum can be both challenging and highly rewarding. Let’s explore this niche:

  • The Magic and Magnitude: Weddings aren’t just events but deeply personal and emotional. A wedding planner isn’t just organizing a day; they’re crafting memories that last a lifetime.
  • Attention to Detail: The details matter immensely in weddings, from matching the napkins to the bride’s dress shade to ensuring the music aligns with the couple’s love story.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Weddings are deeply rooted in traditions. A wedding planner should be well-versed and respectful of diverse cultural customs, rituals, and etiquette.
  • Stress Management: With high emotions can come high stress. Being the calming presence, mediating disagreements, and ensuring smooth execution is part of the job.

Tips for Focusing on the Wedding Niche:

  • Educate Yourself: There are specific courses and certifications for wedding planning. Investing in these can give you an edge.
  • Portfolio Building: A stunning portfolio with photos, testimonials, and detailed breakdowns of weddings you’ve managed can be your strongest marketing tool.
  • Forge Relationships: Build solid relationships with suppliers catering to weddings—florists, caterers, photographers, and venue managers.
  • Stay Updated: Wedding trends evolve rapidly. From sustainable weddings to tech-driven ceremonies, be aware of what’s new in the wedding world.

FAQs: How to Start a Party Planning Business

How profitable is a party planning business.

The profitability of a party of event planning business varies based on location, specialization, market demand, and business acumen. In the US, the party and event planning market has seen growth, especially after overcoming the challenges in previous years. With dedication, networking, and effective marketing, many party planners have built lucrative careers.

Do you need a certification to start a party planning business?

No, you don’t necessarily need a certification to start an event planning business. However, having a certification can provide credibility, showcase your commitment to the profession, and equip you with essential industry knowledge. It can also be beneficial when seeking certain clientele or corporate contracts.

What is the best way to market event planning services?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but digital marketing, especially through visually-rich platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, has proven effective for many event planners. Showcasing your work, using customer testimonials, attending local networking events, and leveraging word of mouth are also valuable marketing strategies. Regularly engaging with your audience, updating your portfolio, and highlighting unique offerings can set you apart in the market.

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How to create a party planning business plan

  • Nirit Braun
  • Sep 12, 2023

how to create a party planning business plan

When you're kicking off your own party planning business , having a rock-solid business plan is like throwing the perfect event—it's essential. Your business plan isn't just a bunch of fancy words; it's your go-to playbook for making your party planning business a smashing success. This document spells out your goals, your game plan and how you'll keep the cash flowing. Keep reading to learn how to create a solid plan when starting a business in the event planning industry.

Ready to get the party started? Use Wix to start making a website for your business.

Why create a party planning business plan?

Creating a comprehensive and clear party planning business plan provides a structured foundation for your business. It your party planning venture structure and direction by spelling out your mission, goals and target audience (among other details).

Secondly, a well-crafted business plan serves as a crucial tool for attracting investors and raising money for your business . Potential investors and lenders often require a business plan to evaluate your business's potential for success. A well-crafted plan not only shows you've got the chops for party planning but also boosts your credibility, making it easier to secure financial support.

Furthermore, a business plan plays a pivotal role in establishing a professional online presence. As part of the plan, you'll outline steps for getting your brand out there, including creating a business website that showcases your expertise, client testimonials and more.

Finally, a business plan is your tool for facing unexpected challenges. Through thorough market research and competitor analysis, you'll spot potential obstacles and develop contingency plans. This proactive approach gives your party planning business a competitive edge in the event coordination industry.

Read more about how to start a service business .

Executive summary

Company and domain names

Market analysis and research

Operations plan

Marketing and advertising plan

Financial plan

01. Executive summary

The executive summary of a party planning business plan provides a concise overview of the entire plan. It encapsulates the business's mission, target market, range of services, competitive edge and financial projections. This section serves as a snapshot for potential investors and stakeholders, offering a preview of the comprehensive details to come.

To write a clear executive summary for a party planning business, emphasize your unique approach, the types of events you specialize in and your commitment to delivering unforgettable experiences.

Here's an example: “Celebration Haven is a visionary party-planning company dedicated to crafting extraordinary events that leave lasting impressions. With an eye for detail and a passion for creativity, we curate bespoke celebrations for various occasions. Our projected growth anticipates a 30% increase in bookings within the first year as we establish ourselves as a reliable source for exceptional event planning.”

02. Company and domain names

Naming a business is an essential step in the process of making a party planning business plan. A corresponding domain name reinforces our brand and ensures easy online access for potential clients. Consider using a business name generator to find the right name for your business. Once you’ve landed on a small business name , follow the steps for registering your business .

03. Market analysis and research

You should conduct comprehensive market research to identify the demographics and events most in need of expert party planning. Understanding your target audience's preferences and needs can then inform your marketing strategies and business planning. Analyze local and national party planning companies to identify market gaps and opportunities. This analysis can then be used to guide your strategy and service offerings.

04. Operations plan

Consider the following components as part of your operations strategy:

Location: Determine whether you'll operate locally, regionally or virtually. The location affects your reach and the types of events you can cater to.

Equipment: Outline the equipment needed for various event types, such as décor, lighting and audiovisual equipment. Maintain a network of trusted vendors and suppliers.

Staffing: Define the number of event planners and assistants required based on the scope and scale of events. Specify roles and responsibilities to ensure seamless event execution.

05. Marketing and advertising plan

Think about which popular marketing and advertising strategies might work best for your party planning business and then incorporate them into your specific business plan. Some possible examples include:

Event showcases: Host showcases to demonstrate your expertise and creativity to potential clients. Invite them to experience your unique approach firsthand.

Online presence: A professionally designed website will showcase your portfolio, testimonials and event photos. Utilize social media platforms to engage with potential clients and share event insights.

Networking: Collaborate with venues, caterers and other event vendors to create a strong network. Positive collaborations can lead to referrals and a broader client base.

Need a hand with your branding? Use Wix’s logo maker to create a logo for your business.

06. Financial plan

The financial plan section should include the following components:

Startup costs: Estimate expenses for business registration ( starting an LLC ), equipment, marketing materials, insurance and initial event showcases. Plan for an initial investment of $20,000.

Revenue projections: Base revenue projections on the number of events and your competitive pricing. Aim for steady growth, targeting a revenue increase of 20% annually.

Funding: Consider self-funding, personal savings or a small business loan to secure the necessary funds for startup and initial operations.

Profitability timeline: With effective marketing and efficient event execution, anticipate reaching profitability within the first 12 to 18 months.

steps to developing a business plan

Party planning business plan example: Dreamy Occassions Events

Part 1: executive summary.

Dreamy Occasions Events is committed to crafting unforgettable events that reflect the dreams and visions of our clients. With a passion for creativity and attention to detail, we offer a range of personalized party planning services. Our projected growth anticipates a 25% increase in bookings within the first year as we establish ourselves as a reputable source for exceptional event planning.

Part 2: Company and domain names

Company name: Dreamy Occasions Events

Domain name: www.dreamyoccasionsevents.com

Our company name, "Dreamy Occasions Events," embodies our dedication to transforming dreams into reality through seamless event planning. The corresponding domain name reinforces our brand identity and ensures easy online access for potential clients.

Part 3: market analysis and research

Target market: Our research highlights the demand for creative and personalized event planning services for weddings, birthdays and corporate events. We will focus on serving clients who seek unique and tailored event experiences.

Competitor analysis: Through competitive analysis, we have identified opportunities to stand out by offering comprehensive event planning packages and innovative design concepts. This analysis will guide our marketing strategies and service differentiation.

Part 4: operations plan

Location: While based in Atlanta, we are open to planning events across Georgia, allowing us to cater to a diverse clientele.

Premises and equipment: We will establish partnerships with trusted vendors for décor, catering and audiovisual needs. Maintaining relationships with reliable vendors will ensure successful event execution.

Staffing: Our team will comprise experienced event planners, designers and assistants, chosen for their creativity, professionalism and dedication to creating extraordinary experiences.

Part 5: marketing and advertising plan

Event showcases: We will organize exclusive event showcases to provide potential clients with a firsthand experience of our creativity and attention to detail.

Online presence : Our website will showcase our portfolio, testimonials and event photos. Social media platforms will be used to engage with potential clients, share insights and build a community.

Networking: Collaborations with venues, caterers and local businesses will strengthen our network and foster referral opportunities.

Part 6: financial plan

Startup costs: Initial expenses will cover equipment, marketing materials, insurance and event showcases. We anticipate an initial investment of $25,000.

Revenue projections: Revenue will be based on the number of events and competitive pricing. We aim for consistent growth, targeting a 20% increase in revenue annually.

Funding: We plan to secure funding through a combination of personal savings, family contributions and a small business loan.

Profitability timeline: With effective marketing strategies and successful event execution, we anticipate reaching profitability within the first 12 to 18 months.

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How to Start a Party Planning Business and Thrive in 2023

Jacob

  • July 2, 2023
  • Party Planning Guide

party planning business Party Plan Checklist

Are you passionate about party planning and want to turn it into a profitable business? Look no further! Our team at Party Plan Checklist™ is here to guide you through the process. With our expert advice and insider tips, you'll be well on your way to starting a successful party planning business in no time. So grab your party hat and let's get started!

Table of Contents

Introduction.

  • Building Your Skills and Knowledge
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Legal and Financial Considerations
  • Marketing Your Party Planning Business
  • Managing and Growing Your Business

Quick Tips and Facts

Useful links, reference links.

If you have a knack for organizing events and a love for celebrations, starting a party planning business can be a dream come true. As a party planner, you'll have the opportunity to bring joy and create unforgettable experiences for your clients. But before you dive in, it's important to lay a strong foundation for your business. From building your skills to marketing your services, we'll cover all the essential steps to help you thrive in the party planning industry.

1. Building Your Skills and Knowledge

To succeed in the party planning business, honing your skills and staying up-to-date with the latest trends is key. Here's how you can build a solid foundation:

1.1 Attend Event Planning Courses and Workshops

Investing in your education is crucial to stay ahead of the competition. Look for local courses, workshops, or even online certifications that focus on event planning and management. This will not only enhance your skills but also provide you with valuable industry knowledge.

1.2 Gain Hands-On Experience

One of the best ways to learn the ropes of party planning is to gain hands-on experience. Offer your services to friends and family for free or at a discounted rate to build your portfolio. This will allow you to showcase your expertise and create a network of satisfied clients.

1.3 Stay Updated with Industry Trends

Being aware of the latest party and event trends will set you apart from the competition. Follow event planning blogs, subscribe to industry newsletters, and attend trade shows or conferences to stay on top of current trends. This will help you offer unique and innovative party concepts to your clients.

2. Creating a Business Plan

Just like any other business, a party planning venture requires careful planning and strategizing. Let's take a look at the essential components of a party planning business plan:

2.1 Define Your Target Market

Identify your target audience for party planning services. Are you focusing on weddings, corporate events, children's parties, or a combination of various events? Defining your target market will help you tailor your services and marketing efforts accordingly.

2.2 Outline Your Services and Packages

Clearly define the services you will be offering, whether it's event coordination, decorations, or entertainment. Consider creating different packages for various budgets and event types to attract a wider range of clients.

2.3 Conduct a Competitive Analysis

Research local party planning businesses to understand the competition. Analyze their pricing, services, and marketing strategies. This will help you identify gaps in the market and differentiate your business from others.

2.4 Set Financial Goals and Budget

Establish financial goals for your party planning business and determine a budget for operating expenses, marketing, and professional development. Keep in mind that starting a business may involve initial investments such as purchasing equipment or software.

3. Legal and Financial Considerations

Moving forward with your party planning business requires taking care of the legal and financial aspects. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

3.1 Register Your Business

Consult with a lawyer or professional advisor to determine the best legal structure for your business, such as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company (LLC). Register your business with the appropriate government agencies and obtain any necessary licenses or permits.

3.2 Set Up a Separate Bank Account

Keep your personal and business finances separate by opening a dedicated business bank account. This will help you track your income and expenses accurately and simplify tax filing at the end of the year.

3.3 Secure Insurance Coverage

Protect your party planning business by obtaining the right insurance coverage. Consider liability insurance to safeguard against any unforeseen accidents or damages during events.

4. Marketing Your Party Planning Business

To attract clients and stand out in the competitive party planning industry, you need a solid marketing strategy. Here's how you can effectively promote your services:

4.1 Create a Professional Website and Portfolio

Your website will serve as your online storefront, so make sure it reflects your professionalism and showcases your best work. Include high-quality photos and testimonials from satisfied clients. Linking to relevant examples and pictures is easy, it can look something like this. Check this awesome party photos .

4.2 Utilize Social Media

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are powerful tools for promoting your party planning business. Share captivating event photos, insider tips, and behind-the-scenes glimpses to engage with your audience. Posting amazing pictures helps you stand out on social media, and it can look something like this:

4.3 Network with Local Vendors and Venues

Building strong relationships with local vendors, venues, and other event professionals can lead to valuable referrals. Attend networking events, join industry associations, and collaborate with other party planners to expand your network.

4.4 Offer Special Promotions and Incentives

Entice new clients by offering special promotions, such as discounts on bundled services or referral incentives. This encourages word-of-mouth marketing and increases the likelihood of repeat business.

5. Managing and Growing Your Business

Once your party planning business is up and running, it's essential to focus on managing and growing it. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

5.1 Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Deliver outstanding customer service to ensure client satisfaction and build a positive reputation. Pay attention to detail, communicate effectively, and strive to exceed expectations at every event.

5.2 Stay Organized and Efficient

As a party planner, you'll juggle multiple events and deadlines. Utilize project management tools, create detailed timelines, and maintain organized files to stay on top of your workload. Using a party planning checklist can be incredibly helpful in staying organized, check out the Party Plan Checklist™ .

5.3 Continuously Seek Feedback and Reviews

Ask your clients for feedback after each event and encourage them to leave reviews on your website or social media platforms. Positive reviews and testimonials help build trust and credibility for your business.

5.4 Expand Your Services and Offerings

Consider expanding your services based on client demand and industry trends. This could include offering themed decor packages, destination event planning, or even adding related services such as catering or photography.

Is a party planning business profitable?

✅ A party planning business can be highly profitable if managed properly. With a strong marketing strategy, exceptional organizational skills, and the ability to provide a unique and memorable experience, you can attract clients and grow your business.

How can I make money party planning?

✅ There are several ways to make money in the party planning industry. You can earn revenue through event planning fees, markups on vendor services, commissions from referrals, and even by selling party-related products. Offering additional services such as event decor or entertainment can also contribute to your income.

How can I start a party planning business with little or no money?

✅ Starting a party planning business with limited funds is possible. Begin by offering your services to friends and family at a discounted rate to build your portfolio. As you generate income, reinvest it into your business and gradually expand your services. Utilize free marketing platforms like social media to reach a wider audience.

What type of event planner makes the most money?

✅ The earning potential of event planners varies based on factors such as location, specialization, and client base. Wedding planners, corporate event planners, and high-end luxury event specialists tend to make the most money. However, success ultimately depends on your expertise, client roster, and ability to deliver exceptional events.

  • Party planning requires strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest party and event trends to offer innovative concepts.
  • Building relationships with other vendors and professionals can lead to valuable referrals.
  • Exceptional customer service and attention to detail are essential for success.
  • Utilize project management tools and checklists to stay organized.
  • Party Plan Checklist™
  • Check price on Amazon
  • Check price on Walmart
  • Check price on Etsy
  • Top 10 Tips for Running a Successful Party Planning Business
  • Event Planning Trends to Watch in 2023

  • Business Town – How to Start a Party Planning Business
  • Entrepreneur – How to Start an Event Planning Service
  • The Balance Small Business – How to Start a Party Planning Business

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How to Start a Party Planning Business

start a party planning business

Starting a party planning business can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful party planning business.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a party planning business is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here .

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here

14 Steps To Start a Party Planning Business :

  • Choose the Name for Your Party Planning Business
  • Develop Your Party Planning Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Party Planning Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Party Planning Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Party Planning Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Party Planning Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Party Planning Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Party Planning Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Party Planning Business
  • Open for Business

1. Choose the Name for Your Party Planning Business

The first step to starting a party planning business is to choose your business’ name.  

This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your own business:

  • Make sure the name is available . Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
  • Keep it simple . The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
  • Think about marketing . Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your party planning business.

2. Develop Your Party Planning Business Plan

One of the most important steps in starting a party planning business is to develop your business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.

Your business plan should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your party planning business.
  • Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your party planning business and what type of event planning business you operate. For example, are you an event planner, catering company, or an event venue?
  • Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the party planning industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
  • Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target market are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing services like the ones you will offer?
  • Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
  • Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
  • Product : Determine and document what products/services you will offer 
  • Prices : Document the prices of your products/services
  • Place : Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
  • Promotions : What promotional methods will you use to attract prospective clients to your party planning business? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
  • Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
  • Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
  • Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
  • What startup costs will you incur?
  • How will your party planning business make money?
  • What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
  • Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

3. choose the legal structure for your party planning business.

Next you need to choose a legal business structure for your own event planning business and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.

Below are the five most common legal structures:

1) Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the event business and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.

2) Partnerships

A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a party planning business together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business. 

The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.

3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a party planning business include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.

4) C Corporation

A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a party planning business is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.

5) S Corporation

An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.

Once you register your party planning business, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.

Incorporate Your Business at the Guaranteed Lowest Price

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Not only does BusinessRocket have a 4.9 out of 5 rating on TrustPilot (with over 1,000 reviews) because of their amazing quality…but they also guarantee the most affordable incorporation packages and the fastest processing time in the industry.

4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Party Planning Business (If Needed)

In developing your party planning business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business. 

If so, the main sources of funding for a party planning business to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a party planning business that they believe has high potential for growth.

5. Secure a Location for Your Business

When starting an event planning company, the first thing you need to do is find a location. You’ll want to find a space that’s big enough to accommodate your business operations and client meetings. It’s also important to find a location that’s affordable and accessible. You may want to start by looking for an office space or commercial property for rent in your desired area. 

6. Register Your Party Planning Business with the IRS

Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.

Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.

7. Open a Business Bank Account

It is important to establish a bank account in your party planning business’ name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:

  • Identify and contact the bank you want to use
  • Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
  • Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
  • Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them

8. Get a Business Credit Card

You should get a business credit card for your party planning business to help you separate personal and business expenses.

You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.

When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.

Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.

9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits

The licenses and permits you will need to start an event management company will vary depending on your location. You may need a business license, a food license, a vendor’s license, and a special event permit. You should contact your local licensing agency or municipality to find out what specific licenses and permits you will need.

10. Get Business Insurance for Your Party Planning Business

There are a few types of insurance that you will need to operate a party planning business.

Some business insurance policies you should consider include:

  • General liability insurance : This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
  • Auto insurance : If a vehicle is used in your business, this type of insurance will cover if a vehicle is damaged or stolen.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance : If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Commercial property insurance : This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
  • Business interruption insurance : This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
  • Professional liability insurance : This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.

Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs. 

11. Buy or Lease the Right Party Planning Business Equipment

To start a party planning business, you will need some essential equipment. You’ll need some basic office supplies, including a computer, pens, paper, and folders. You may also need office furniture such as a desk or table, chairs, a printer, a fax machine, and a phone to communicate with potential clients. Additionally, you may need a vehicle to transport supplies and equipment to your events.

12. Develop Your Party Planning Business Marketing Materials

Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your party planning business.

The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:

  • Logo : Spend some time developing a good logo for your party planning business. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
  • Website : Likewise, a professional party planning business website provides potential customers with information about the services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
  • Social Media Accounts : establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media platforms will help customers and others find and interact with your party planning business.

13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Party Planning Business

In order to start a party planning business, you will need accounting software, event management software, and a website. You may also want to invest in software that can help you create invitations, manage guest lists, and keep track of payments.

There are a number of different software options available, so you should be able to find one that meets your needs.

14. Open for Business

You are now ready to open your party planning business. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.

How to Finish Your Ultimate Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your party planning business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

How to Start a Party Planning Business FAQs

Is it hard to start a party planning business.

No, it is not hard to start a party planning business. The most important thing to do is make sure you have a clear business plan and a good marketing strategy. You also need to be organized and have a lot of energy, because party planning can be hard work.

How can I start a party planning business with no experience?

There are a few things you can do to get started in party planning without any experience. First, you can read online resources about party planning to get a basic understanding of the process. You can also join online communities or forums related to party planning to learn from others who have more experience. Finally, you can attend workshops or classes to gain more knowledge and event planning skills.

What type of party planning business is most profitable?

The most profitable type of party planning business is one that specializes in large events, such as weddings and corporate functions. These events require a lot of planning and coordination, and businesses that are good at this can charge high prices for their services.

How much does it cost to start a party planning business?

To start an event planning business, it will cost you between $2,000 and $10,000. This includes the cost of setting up a business entity, obtaining licenses and permits, and purchasing necessary equipment.

What are the ongoing expenses for a party planning business?

The ongoing expenses for a party planner can vary depending on the size and scope of the business. However, some of the most common expenses include marketing and advertising, employee salaries, materials, rent and utilities.

How does a party planning business make money?

A successful event planning business can make money by charging a fee for their services, by selling party supplies, or by receiving donations from the party guests. Many event planner s can also make money by holding workshops and classes to teach people how to plan their own parties.

Is owning a party planning business profitable?

Yes, a party planning business is profitable because it offers a unique service that is in high demand. Party planners can also charge relatively high rates for their event planning services, since clients typically value the convenience of these services and the expertise of the party planner. 

Why do party planning businesses fail?

There are a number of reasons why party planning businesses fail. One reason is the business might not have a solid business plan in place. Another reason might be that the business owner does not have the necessary skills to run successful parties and events . Finally, the business might fail because it is unable to compete with other business owners in the industry.

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How to Start an Event Planning Service Want to be an event planner but not sure how to start your own event planning service? Discover how to start this business in our step-by-step guide.

Some people get a lot of personal and professional joy out of making big events and special days even better for their attendees. If you have the hosting itch, and if you love to tackle complex problems and make big days go smoothly, you might have a future as a professional event planner.

But whether you choose to work alone or with a small team, starting an event planning service is no small task. Today, let's break down how to start an event planning service step-by-step.

What are the basics of event planning?

Event planning is the art (and sometimes science) of event ideation, planning, coordination and operation. When a big, important event needs to go smoothly, it's time to call an event planning service or coordinator.

Event planners are key service providers who can ensure event production and execution happens smoothly. They perform these duties for trade shows, senior events, nonprofit galas and much more.

Related: Find Your Event-Planning Niche

Event planning is most often used for purposes like:

  • Big educational meetings, like graduations or conferences.
  • Major promotions, like marketing events, product launches and fashion shows.
  • Corporate events, like after-work cocktail hours, galas, etc.
  • Celebrations and social events like parades, weddings, birthdays, reunions, etc.

Event planning is highly important to make sure the above and other major events go off without a hitch, especially so that the most important guests can enjoy themselves.

The primary duties of full-time or part-time, on-site event planner jobs include:

  • Doing research prior to the big event.
  • Event design and team-building for project management.
  • Finding the appropriate site for the event.
  • Creating event budgets and running fundraisers if necessary.
  • Arranging for decor, entertainment and food for the event.
  • Sending invitations to potential attendees.
  • Planning transportation for attendees to and from the event.
  • Arranging any other necessary accommodations, like seating.
  • Coordinating activities for event personnel, like caterers or entertainers.
  • Supervising activities at the event site.

The events industry, both for wedding planning and other events, requires good communication skills. Additionally, obtaining a bachelor's degree in public relations or related areas can be helpful but is not absolutely required. Let's look closer at this job type and business.

Why do people hire event planning services?

People primarily hire event planning services for two reasons:

  • So that event-goers and guests of honor can enjoy themselves without focusing on the event.
  • So that the event in question goes smoothly.

Imagine a typical example of a wedding. Many engaged couples hire event planners or event planning services to coordinate, organize and carry out their wedding plans. In this way, the couples can enjoy their special days and focus on getting married rather than worrying about things like catering, parking and kicking out rowdy guests. Instead, the wedding planner takes care of that stuff.

Furthermore, some events are so complex – particularly those with hundreds of guests or more – that it's almost impossible to properly plan and organize them without the help of a specialist. Knowledgeable, experienced event planners know how to organize groups of people, how much food to provide and other details that can make or break an important event.

Related: The Price Is Right: Turning a Profit in the Event Planning Business

Who should become an event planner?

You might consider becoming an event planner if you love hosting parties and the thrill of organizing a complex event and running it without an issue. Planners often have to handle many moving parts at once. Many event planners have histories as managers or coordinators in other industries. You should become an event planner or start your own event planning service if you feel that you would enjoy this kind of work.

It's also worth noting that event planning often requires you to work on weekends or holidays (since these are the days when people have free time to schedule and hold events), as well as handle chaotic, sometimes confusing work and competing agendas. You should also consider acquiring certification for your event planning service, as it can help you acquire relevant professional skills and attract more job opportunities . Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is an association that offers a list of degrees and certificates from colleges and universities. The right degree or certification can lead to more job opportunities and even pave the way to a higher salary.

Alternatively, try to become a CSEP or Certified Special Events Professional or CMP or Certified Meeting Planner. Both of these are given out by the MPI or the ISES (International Special Events Society), which also highlight your skills and designate you as an expert event coordinator.

Now that we've covered the basics, let's get into the steps you need to take to start an event planning service:

Step 1: Make your company

Your first step involves making your company and filing the right paperwork. You should first draw up a business plan, which will include details like:

  • The business's name.
  • The business's tax structure (like a sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.).
  • How you'll make a profit.

Related: Check out these business plan templates to get started.

You'll also want to get an EIN, or employer identification number. This will allow you to hire employees for your event planning service if you desire later down the road.

How to Start an Event Planning Service

Step 2: Choose your target market

Next, do market research and pick the target market you want to work for. For instance, if you want to primarily work with weddings, you need to research that target market to know how much to charge for your services, what's involved and what you need to be experienced in.

By doing some research ahead of time, you won't find running your first events to be too overwhelming. You'll also know how much to advertise your event planning service to be competitive relative to other services in the area.

Step 3: Consider startup costs

When you start an event planning business, you'll have to consider startup costs. Working from home or primarily by yourself will keep costs low as opposed to hiring employees (who will require salaries).

However, if you want to expand your event planning business, you'll eventually need extra equipment, business premises like an office or warehouse and more. All of these things can add up, impacting the kind of business you begin.

Note that you can always scale your business after acquiring steady work. For instance, you can start off as a one-man event planning service that only provides services to small events you can tackle by yourself. After you save up some money from some successful jobs, you can hire a few more employees and rent out a warehouse for your equipment, like cameras, chairs and more.

Step 4: Understand the work involved and hire employees (optional)

For your event planning service to be successful , you need to fully grasp the nature of the work involved and understand whether you should hire employees.

Planning and executing an excellent event generally involves:

  • Designing the event, which means sketching out the feel or look of the event in question. Some clients will have very specific ideas you'll need to incorporate into the design.
  • Putting together a proposal for your clients so they can improve your plans.
  • Organizing the event, which involves almost everything else, like renting the site for the event, hiring vendors, hiring entertainers, organizing caterers and much more.

There's a ton of work that goes into planning even the smallest event. Fortunately, as you acquire experience, you'll be more adept at anticipating and completing this work.

Related: The Event Planning Recipe for Success

Generally, the larger the events you want to manage and coordinate, the more employees you need to hire. At a certain point, you can't be everywhere at once! Consider hiring employees when you have the cash to do so; this will allow you to plan events for larger groups of people and make more of a profit.

Step 5: Settle on a price structure and fee basis

How you price your event planning business will impact how often you get requests. You can determine your pricing structure and fee basis by things like:

  • The market segment you serve: For instance, social events usually have different fee structures than corporate events.
  • Your geographic location: If you have a higher cost of living, you are justified in charging your clients more to plan their events.
  • Your experience and reputation: As your business gets a reputation for success, you'll be able to charge a higher premium for your services.

Step 6: Start marketing your event planning service

Once you have all of your ducks in a row and you know how to charge your clients, you can start marketing your event planning service. Do this online through Google PPC (pay-per-click) ads, social media marketing and other efforts. Don't hesitate to use in-person marketing materials, like posters or TV ads, as well.

Related: 8 Savvy Ways to Promote Your Event Planning Business

As you can see, starting an event planning service is a matter of preparation and deep consideration. If you plan everything properly, your event planning service will launch smoothly, and you'll get your first batch of clients in no time.

Check out Entrepreneur's other guides and resources today!

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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How To Write a Successful Party Planner Business Plan + Template

Business plan

Creating a business plan is essential for any business, but it can be especially helpful for party planner businesses that want to improve their strategy and/or raise funding.

A well-crafted business plan not only outlines the vision for your company, but also documents a step-by-step roadmap of how you are going to accomplish it. In order to create an effective business plan, you must first understand the components that are essential to its success.

This article provides an overview of the key elements that every party planner business owner should include in their business plan.

Download the Ultimate Business Plan Template

What is a Party Planner Business Plan?

A party planner business plan is a formal written document that describes your company’s business strategy and its feasibility. It documents the reasons you will be successful, your areas of competitive advantage, and it includes information about your team members. Your business plan is a key document that will convince investors and lenders (if needed) that you are positioned to become a successful venture.

Why Write a Party Planner Business Plan?

A party planner business plan is required for banks and investors. The document is a clear and concise guide of your business idea and the steps you will take to make it profitable.

Entrepreneurs can also use this as a roadmap when starting their new company or venture, especially if they are inexperienced in starting a business.

Writing an Effective Party Planner Business Plan

The following are the key components of a successful party planner business plan:

Executive Summary

The executive summary of a party planner business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan.

  • Start with a one-line description of your party planner company
  • Provide a short summary of the key points in each section of your business plan, which includes information about your company’s management team, industry analysis, competitive analysis, and financial forecast among others.

Company Description

This section should include a brief history of your company. Include a short description of how your company started, and provide a timeline of milestones your company has achieved.

If you are just starting your party planner business, you may not have a long company history. Instead, you can include information about your professional experience in this industry and how and why you conceived your new venture. If you have worked for a similar company before or have been involved in an entrepreneurial venture before starting your party planner firm, mention this.

You will also include information about your chosen party planner business model and how, if applicable, it is different from other companies in your industry.

Industry Analysis

The industry or market analysis is an important component of a party planner business plan. Conduct thorough market research to determine industry trends and document the size of your market. 

Questions to answer include:

  • What part of the party planner industry are you targeting?
  • How big is the market?
  • What trends are happening in the industry right now (and if applicable, how do these trends support the success of your company)?

You should also include sources for the information you provide, such as published research reports and expert opinions.

Customer Analysis

This section should include a list of your target audience(s) with demographic and psychographic profiles (e.g., age, gender, income level, profession, job titles, interests). You will need to provide a profile of each customer segment separately, including their needs and wants.

For example, the customers of a party planner business may include brides-to-be, parents of young children, or corporate event planners.

You can include information about how your customers make the decision to buy from you as well as what keeps them buying from you.

Develop a strategy for targeting those customers who are most likely to buy from you, as well as those that might be influenced to buy your products or party planner services with the right marketing.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis helps you determine how your product or service will be different from competitors, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) might be that will set you apart in this industry.

For each competitor, list their strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine your areas of competitive differentiation and/or advantage; that is, in what ways are you different from and ideally better than your competitors.

Below are sample competitive advantages your party planner business may have:

  • Extensive event planning experience
  • Unique and creative event ideas
  • Strong relationships with vendors and suppliers
  • Diverse service offerings
  • Ability to manage large-scale events

Marketing Plan

This part of the business plan is where you determine and document your marketing plan. . Your plan should be clearly laid out, including the following 4 Ps.

  • Product/Service : Detail your product/service offerings here. Document their features and benefits.
  • Price : Document your pricing strategy here. In addition to stating the prices for your products/services, mention how your pricing compares to your competition.
  • Place : Where will your customers find you? What channels of distribution (e.g., partnerships) will you use to reach them if applicable?
  • Promotion : How will you reach your target customers? For example, you may use social media, write blog posts, create an email marketing campaign, use pay-per-click advertising, launch a direct mail campaign. Or, you may promote your party planner business via word-of-mouth or by exhibiting at trade shows.

Operations Plan

This part of your party planner business plan should include the following information:

  • How will you deliver your product/service to customers? For example, will you do it in person or over the phone only?
  • What infrastructure, equipment, and resources are needed to operate successfully? How can you meet those requirements within budget constraints?

The operations plan is where you also need to include your company’s business policies. You will want to establish policies related to everything from customer service to pricing, to the overall brand image you are trying to present.

Finally, and most importantly, in your Operations Plan, you will lay out the milestones your company hopes to achieve within the next five years. Create a chart that shows the key milestone(s) you hope to achieve each quarter for the next four quarters, and then each year for the following four years. Examples of milestones for a party planner business include reaching $X in sales. Other examples include adding new services, expanding to a new location, or hiring new employees.

Management Team

List your team members here including their names and titles, as well as their expertise and experience relevant to your specific party planner industry. Include brief biography sketches for each team member.

Particularly if you are seeking funding, the goal of this section is to convince investors and lenders that your team has the expertise and experience to execute on your plan. If you are missing key team members, document the roles and responsibilities you plan to hire for in the future.

Financial Plan

Here you will include a summary of your complete and detailed financial plan (your full financial projections go in the Appendix). 

This includes the following three financial statements:

Income Statement

Your income statement should include:

  • Revenue : how much revenue you generate.
  • Cost of Goods Sold : These are your direct costs associated with generating revenue. This includes labor costs, as well as the cost of any equipment and supplies used to deliver the product/service offering.
  • Net Income (or loss) : Once expenses and revenue are totaled and deducted from each other, this is the net income or loss.

Sample Income Statement for a Startup Party Planner Business

Balance sheet.

Include a balance sheet that shows your assets, liabilities, and equity. Your balance sheet should include:

  • Assets : All of the things you own (including cash).
  • Liabilities : This is what you owe against your company’s assets, such as accounts payable or loans.
  • Equity : The worth of your business after all liabilities and assets are totaled and deducted from each other.

Sample Balance Sheet for a Startup Party Planner Business

Cash flow statement.

Include a cash flow statement showing how much cash comes in, how much cash goes out and a net cash flow for each year. The cash flow statement should include:

  • Cash Flow From Operations
  • Cash Flow From Investments
  • Cash Flow From Financing

Below is a sample of a projected cash flow statement for a startup party planner business.

Sample Cash Flow Statement for a Startup Party Planner Business

You will also want to include an appendix section which will include:

  • Your complete financial projections
  • A complete list of your company’s business policies and procedures related to the rest of the business plan (marketing, operations, etc.)
  • Any other documentation which supports what you included in the body of your business plan.

Writing a good business plan gives you the advantage of being fully prepared to launch and/or grow your party planner company. It not only outlines your business vision but also provides a step-by-step process of how you are going to accomplish it.

A well-written business plan is an essential tool for any party planner business. If you are seeking funding from investors or lenders, it’s important to have a polished and professional business plan. Use the outline above as a guide as you write your own party planner business plan.   

Finish Your Party Planner Business Plan in 1 Day!

Social Tables

1. Build a solid business plan

I can’t tell you how many small event planning businesses fail because the founder didn’t put together a business plan in advance.

Start by researching successful plans and businesses that are similar to your scope of work. Then reach out to others in the events industry who may be able to guide you! 

Reach out to others in the events industry that may be able to guide you. Click To Tweet

Even if you’ve never seen a business plan, there are plenty of resources and templates online that can get you started. Additionally, when you look to grow your business, an up-to-date business plan is vital to secure any kind of investment.

Start with the right event tools for your business

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2. Set a marketing budget and use a PR company when possible.

When starting your party planning business, your marketing budget may be 30% or more of your business expenses. Does that seem like a lot? Think about all the things you’ll need:

  • A website for your business
  • Business cards
  • Flyers and other printed info
  • Digital marketing and online ads
  • Expenses to travel to events for networking

Don’t leave anything out! You will need to spend money to make money, ultimately. The goal in the early months is to secure your base of customers as quickly as possible. If you deliver on the promise of creating memorable events, your clients will stick around and recommend you. As a result, your marketing costs will start to drop.

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Here’s How to Start an Event Planning Business Click To Tweet

3. Clearly define your scope of work, mission and goals for your event business.

Your event planning business may evolve over time, but even when you’re just starting out, it’s important to clearly outline what you are and aren’t willing to do. You can even put this on your website to attract the right type of clients.

When you’re still building your business, saying “no” to clients  is one of the hardest things to do. But it might save you from dealing with the kinds of customers that take up too much time and don’t offer enough value in return.

Guide: How to Create an Event Planning Checklist

4. Have your elevator speech ready.

After I set up my first events business, I had a hard time selling it to people because my 30-second pitch wasn’t refined. Make sure to spend time developing this ” it is the key to introducing everyone to your business.

Pro tip:  Don’t stress about the name of your event planning business. At the end of the day, the name of your business doesn’t matter ” as long as you produce truly memorable events. However, a catchy event business name idea might stick in someone’s brain better during an elevator pitch.

5. Do your market research

Before jumping, in I always tell people to understand their market and competitors. What is your unique value proposition? Are your fees similar to, better than or higher than others in your area? Understanding your competition and your clients will give you the leg up in this market. Don’t skip this step!

how to make a party planning business

6. Spend some time learning tax laws and business filing in your area.

No matter what kind of business you want to start, there are lots of legal pieces to understand. I spent time researching which type of business would be best for me (LLC made the most sense for my consulting business).

It’s also critical to understand the tax implications before you dive in. For example, when I moved my business from Virginia to California, I had to go through the process of dissolving the business. I should have taken more time to research other possibilities!

There’s a lot to navigate, but some great resources exist for building small businesses. Here are a few I recommend:

  • IRS.GOV “ Starting a Business
  • SBA.GOV “ 10 Steps to Starting a Business

One of my favorite resources in Women In Events . New event planners can take advantage of our mentoring/coaching program after signing up.

Now You’re Ready to Start a Great Event Planning Business!

Have questions? We’ve got answers. Connect with @socialtables on Twitter.

Up next, here’s how to pick an event company name for your business . Or check out Social Tables free event planning tools to manage seating, meals, and so much more.

Try the event management software planners love

More tips for aspiring event planners.

  • The 6 Must-Have Event Planning Skills You Need for Career Success
  • The Top Event Planning Conferences This Year
  • 10 Event Planning Tips Every Budding Coordinator Needs to Know

Still searching for answers about starting an event planning business?

Do your research, make a plan, set a budget, define your scope of work, and throw amazing events!

You should plan to set aside at least $15,000 to $25,000 to start a small event planning business.

Event planning can be quite a profitable career choice. The best event planners will make a name for themselves and be able to charge high prices for their vision, creativity, execution, and results.

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How to start a party and event planning business

how to make a party planning business

Our experts

Written and reviewed by:.

As the nation emerged from the COVID pandemic, desperate to reconnect in person, party and events planning became a multi-billion-pound industry with plenty of demand across the UK.

Now, amid a cost of living crisis, there are a few emerging issues that new business owners need to stay aware of. Rising inflation means corporate clients are working to stricter budgets, while consumers won’t be as easily convinced to part with their hard-earned money. That means the most successful event planning firms will be the ones that can offer a truly incredible and unique experience that stands out from rivals.

Luckily, with a clear concept, effective marketing and a few key transferable skills, you’ll maximise your chances of beating out the competition and finding success. That’s where our experts come in.

We have been helping businesses to set up across tons of sectors, and we understand the challenges and opportunities that are ahead in the events industry. So put the champagne on ice for now, and read on to learn more about the costs, considerations and benefits involved in becoming an event or party planner.

At Startups.co.uk, we’re here to help small UK businesses to get started, grow and succeed. We have helpful resources for helping new businesses get off the ground – you can use the tool below to get started today.

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This article will cover:

Case study: above & beyond solutions, define your event planning business idea, conduct market research, come up with an event company name, develop your business plan, come up with a pricing strategy, understand the requirements, start promoting your event planning start-up, find suppliers and build contacts.

What does the future of the industry look like?

In order to combat the banning of in-person meetings, the events industry had partly pivoted towards online. The new fashion for virtual events has forever changed the way organisations will host and engage with their audience.

That’s not to say virtual events are here to stay. Given the option, most attendees will want to go to a physical event – as most of us have been ‘Zoomed’ out by pandemic working.

But digital events are a growing new branch in the sector which you should keep an eye on to ensure you stay ahead of the market and your competition.

Flexible working is also accelerating the trend. Corporate events will need to consider their employees that are still isolating and working from home. This means your business will need to provide online, offline, and  hybrid events solutions.

What COVID-19 rules do event planning firms need to follow?

From August 2021, all COVID-19 safety rules and regulations were fully lifted, which means that you don’t legally need to require any specific safety measures from customers or staff members if you’re planning to host events.

However, cultural changes have still taken place, including a new understanding about the spread of germs that public places can influence.

There are still some basic safety requirements that help to make your event attendees feel safe, such as:

  • Spaced out seating for social distancing
  • Hand sanitiser stations
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting rota
  • Optional mask wearing

You could consider keeping these rules in place to help returning customers feel more at ease.

Sam Stockmans, founder of the newly found events services company Above & Beyond Solutions, has always had a passion for the industry.

“Everyones first nightclub experience is daunting, and I could feel that amongst my friends when we started going out. I wanted to put on parties and make it a more comfortable experience for everyone, so I started by organising 16+ nightclub events.

“I love the events planning industry, that ability to create moments for others through an event you are organising, there is no feeling like it.”

After dabbling in the nightclub events scene, Stockmans went on to organising exhibitions across Europe, before he decided to go it alone with his own venture, Above & Beyond Solutions.

In terms of the biggest challenges he’s faced in his near 15 year career in the industry, Stockmans said:

“The biggest challenge is definitely standing out. There are so many competitors in the events industry space. You need to have a USP and you need to be able to sell it confidently.

“For us at Above, our USP is the level of service people receive. My team is made up of highly experienced professionals and creatives.”

And when asked about anything he wish he’d known before he started in the industry, Stockmans said:

“I wish I’d been less arrogant. I made mistakes in my younger years in the industry because I got ahead of myself.

Attitude is everything in this industry, and it will do any entrepreneur wonders to remember that, as the last thing you want is to burn bridges with other companies in the space that you will be frequently collaborating with.”

When it comes to starting an events company, you’ll first need to decide on the type of events services you want to offer.

Would you like to offer the full event planning service, organising every aspect of an event from inception to execution? Or would you rather focus on one or two particular skill sets? For example:

  • Event decorating
  • Corporate entertainment management
  • Event promotion
  • Catering (find out more in our guide about starting your own catering business )

It’s also key that you decide on the type of events you want to work on. In your early days, you’ll find it easier to market yourself clearly, attract customers and build the right skills and experience if you have a niche.

Events can be classified into four broad categories based on their purposes and objectives:

  • Personal events , such as weddings, birthday parties and family celebrations
  • Organisational events , such as commercial, political and charitable events, conferences and product launches
  • Leisure events , such as sports events and concerts
  • Cultural events , such as ceremonial, religious, art or heritage events

It’s advisable to pick a niche that you’re familiar with and already have a little experience in. If you come from a corporate background, for example, you may have a clearer understanding of what a successful conference looks like than a successful art festival. Remember, you can always take on more specialties as your business grows in size.

Tristan Johnson, founder of TYPE , which provides networking events “that enhance wellbeing and that millenials can afford”, believes drawing on your own experience of the events market as a consumer is a good idea, she says:

“As a young millennial entering the competitive job market fresh out of university, making valuable connections to progress my career was really difficult. Either I’d attend networking events that weren’t relevant for me or find myself spending far too much money. After chatting with a few friends who felt the same, our business model was created.”

NB: If you’d like to become a wedding planner, be sure to also check out our guide to starting a wedding planning business .

Bear in mind that, once you’ve come up with a concept, you should always test it to make sure it has a good chance of succeeding in the market. To do this, you’ll need to…

It’s really important that you understand both your target audience and your competition before you decide how to reach out to potential customers, settle on a pricing structure or – in short – do anything else.

Market research will help you to understand:

  • Who your competitors are
  • How you can differentiate yourself from them
  • How much demand there is for your particular event planning service
  • The type of people who are most likely to want/need your service
  • How much your target customers will be prepared to pay for your events, and whether you can make a healthy profit from this

To answer these questions, try:

Researching the competition online

Often a simple Google search will show you who the events businesses in your local area are, but the ONS, the FSB and the British Chambers of Commerce also hold more specific, publicly accessible information about different businesses.

Try to find out how your competitors operate, how big they are, who their customers are, how much they charge, and what their USPs are. Think about how you can bring something different to the table in order to compete.

Running an online survey

Online surveys are fairly cheap to set up, and you can also take to Facebook and LinkedIn to run questionnaires.

Ask people what they would expect from your events planning service, the budget they would have to spend on an event such as yours, how often they’d use you, what would make them want to use you, and anything else you want to know.

Holding focus groups

Essentially a face-to-face version of an online survey, a focus group gives you the opportunity to discuss your business with potential customers.

As well as asking the above questions, you can also talk more specifically about your own business, asking what they think of your concept and branding, and share ideas.

As fun a task as choosing a name for your party planning business may seem, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

Your name is the first thing most customers will hear about you, and so it’s important that it accurately represents what they can expect from your services. Plus, it needs to be something you’re proud to shout from the rooftops.

To come up with a name, try these tips:

  • Think of the type of events you want to plan and the style of service you’ll aim to deliver. Write down every word that springs to mind – no matter how obvious or abstract. The more, the better. Then single out your favourite words and explore them. Do they have synonyms that are better? How does it sound when you combine them in different ways?
  • Consider your own name. Can you name the business after yourself?
  • If you’d like your business to be one that doesn’t take itself too seriously, try thinking up event-related puns or phrases you might be able to use as a name. Just try not to be too cheesy!
  • Think about existing events planning businesses whose names you really like. Take inspiration from what makes them so great – but make sure you don’t simply copy them.

When it comes to coming up with a name, simplicity is key.

On the concept of coming up with a name, Stockmans says:

“Keep it simple, catchy, and memorable. Keep the name strong and simple, the strapline mission statement simple and the branding clear.”

If the name you choose doesn’t make it obvious that you’re an events planner – if you’ve picked a rather abstract word, for example, or are using your name – we’d advise adding a tagline. For example: Joe Bloggs – Party Planning.

Remember, your event planning business’ name should be:

  • Easy to spell and pronounce.
  • Original, and as unique as possible.
  • A good representation of the services you’re offering (don’t go for something jokey and fun if you’ll be planning serious corporate events, for instance).
  • Appealing to your audience. Ask target customers (whether through friends and family, an online survey or a focus group) for their honest opinion of your name.

Once you’ve settled on a name, you’ll need to check that it’s available – you can do this using the Companies House Register – and also check that it’s free to be used as a domain name for your website: for example, www.joebloggs.co.uk. It’s best to register your domain name as soon as possible.

If your chosen name is available, you’ll need to officially register it as your company’s name .

Your business’ name will tie inextricably into your business’ branding as a whole. Its tone will be the starting point for how you design your logo, website, marketing materials and messages, social media posts and more – all together, this should convey the tone and purpose of your business.

Bourlet suggests that you create clear guidelines for targeting your specific target audience with your branding.

Getting professional help

Consulting a graphic designer may help when it comes to creating a logo and other visual assets. Finding yourself a graphic designer is a good creative opinion allows you to brainstorm with an expert third-party.

TYPE founder Johnston says:

“Once you have completed an in-depth persona analysis, ensure all of your work is aiming towards these individuals to gain the greatest results. Building out strong brand guidelines is critical, involving how you deliver your content, the tone of voice, the colour code used on the site and in all branding, and the persona you will be targeting with your marketing.

“Studies have shown our attention span is shortening so branding must be easily consumable, easy on the eye and fitting to your personal brand, be it premium, fun, colourful or sleek.”

A business plan is an important document that takes its reader through every aspect of a business – including how it will run, plans for how it will progress, and forecasts of what it will achieve in the future.

As well as something potential investors and banks will want to see, writing a business plan will give you the opportunity to break down and plan every aspect of your business step-by step – including details of your business model and pricing structure, a marketing strategy, plans for hiring staff in the future and those oft-daunting financial predictions.

Another great way to organise your business plan is to use a project management software. These sophisticated tools are aimed at delegation and multi-project management, and can help you stay on top of deadlines as you design your dream events business.

Check out our  free online comparison tool  to learn more about the providers available and their top deals and discounts.

A crucial part of your business model, to plan your pricing you’ll first need to decide whether you want to charge:

  • A flat fee for the whole service
  • An hourly rate for the time you spend working on the event
  • Commission-based prices

You should use what you’ve learnt from members of your target audience and your competitors to decide on which of these you’ll choose, along with the actual prices you’ll charge.

Remember, while your prices should be attractive to your target customer, they must also cover the operating expenses you spend on planning the event, while still leaving room for a healthy profit for you.

Work out how much it’ll cost you to put on an event based on your plans and ideal suppliers, and see whether you’d still get a decent margin based on what customers want to pay.

That being said, making sure you’re giving your clients value for money is crucial.

Don’t be afraid to adjust your offering if your pricing seems unreasonable. It may be that you need to re-evaluate how much you’re able to spend on pulling together the event or how many services you can offer as part of your package.

Qualifications

You certainly don’t need a formal education in events and party organising before becoming a party planner.

However, if you would like to study events management, you can:

  • Research your local colleges and universities, or online facilities like the Open University, to see whether they offer something that suits you.
  • Look into specialist event institutions. Event Academy , for example, offers four accredited event management courses which you can choose to undertake online or on a physical premises in London.

Or, as an alternative to studying, you can always build up your events experience (if you don’t have any) by volunteering to help out at local events. This will give you a practical insight into the many cogs that form a single event, and you might be surprised at the level of graft involved!

Regulations

Follow this checklist to make sure you’re operating your business legitimately and without fear of costly legal problems:

✓ Obtain licenses

The licenses you need to operate your business legally will be down to your local authority or council (get in touch with them to find out which licenses you need) and also the venues at which you’ll be holding events.

✓ Register as a sole trader

Unless you want to set up a limited company (though most start-ups don’t begin life this way), you’ll need to register as a sole trader with HMRC, and understand the tax implications of this.

✓ Set up a business banking account

This, plus you’ll need to get an accounting and cashflow system in order so you can easily manage invoices and outgoings. It’s a good idea to hire an accountant to help you out in the early stages.

✓ Prepare to take payments

Alongside your business bank account you’ll also need a merchant account. After a client pays you, their money will be held in your merchant account until it is approved by the client’s bank, at which point it moves into your business account – so it’s crucial you have one.

✓ Get yourself insured

You’ll need public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance , plus employers’ liability insurance if you’re going to hire employees.

You might also need buildings and contents insurance if you keep expensive equipment at home or in an office, and vehicle insurance for any vans you use to transport materials to and from venues.

✓ Brush up on your health and safety

While the venues you hold events in will likely have their own set of generic health and safety regulations, it’s vital that you carry out your own risk assessments in advance of your events, detailing the hazards and controls for each.

So, learn how to write risk assessments and consider everything from trips, heavy loads and electric shocks to structural security and food hygiene.

Of course, it’s easy to blame the venue if something goes wrong – but it’ll still reflect very poorly on you if you’ve failed to recognise and manage a risk.

Now you’re ready to get going, it’s time to show your business to the public (and encourage them to use your stellar event-planning services). Alongside traditional techniques such as leaflet drops and putting advertisements in your local paper, you’ll want to try the following…

Set up a website

Having a website is vital for any small business. It’s a place to explain everything you offer, show off your previous projects, list your pricing packages and display your contact details.

It’s also an opportunity to prove that, even though your business is new, you’re a professional who knows exactly what they’re doing. So you’ll need to make sure your site is sleek and professionally-designed, with no spelling mistakes (an erroneous, dated website is a surefire way to turn off potential clients).

Unless you’re a web designer yourself, you’ll want to go with one of the two options:

  • Hire a freelance web designer to build your site for you. The benefit of this is that you’ll have an expert to discuss ideas with, but you may find that your designer charges for any changes you’d like them to make in the future.
  • Use a website building platform . These are often low-cost, and will likely give you more control over your site and a clearer understanding of how it works. Wix , GoDaddy and Weebly are popular options.

Your website should be in-keeping with your branding and appealing to your target customer, and you should adopt SEO best practice to make sure it ranks well when people search Google for a local events business.

If you need a hand setting up a website, be sure to check out our review of the top 5 web design companies in London .

Tom Bourlet of brands Fizzbox.com , which offers group activities and experiences for any event, and stag and hen party organisers The Stag Company and Hen Heaven, says:

“It is important to understand what terms you are targeting, the competition you are up against and what you can afford to spend on PPC (pay-per-click).

“When starting a new business, you can’t rely on organic or direct traffic, therefore PPC will be pivotal, and there will be a turning point where it goes from experimentation to profitable. For this reason, you need to ensure you have the funding to put into the ads, while working on the SEO and UX of the website.”

Websites are a great way to attract and retain customers, as they allow you to build a larger audience base from across the UK.

Read our guide to the  top 7 website builders for small businesses , to learn more about the benefits and methods to making your own online page.

Use social media

Social media is massive and if you’re not on board with the digital world then you will fall flat on your face. Get a good digital marketing plan in place with social media leading the charge.

With social media, you can get the word out about your business for free, sharing details of your services, special offers and – with your clients’ permission – images of your events to give potential customers an idea of what you can deliver.

In particular, Pinterest can be a goldmine for party and events planners. The image-based platform centering on inspiration and idea-sharing, Pinterest is the place to find people looking for ‘inspo’ for their next big bash – and show them what you can do.

You might also find Facebook’s groups valuable. Brides-to-be, for example, are increasingly joining locally-focused Facebook groups in which they can discuss and recommend local caterers, boutiques, planning services and more. Try joining up to relevant groups and sharing a tailored special offer with members.

Of course, there’s no point in spending energy and resources maximising your Pinterest and Facebook profiles if your target market don’t spend a lot of time on them.

Instagram is integral to many businesses success, be sure to check out our extensive how to use Instagram for business guide for everything you need to know.

Send emails

Sending engaging marketing emails to both customers and those who have expressed an interest in your services is an excellent way to communicate with the public, sharing updates and special offers, encouraging engagement with your business and keeping interest high.

A CRM (customer relationship management) system will help to streamline this process by personalising emails to make customers more inclined to read them, automating email sends, collating customer data and more.

Attend fairs and exhibitions

Some events, such as weddings, often have regular fairs and trade shows where small businesses like suppliers and party planners can host a stall and show off their products and services to visitors.

This is a great way to get your service in front of the people who need it. Furthermore, chatting face-to-face with potential customers will give you a unique opportunity to explain what you can offer to them specifically. Plus, they’re more likely to remember you if they’ve had a friendly and promising conversation with you.

Make sure, though, that you have professional business cards and leaflets printed so you can give them something to remember you by.

Try cross promotions

Seek out other small businesses in the events industry and see whether you can partner with them to create a promotional offer that you’ll both benefit from.

For example, a local independent caterers and offer a discount from both yours and the caterer’s prices to those who use your services and select that caterer.

As the old adage goes, it’s not what you know but who you know that counts. When it comes to events planning, what you know is obviously crucial – but you’ll also find having a portfolio of industry contacts very useful.

Of course, finding the right suppliers for each event will mean carefully considering your client’s wishes and budget. But building relationships with reliable suppliers will give you options right off the bat, saving you time – provided they fit the requirements.

If you’d like to plan weddings, for example, having contacts at catering companies, local venues, entertainment providers, et cetera will prove handy. If you’re specialising in corporate events, you may need to find contacts at banner printing companies, potential sponsors and more.

Here are a few ways to start building up that contacts book:

  • Visit online event supplier databases . Alive Network , for example, lists thousands of UK event entertainers and suppliers along with reviews and prices.
  • If your competitors run public events, see if you can attend them. Make a note of who they’ve used as a caterer, venue, equipment supplier etc. If any suppliers or sponsors are present, get talking to them and ask for their details.
  • Attend trade shows, seminars and exhibitions where suppliers will be showcasing their offerings. 
  • Join local events groups on social media , where professionals share details of the companies they’ve worked with. Be proactive, joining in with discussions and asking for opinions.
  • Use your personal network . Use LinkedIn to the full as well, make new connections daily and interact with them if only to simply introduce yourself.

As you build your network and liaise with suppliers and customers, you may want to consider getting a business mobile to separate your business dealings from personal calls (more information on our page on business mobile phone contracts .

What’s next?

The party and events planning market is hugely competitive, but with the tips, tricks and tools in this guide, you’ll set yourself up with the best chance of success.

Want to get started on building your business now? The first step to opening any business is sourcing finance. O ur  free online comparison tool  can help you to compare the best business loan providers across the UK, and get refreshingly honest quotes for early-stage finance.

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How to Start an Event Planning Business in (2024): Step-by-Step Guide

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Free How to Write an Event Planning Business Plan + Free Template Template

how to start an event planning business

The joy of making special days and big events even more special for the attendees seems exciting right? This is what event planners exactly do.

Whether it’s birthday celebrations, weddings, anniversaries, or corporate galas, the demand for expert event planners is soaring.

Starting an event planning business can be a great move because initially it needs a small investment, and you can make good money out of it.

It is a profitable venture but if are you confused about how to start an event planning business , then let us understand it through this guide.

Get to know the basics of event planning

Before you start getting into the process of starting an event planning business, you should know the basics of event planning, like what would be your responsibilities, what kind of events are there, etc.

So let’s get started:

Event Planning is most often used for purposes like

  • Social Events: Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, etc
  • Corporate Events: Seminars, workshops,  conferences, product launches, award ceremonies, gala dinners, etc.
  • Cultural and Art Events: Art cultural celebrations, exhibitions, music festivals, etc

Key responsibilities of an Event Planner include

  • First of all, consult with your client properly before the event to understand their needs, objectives, and preferences.
  • You need to build a team as per the event type, whether it is a corporate or social event.
  • Prepare a budget to ensure that the event’s overall costs stay within the financial constraints of the customer.
  • Choose a venue that aligns with the event’s size, and theme.
  • Oversee the various vendors including florists, caterers, and photographers ensuring that they are all synchronized with the timeline.

After having a glimpse of the basics of event planning business, let’s see what is required next to start your business journey.

Quick Steps to Start an Event Planning Business

  • Conduct Industry and Market Research
  • Identify Your Event Planning Niche
  • Prepare an Event Planning Business Plan
  • Consider Startup and Operations Costs
  • Paperwork and Legal Registration
  • Figure Out Pricing Strategy
  • Get Licenses, Permits, and Insurance
  • Build a Core Team
  • Marketing to Spread the Word

1. Conduct Industry and Market Research

All businesses have competition – that’s what keeps the market in balance.So it is necessary to conduct thorough research of the market to identify your competitors and the current trends.

Moreover, it also helps you understand your target customers, identify market needs, develop marketing strategies, and maintain a competitive edge.

At the primary stage of your research, you may conduct surveys to learn more about your potential clients and their problems.

Now gather information for the secondary research from online resources and industry reports. Compiling and analyzing this data with your primary research will help you highlight the areas that need attention.

Besides identifying your target market, market research is instrumental in strategic planning for the future of your business. It also helps you discover effective growth strategies by setting the targets for your business and making you aware of your competitors.

2. Identify Your Event Planning Niche

Are you aware that knowing a “niche” is a must in the Event Planning Company? A niche is a segment of the market that an event planner focuses on serving.

Identifying your niche involves determining a specific area or target audience within the broader event industry where you can focus and distinguish your services. This allows you to delve into a specific client base and build a reputation for expertise in that particular niche.

Let’s have a look at a few of the common niches and event types:

Social Events

  • Wedding planning
  • Baby Showers
  • Anniversaries
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
  • Birthday Parties

Corporate Events

  • Award ceremonies
  • Conferences
  • Corporate Meetings
  • Grand Openings
  • Product or Service Launch Party

So you can develop various strategies for your venture after deciding upon any of the following above-mentioned niches as per the demand in the events industry.

3. Prepare an Event Planning Business Plan

Once you know your niche, it’s time to put together your business plan, which is an essential step of any business. A well-structured event planning business plan will help you build a roadmap for your business, by setting out where you want your business to go and how you intend to go there.

This business document will include details about your business, its history, service offerings, management, financial health, and more.

A business plan becomes particularly crucial when one seeks financial support from banks or other institutions. It provides a transparent overview of your plans to attain financial and operational objectives, offering reassurance to funders about the feasibility of loan repayment.

Although, many consider it just a way to peak investors’ interest, a solid business plan can change the entire course of your small business.

Besides these, it also provides a structure for your company’s daily operations, helps you understand the market trend, provides an exit strategy, and also helps to attract key employees.

Not very good at writing? Need help with your plan?

Write your business plan 10X faster with Upmetrics AI

Plans starting from $7/month

how to make a party planning business

4. Consider Startup and Operations Costs

The next foremost step is determining your financing requirements. You must have an in-depth understanding of your startup and operational costs.

You can estimate your startup costs by listing down the essential startup supplies, insurance costs, licensing requirements, office space, and associated expenses.

The operational costs include venue costs, decoration costs, employee salary, marketing, advertising costs, etc.

5. Paperwork and Legal Registration

Setting up the paperwork and legal registration for your event planning company is an important step to ensure that you are committed to legal norms.

First things first – before you start your event planning business finalize the legal structure and do business as (DBA) name of your business.

Brainstorm different names and pick something that reflects your business idea.

You can also opt for the DBA (Doing Business As) name. It allows the business to operate under another name other than the formal business name.

Register your Business Name

Once you have a name decided, it’s time to register your business entity with the state and local government. This will ensure that your business name is yours and you can do the business using that name.

Register your Business Structure

A business structure describes how a company is legally organized. This is an essential part.

You can choose from different business structures like operating as a sole proprietor (if you’ll be running the company on your own), a partnership, as well as other entities that provide limited liability (which ensures you won’t be held responsible for the company’s debts or other actions).

Get an EIN: Federal Tax ID Number

The process for this can vary, so you can reach out to the office of your state’s Secretary for specific guidance. Moreover, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS Internal Revenue System is essential.

Once you have your EIN, you can open a business bank account, apply for a loan, and separate your personal and business finances.

6. Figure Out Pricing Strategy

The pricing structure depends on the market segment you serve, your potential customers, geographic location, expertise, and most importantly your competitor will help you decide your fees.

How you price your event planning services will impact how often you get requests.

You can determine your pricing structure as follows:

Hourly Rate: Initially, some event planners might charge around $25 per hour, while experienced planners can command rates exceeding $100 per hour. Corporate events tend to bring in rates about 30% higher than social events.

Flat Fee: This is a common approach where you charge a fixed price for your event planning services, often including a percentage of the total fees from vendors.

Percentage of Total Event Budget: Some planners prefer charging a percentage of the overall event budget, which could range from 15% to 20%.

Vendor Commission : A few planners choose to decrease their charges or may charge nothing for their services instead they prefer to make their income solely from commissions received from vendors they work with.

7. Get Licenses, Permits, and Insurance

Licensing and legal requirements are important in starting and running your own event planning business.

Common licenses you need to run this business are:

  • Business License
  • Special Event Permit
  • Liquor license
  • Fire/fireworks permit
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Seller’s Permit

Insurance: While not a permit or license, having general liability insurance, and possibly professional liability insurance, is highly recommended to protect your business from potential liabilities.

8. Build a Core Team

Hiring employees is a crucial step. The team you set up will be the business’s backbone, helping you effectively manage and execute events.

Here are key roles you need to consider when building your core team:

  • Event Coordinator
  • Marketing and Communication Specialist
  • Sales Representative
  • Logistics Coordinator
  • Administrative Support

You can hire event planners from Zippia, Upwork, Workstream, and also through LinkedIn.

9. Marketing to Spread the Word

You need to build effective marketing strategies to spread the word about your business to attract clients and establish your brand in the competitive world of events. You also need to set some marketing budget.

Here are some key areas to consider:

Target Audience

Who are you trying to reach and cover? Understand their interests, objectives, and event planning needs.

Developing a Strong Brand Identity

First, see what makes your service stand out. Developing a strong USP(Unique Selling Proposition) will help you grow your business by making it recognizable in a competitive market.

Build a professional website

Create a website that is visually appealing, informative, user-friendly, and easy to navigate.

Content Marketing

Be active on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, sharing visually appealing content and engaging with your audience.

Showcase your successful events and satisfied clients to demonstrate your capabilities. Post the reviews of your customers on social media accounts.

Now you might be pretty much clear about how to kick-start an Event Planning Business.

To launch successfully, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of your target market, a solid business plan, and a clear grasp of the legal structure and financial aspects of running the business.

You’ve got everything now! What are you waiting for? Let’s start your journey as an event planner.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do you need to start an event planning business.

To start an event planning business, you’ll need several key components:

  • Business Plan
  • Market Research
  • Legal Setup
  • Financial Management
  • Branding and Marketing

Do you need a degree to start an event planning business?

Technically speaking, you don’t need an event planning degree to become a professional event planner. However, there are certain qualities, skills, and certificates to help you attract clients when you start the event planning industry.

A degree in a field related to events planning, design, and management may give you an edge. All other skills can be developed over time.

How can I find clients as a new event planner?

You can get your customers through:

  • Building an online presence
  • Collaborations with known faces
  • Referral Programs
  • Advertisement

Should I register my business as an LLC, sole proprietorship, or corporation?

Each structure has pros and cons, so consult with a legal or financial           advisor for the best fit:

  • Sole proprietorship: Easiest to set up, but you have unlimited personal liability.
  • LLC: Offers some liability protection and is relatively simple to manage.
  • Corporation: More complex setup, but provides greater liability protection and tax benefits.

What skills are required to be an event planner?

To become a successful event planner, you may not need formal education, but you do have to master these skills:

  • Communication Skills
  • Networking skills
  • Adaptability
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Budget Management
  • Level-headed and calm under pressure
  • Attentive to details
  • Humble and Responsive to Clients’ Needs

About the Author

how to make a party planning business

Shyam Dua is a seasoned tax professional with 40+ years of experience & a mentor at SCORE. He stands out due to his exceptional business planning skills. With a keen eye for detail and a strong financial acumen, Shyam crafts compelling business plans that pave the way to success. A CPA with a philanthropic heart, Shyam's strategic expertise, and dedication make him an invaluable asset in shaping thriving business ventures. Read more

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How to start an event planning business in 8 steps

In 2020, the COVID-19 crisis changed everything for event planners. Whether the industry thinks of 2020 as a deviation or devastation strongly depends on how planning professionals adapt to uncertainty. One thing's for sure, virtual and hybrid meetings are here to stay, with the virtual market at $94 billion in 2020 and an expected compound annual growth rate of 23.7% between now and 2028 .

With all the change in the air, enterprising event entrepreneurs build social connections no matter the distance. So read on to avoid being amongst the 50% of all small businesses that fail in the first 5 years—and, more importantly, to give your new event planning venture the right start.

1) Evaluate your event planning skillset

It's common for event planning newbies to believe the business is all about showmanship, champagne, and shindigs. While that's the final product of your meticulous preparation, things behind the scenes are much less spectacular. There are a hundred to-dos that the planning professional must check off for every event to guarantee an enjoyable time for the client and guests.

Amongst other tasks, you may have to:

  • Create an event theme or design.
  • Find a venue.
  • Arrange entertainment.
  • Book vendors.
  • Send RSVPs and marketing info to attendees.
  • Balance the budget.
  • Coordinate with staff and subcontractors.
  • Decorate the space.
  • Oversee the caterers and bar staff.
  • Supervise the event.

If you want to start an event planning company, it might be smart to test out a job or three before making the dive. To begin, think about signing up as a personal assistant or apprentice for an experienced party planner. That way, you can evaluate whether the work is a suitable match before venturing out on your own.

Or you can look below for traits you already possess or ones you're willing to pick up as you go.

  • Attention to detail. Planning events requires diligence with finances, logistics, and time management.
  • Customer service. Event planners must contact their clients often. Thus, excellent customer service may help build the planner's reputation and improve client satisfaction.
  • Education or experience. Knowledge of best practices and prior event planning experience help. A party planner may have also attended college or earned a certification.
  • Interpersonal relationship skills. During a single event, an event planner will need to engage various people, many of whom will not be the planner's staff. Therefore, it's critical to form solid interpersonal connections and work effectively with a wide range of personalities. An event planner is the ultimate "people person."
  • Negotiation. Event planners negotiate with suppliers, entertainers, and contractors to reduce expenses while ensuring the client receives what they want.
  • Organization. Every event has many moving components that planning professionals must manage, and good organization is essential throughout the process to guarantee that nothing is missed or neglected.
  • Under-pressure performance. Even with the finest preparation, unforeseen problems will arise during an event. Event planners must create solutions to issues fast and always think on their festive feet.

Create your event planning business plan

"Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do."

Those words are from the man who has created more magical experiences than anyone else. Walt Disney's quote sounds like inviting people to your party, and his wisdom is perfect for those who make a living by bringing folks together. But before you can show the world how well you do what you do, consider the following questions when starting your business :

  • Executive Summary: How would you describe the business and your potential success?
  • Overview: What's the business's background, legal structure, and other key attributes?
  • Industry Analysis: What does market research reveal about the event planning industry in your area, including size, opportunity, and current trends?
  • Competitive Analysis: Who are your competitors, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Marketing: What is your marketing strategy to reach potential customers?
  • Management: What unique skills do you bring to the business?
  • Operations Plan: How will you manage the day-to-day tasks of the business?
  • Financials: What are your estimated revenues, expenses, and profits for each of your first 5 years?

2) Find your event planning niche

Finding a niche is as simple as picking a subset of the broader event planning industry to concentrate on or specialize in. A niche allows you to shine in an overcrowded marketplace and helps your target market track you down. Saying yes to the wrong client is saying no to Mr. or Mrs. Right. So, find the niche that matches your expertise and focus.

Take a look below for common niches and types of events.

Corporate Events

  • Award ceremonies
  • Charity and non-profit events (such as fundraising events)
  • Conferences
  • Corporate bonding retreats
  • Corporate meetings and seminars
  • Fashion shows
  • Golf events
  • Grand Openings
  • Experiential events (such as pop-ups and product or service launches)
  • Holiday parties
  • Networking events
  • Trade shows

Private/Social Events

  • Anniversaries
  • Baby showers
  • Bachelor/bachelorette parties
  • Bridal/wedding showers
  • Milestone birthday parties
  • Murder-mystery parties
  • Theme parties
  • Surprise parties
  • Wedding planning

3) Uncover your event planning unique selling proposition (USP)

Your unique selling proposition expresses what distinguishes you from every other event planner. According to top business thought leaders, in a world where clients are drowning in options and competition is fierce, 90% of a small pie is preferable to 10% of a large pie. So, for example, an enterprising event planner might create the USP, "Grand Opening Specialist for Luxury Retailers."

4) Pick your event planning business name

Are you ready for some fun? Business ideas move to the realm of reality as soon as a company has a name. Pick a name that blends your niche, USP, and expertise as an event planner. Perhaps it's as simple as Grand Openings Event Planning Company or as whimsical as Lux Influx Events. Try a business name generator , research competitors, or brainstorm with friends and family.

5) Figure out your financial plan

According to event planning tech company EventForte, profit margins in the industry can go as high as a healthy 40% . But don't rush off to the bank quite yet. To earn top dollar, you have to get those financial duckies in a row. So, if numbers are not your cup of event planning tea, you can always rely on a bookkeeper, software, or your favorite accountant. Then, when you're ready, you need to crunch your upfront costs and set up your pricing.

Calculate your startup costs

If you're starting as a side hustle, you'll need little more than a home office, computer, phone, website, some marketing materials, and event management software. It's common for people to get started for less than four or five thousand bucks. Furthermore, Entrepreneur.com estimates between $8,000 and $31,000, with the lower end for home-based business and the more expensive side for the type of business that launches with an office space and a few employees.

Structure your pricing strategy

How should you charge for your planning services? Your location, expertise, niche, and competition will help you set your fees. Below you'll find the five most prevalent ways of pricing event planning.

  • Hourly rate. A typical hourly fee for a novice event planner may be as low as $25 per hour and over $100 per hour for top event planners. Usually, a corporate event generates approximately 30% higher rates than social events.
  • Flat fee. A flat fee makes it straightforward for you and the client and is probably the most common arrangement. It is customary to charge a price for your services and a percentage of total vendor fees. A typical vendor commission runs from 10 to 15%. For instance, if a caterer's fee is $4,000 for an event, your cut for finding and arranging that specific vendor would be $400-$600.
  • Percentage of the event. Some event planners choose to charge a portion of the entire event budget, such as 15 to 20%.
  • Day-of coordination. At some point, a client will ask you for day-of coordination. This fee structure is most common for wedding planners, but it may also occur at other types of events.
  • Vendor commission. A small percentage of planners opt to either drastically reduce their fees or charge nothing for their services, earning all their money via commissions from the vendors they choose.

6) Get your paperwork in order

It's just a few hurdles to jump, and you're racing toward the finish line.

a) Register your business name with the state

Before you find your first clients, you need to register your business entity with state and local authorities. Also, you'll need to pick a type of business structure such as sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.

b) Apply for your EIN

Your employer identification number (EIN) identifies your business for taxes. Surprisingly, getting one is both free and easy. Get your EIN here .

c) Open a business bank account

Once you have your EIN, you can open a business checking account, apply for a loan, and separate your personal and business finances.

d) Obtain permits and licenses

This step separates the planners from the pretenders, but it's well worth the hustle to protect your reputation and potential clients. Your state will likely require several permits and licenses for your business and events. Standard ones include:

  • Building permit (tents). You need one for carnivals, political demonstrations, pop-up performing arts, races, and many other outdoor events that require tents.
  • Business license. Almost all businesses require licensing with the state to operate.
  • Event permit. The requirements vary by city, so contact the local government for relevant ordinances.
  • Fire/fireworks permit. You must check with your county if it's legal to display fireworks for your event.
  • Health permit. You can get this from your county's health department.
  • Liquor license , if applicable. You'll have to get this if you're planning to serve alcoholic beverages, and you can check the Alcoholic Beverage Control board for your state's specifics.
  • Noise permit. If your event's outside, you'll likely need one.
  • Seller's permit. You may need this as an event planner.
  • Temporary use/structure permit. There are two kinds of temporary use permits. One is for vacant land, and the other is for temporary space for parking, vendors, and loading areas.

e) Insure your event planning business

Some first-time event planners forget about insurance until it's too late. When you're dealing with the public, there's always the potential for the unexpected. Every event planner needs solid small business insurance —that's why it's essential to shop around to lock in the best deal. Check out this overview of important coverages you may need to insure your event planning business :

  • Workers' compensation : This coverage protects your employees if they get sick or injured while working in your event planning business. Every state requires workers' comp, and the consequences of skipping this coverage could cause the state to close your business. (You can get a quick estimate on what you'd pay for workers' comp with our 60-second workers' compensation calculator. )
  • General liability insurance : This policy protects your event planning business if you're sued for a property damage or injury claim. (Expensive lawsuits can quickly put an event planning service out of business.)
  • Property insurance : This policy protects your event planning equipment, such as your laptop or other devices you use in your business or home office from perils like fire or theft.
  • Business interruption : This coverage, also called business income insurance, provides financial support to your event planning business if you must close because of a covered reason.
  • Business Owner's Policy: This policy bundles general liability, business property, and business interruption insurance for your event planning business in one convenient package.

7) Hire your first employees

Many event planners launch as solopreneurs, but they soon look for a personal assistant. Or perhaps you want to hire a junior planner, salesperson, or office manager. Of course, you'll need workers' compensation insurance to operate legally whenever you add that first team member. After finishing your paperwork and legal requirements, head over to the Small Business Administration for a helpful checklist.

8) Spread the word about your new event planning business

Event planners are marketers at heart. After all, who's better at promotion than party planners? Now, you can parlay some of that creativity to advertise your new business. When building your marketing strategy to attract new clients, you could:

  • Build a website . Get the domain name for your business. A service with templates like Weebly or Squarespace can make this easy.
  • List your local business on Google and Yelp. Sign up for your Google My Business and Yelp profile.
  • Launch your social media profiles. Get your unique Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and other handles relevant to your niche.
  • Distribute brochures, flyers, and business cards. Call it old-fashioned, but it still works, and you might get your foot in the door with new clients.
  • Create word-of-mouth. Small Business owners know there's nothing better than word-of-mouth advertising, and the best way to get it is to please clients with a service they can rave about. Ask happy clients and customers for video testimonials that you can post on your website and social media accounts.
  • Partner with related businesses. Businesses such as caterers, florists, and photographers can be excellent referral sources.

Bonus: Check out these tips for running a successful event planning business

You're just about ready to start your own event planning business, so it's time to break out the bubbly. But before you pop the top, perhaps you're still thirsty for more best practices. Here are a few places with knowledge you can sip on:

  • Event Manager Blog : A great online library of articles, webinars, and videos covering every facet of the event planning industry.
  • Meeting Professional International (MPI): "Meeting Professionals International is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities, and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry."
  • #EventIcons Podcast : The hosts interview event-industry luminaries and up-and-comers, and the topics span from the everyday to the unexpected. The show has a friendly atmosphere and is a wealth of information for both beginners and seasoned experts. If you want to watch, #EventIcons is also accessible in recorded video format.

This article's been a lot to absorb. Maybe you're pondering just how to stay sane as an event planning entrepreneur .

If you're still crazy enough to start a party planning business, you can get insurance with Huckleberry in about the same time it takes to make your favorite caterer's samples disappear. (Getting a quote is free, easy, and 100% online.)

Buy business insurance online in less than 5 minutes.

No paperwork. Instant coverage. No-commitment quote.

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Colin Shipp

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How To Start A Party Planning Business

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by Colin Shipp  

Updated On:  September 27, 2022

Take your passion for planning amazing parties and turn it into a profitable business venture! With a little hard work and creative marketing, you can become the go-to party planner in your area.

An event planning business can be a fun and rewarding way to make a living, and it has the potential to be quite profitable.

The event planning industry is booming, as people now prefer to hire professional planners to take care of their special occasions. It takes a lot of creativity and hard work to be a successful party planner, but it can be an incredibly rewarding career.

Many have dreams of starting their own party planning business but don't know where to start. If you're one of those people, this guide is for you! 

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about starting an event planning business, from writing a business plan to marketing your services.

Everyone loves a good party, whether it's holiday parties, birthday parties, engagement parties, children's parties, or any other type of party.

As an event planner, you can turn your love of planning parties into a successful business. Just follow these simple steps, and you'll be on your way to becoming a successful party planner.

Looking For More Business Options? Check out these business ideas .

Evaluate Your Event Planning Skillset

The first step to starting an event planning business is to evaluate your event planning skillset. Do you have what it takes to be a successful party planner?

To be an experienced party planner, you must be organized, creative, and detail-oriented. You should also be good at working with people, as you'll be dealing with clients regularly.

If you don't think you have the necessary skills to be a successful party planner, consider taking some event planning courses or getting a degree in event management. For newbies, we recommend working under someone else until you learn the process or take an online program.

Hundreds of online courses are available, but this is a great way to learn the basics and start quickly. To be a successful party planner, you must have strong organizational skills and work well under pressure.

Evaluate your skillset

You should also be creative, as you'll need to develop new and innovative party ideas regularly. Being detail-oriented is also important, as even the smallest details can make or break a party.

Finally, you should be good with people, as you'll deal with clients regularly. If you don't think you have the necessary skills to be a successful party planner, consider taking some event planning courses or getting a degree in event management.

Create Your Event Planning Business Plan

The next step is to create your event planning business plan for your event planning company. This will be a detailed document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and tactics. Your business plan should also include a marketing plan, as well as a financial forecast.

Whenever you do anything related to your business, refer to your business plan to ensure that you are on track.

A well-written business plan is essential for any successful business, and a planning business is no exception. Your business plan should outline your business goals, strategies, and tactics. It should also include a marketing plan and a financial forecast.

To own an event planning business is to have the ability to work for yourself and be your boss. The business plan document should reflect these qualities.

The business plan should also answer the following questions:

  • What are Party Planning businesses in my area?
  • Who is my target market?
  • How much money do I need to start my business?
  • How will my business be structured? (Sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.)
  • What are the estimated startup costs?
  • What are the ongoing expenses?
  • How will I generate revenue?
  • What are the long-term goals for my business?

Every event planner is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. However, your explanations should be detailed and specific to your business.

To become successful in the party planning industry, you'll need to answer these questions confidently and with a well-thought-out plan.

Find Your Event Planning Niche

The next step to starting an event planning service is to find your event planning niche. When it comes to event planning, there are endless possibilities.

You can specialize in corporate events, weddings, birthday parties, or any other event. Figure out what kind of events you're most interested in and focus your business around that.

When you narrow down your focus, you'll be able to market your business better and attract your ideal clients. Market research is the foremost important thing you should do in this stage. Knowing your target market is the key to a successful festive planning business.

There are four primary types of event planning businesses:

Wedding Planning Businesses Specializing In Weddings

Wedding party planners are responsible for helping couples plan their big day. They guide everything from finding the perfect venue to choosing the right florist.

Wedding planners typically work with a team of other vendors to ensure that every wedding detail is taken care of.

A proper wedding planner should have a strong understanding of the wedding industry and know how to negotiate with vendors.

Corporate Event Planning Businesses

Corporate event planners are responsible for organizing corporate events such as conventions, conferences, and company parties.

They work closely with a company's marketing or human resources department to plan an event that meets the company's objectives.

Corporate event planners must be able to handle a large budget and coordinate with multiple vendors.

Social Event Planning Businesses

Social event planners are responsible for organizing parties, showers, and other social gatherings.

They work with their clients to choose the perfect venue, catering, and entertainment for their event. 

Social event planners typically have a background in event planning or hospitality.

Non-Profit Event Planning Businesses

Non-profit event planners are responsible for organizing fundraising events, galas, and other special events.

They work with various vendors to get the best deals, from venues to catering. Non-profit event planners must have a strong understanding of the non-profit sector and be able to work with a tight budget.

Uncover Your Startup Costs

Now that you know what type of event planning business you want to start, it's time to uncover your startup costs.

The amount of money you'll need to start your business will vary depending on the size and scope of your business.

If you're planning on starting a small event planning business, you can get by with a few thousand dollars. However, if you're planning on starting a large event planning business, you'll need at least $10,000.

Event planning services can be expensive, so it's important to understand your startup costs before starting your business.

According to the business tycoons of event planning, some of the major startup costs include:

  • Business entity fees
  • Licenses and permits
  • Website design and development
  • Event planning software
  • Marketing materials
  • Office Supplies
  • Computers and phone systems

It depends on the type of business you want and how much you'll need to spend on marketing. Planning events is a fun and rewarding business, but it takes more than just organizing skills to get started.

If you're planning on starting a corporate event planning business, you'll need to spend money on business cards, a website, and advertising. However, starting a small event planning business can get by with just a few hundred dollars for business cards and flyers.

Choose A Name Of Your Business

After you have figured out your startup costs and what type of event planning business you want to start, it's time to choose a business name.

The name of your own business is important because it will be the first thing potential clients see. Choose a name that is memorable and easy to pronounce.

Avoid using long names or names that are difficult to spell. You want potential clients to be able to find you easily online and on the yellow pages. Almost as important as the name of your business is the tagline.

The tagline should be short, sweet, and to the point. It should describe what your company does in a few words.

For example, "The best corporate event planner in town." The ultimate goal is to make it easy for potential clients to remember your name and what you do.

Register Your Business To Make It Official

The next step is to register your business with the state.

This will make your business official and allow you to open a business bank account. You will also need to choose a business structure, such as an LLC or sole proprietorship.

Once you have registered your business, you will need to get a business license from the city or county where you plan on doing business.

Nowadays, you can usually apply for a business license online. To avoid scam artists, make sure you are applying for a business license from the official website of your city or county.

You can visit your area's nearest Chamber of Commerce to register your business. Apply for your EIN (Employer Identification Number) online with the IRS. You will need this number to open a business bank account and file your taxes.

Get Insured For Your Protection

One of the most important things you need to do when starting a party planning business is to get insured.

This will protect you and your business in case something goes wrong during an event. Insurance will also give your clients peace of mind knowing that their event is in good hands. You will need general liability insurance and possible errors and omissions insurance.

Public liability insurance will protect you if a guest is injured at an event or damaged property. Insurance will cover errors and omissions if you make a mistake that leads to a financial loss for the client.

You can get insurance through an insurance broker or an insurance company. For small businesses, the best place to get insurance is through the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Open A Business Bank Account For Your Event Planning Company

A separate business bank account is a must for any event planning business. This will help you keep track of your expenses and income. It will also make it easier to file your taxes at the end of the year. You can open a business bank account at most banks and credit unions.

When shopping around for a bank, compare fees, such as monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, and ATM fees. You will also want to find a bank that offers free online banking and bill pay.

Keeping good records and receipts of expenses is important if you use your account for business purposes. This will make it easier to file your taxes at the end of the year. But, it is still a good idea to open a separate business bank account.

Hire Your Employees To Help Run Your Business

You will need a great team of employees to help you plan and execute successful parties. Hiring the right employees can make or break your business, so taking your time when hiring is important.

Make sure you hire people passionate about event planning and have the necessary skills to help your business run smoothly.

Start by creating a job posting that outlines the position you're looking to fill. Then, post the job on online job boards and reach out to your network of contacts. Once you've received some applications, start scheduling interviews.

During the interview, ask each candidate about their experience in event planning and ability to work under pressure.

After interviewing all the candidates, it's time to make your decision and extend an offer to your top choice.

Open Your Office Space

Opening your doors for business is a big milestone for any company. If you're planning on running your party planning business out of your home, you may not need to worry about this step.

However, if you're planning on opening an office space, there are a few things you need to do first.

First, many event planners must find the perfect location for your office. The location of your office will play a big role in the success of your business, so be sure to choose wisely. Once you've found the perfect place, it's time to start setting up your office space.

You'll need to purchase your office's furniture, equipment, and supplies. You can find used office furniture and supplies online or at local thrift stores if you're on a tight budget. Once your office space is set up, it's time to start seeing clients.

Plan Your Marketing Strategy

Now that you have your party planning business up and running, it's time to start marketing your services.

There are many ways to market your business, such as online, print, or word-of-mouth. Marketing is the most crucial asset for any business, so make sure you allocate a good portion of your budget to marketing.

One of the best ways to market your party planning business is through social media accounts. Social media is a great way to reach potential clients and build relationships. Make sure you create a strong social media presence for your business.

Use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post photos and updates about your business.

You can also use social media to run promotions and give away discounts. Another great way to market your party planning business is through online directories, such as Yelp and Google My Business.

These directories will help potential clients find your business when they search for event planners in their area.

If you have little or no money to spend on marketing, start by reaching out to your network of family and friends. Ask them to spread the word about your business and give you referrals.

Create Your Pricing Strategy

After marketing, the fee structure is the most important aspect of your party planning business. It would help if you found a pricing strategy that works for you and your business.

There are many ways to price your services, so research before settling on a price. You can also offer discounts for large parties or repeat customers.

A business owner's guide to pricing can help you determine the best pricing strategy for your business. If you're unsure how to price your services, start by reaching out to other party planners in your area.

Ask them how they price their services and get an idea of the going rate.

You can make a pricing strategy that includes:

Hourly Pricing

You can charge your party planning services by the hour. This is a popular pricing strategy for event planners.

Event Pricing

You can charge a flat fee for each event you plan. This is a popular pricing strategy for wedding planners.

Guest Pricing

You can charge by the number of guests at an event. This is a popular pricing strategy for large parties.

You can offer discounts for large parties or repeat customers. Potential clients are always looking for a bargain, so discounts can be a great way to attract new business.

Why Should You Start Your Own Event Planning Business

Are you an experienced event planner looking to start your own business? Or perhaps you're new to the party planning industry and are looking for a way to get started.

Either way, there are many reasons why starting your own event planning business can be a great idea. For one, the profit margins in the event planning industry can be very high. You can easily make a healthy profit with the right mix of events and clients.

Nice profit margins for party planning

Additionally, if you have experience in event planning, you'll have a leg up on the competition. You'll already know the ins and outs of planning successful events and have a head start in landing your first clients.

So if you're thinking about starting an event planning business, there are plenty of good reasons. There's profit potential, service demand, and room for growth. So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans today!

As a business owner, you'll be responsible for all aspects of your company, from marketing and sales to event logistics and coordination.

If you're detail-oriented, enjoy working with people, and have a knack for organizing, a party planning business could be the perfect fit.

You can turn your passion for party planning into a successful business with a little hard work and dedication.

Follow the steps outlined in this article, and you'll be on your way to becoming a party planning pro in no time!

About the Author

Colin Shipp

Colin Shipp  

Colin Shipp is a marketer who has been working remotely full-time since 2015. He specializes in growth marketing, content marketing, online courses, and remote work. On ColinShipp.com he writes about strategies he is using in his own life.

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Event Management

How to Start an Event Planning Business from Home

Becki Cross

January 22nd, 2022 at 9:30 AM EST

how to make a party planning business

Many Event Planners start out working from home. This can be a great model for setting up an event planning business as it keeps overheads down in those critical early stages of trading and can maximise productivity. If you are considering whether it could work for you and how to make a success of it, here are some things to think about.

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When I set up my Event Management company over 14 years ago I started working from home. It seemed like a natural choice and it meant that instead of worrying about paying expensive office rent in the early stages I could focus on building my business. It worked for me and I worked from home for over a year before outgrowing my home office and renting an office.

Many other Event Planners, Wedding Planning and Freelance Event Managers report the same and find it a workable solution for them – either for the short or the long term. Others just don’t seem able to imagine the realities of working from a home base and I have been quizzed and insulted in equal measures by people trying to understand the intricacies of working from home!

This post is designed to be the ultimate event planning startup kit, for anyone wanting to start their own event management company . These are the chapters you will explore:

8 Compelling Reasons You Should Start an Event Planning Business from Home

A quick guide to setting up your event planning company: follow these easy steps, start now: get your free event planning business plan template, 9 secrets to nail your business name without delay, the no $%^& guide to startup costs for an event planning business, how to create a cash rich event business in 2020, carve out your niche: proven strategy to increase your business earnings, 6 steps to boost your event business’ sales on a tight budget, 100 effective ways to attract more clients and grow your event planning business (when time and money are in short supply).

  • Important Final Advice for All New Event Business Owners

What makes you relevant in 2020? We reviewed 350 event planning job postings to find the skills needed to succeed. Download the free report.

how to make a party planning business

Perhaps you are currently employed but want to test the water by starting to develop your own client base and run your own events for people? You may be part of the rise of 5 to 9 entrepreneurs – those that work evenings and weekend to get their own business off the ground.

Or you may have decided that you want to be your own boss and are simply itching to go it alone?

Are you worried that you will struggle or that it will be too big a leap?

Here are eight things to consider if you are looking to start your own Event Planning Business from home.

An Event Planner can work from almost anywhere if you have a laptop, internet and mobile phone. Most important are your personality and event management skills. Starting out by working from home keeps costs lower as renting office space can be a huge outgoing for a fledgling business and you may not wish to be tied into a long-term rental contract from the outset.

Starting from home gives a new business the best possible start during those important early months.

how to make a party planning business

Au Revoir Work Commute!

Commuting to work every day can be time-consuming and stressful in terms of both time and travel expenses, and is a part of the day that fills many with dread. By working from home you are not only potentially saving on your monthly travel outlay but you are probably removing the big city temptations which are so easy to fritter away money on (coffee, cake, and other high street temptations). Most important though you become more time rich.

If your daily rush hour commute was an hour each way this gives you the chance to extend the productivity of your working day by a whole two hours (if you want to) in the blink of an eye!

Set up a specific workspace which can be your dedicated work area. Ideally have a room that you can close the door on at the end of the day, rather than being reminded about the mounds of paperwork on your desk and hearing the phone ring after hours!

You can design the space based on your work preferences. Perhaps you want to use a room with a view or perhaps staring at a brick wall would be better for your concentration. Think about what furniture you will need to work – desk, chair, phone, answer machine, shelves/filing cabinet, etc.

Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you should be any less disciplined. As well as working set office hours some people still choose to dress as if they were still going to an office job every day. In a creative industry such as the event industry, I don’t necessarily agree with this – it makes sense for me to dress more casually on non-client facing days at the office – but do whatever works for you.

When working from home the most frequent questions I used to get asked is “how do you concentrate on working from home with the lure of daytime television?” and “do you work in your pajamas?”

I think people that asked these questions completely missed the whole point that you are WORKING from home. If you are working for yourself it means that if you don’t work, you don’t get paid! It is up to you but no one else is going to pay your salary for you. Furthermore, in my experience running your own business keeps you busy, busy, busy. Organizing events is a time-consuming operation and organizing events and running your own business doesn’t give any time for slacking!

I actually found the opposite in terms of discipline – it is actually hard to switch off and working from home can fudge your work-life balance as the lines are blurred between the two. Whether you struggle to focus or struggle to switch off though discipline has to be key!

One of the things we struggled with as our business grew was storage space. We invested in bigger and better printers, event equipment, marketing materials, banners and so forth, but this investment also takes up space. Furthermore, our regular clients increasingly wanted us to hold some of their materials and branded items between events which put a further strain on storage space.

When event boxes of literature started taking over the lounge every time we had delegate folders to collate ahead of an event we realized it was time to move to a more purpose-built office solution. Perhaps this is less of a problem today when less information is printed and more is presented digitally for events, but nevertheless, it can add up.

Client Meetings

I find that many of our clients prefer us to travel to their offices to meet but if you ever need a space to meet and your home office isn’t large enough/suitable enough there are plenty of coffee shops, hotels and meeting places which offer a convenient place to meet face to face – so this need never be a concern.

Flexibility

One of the biggest perks of working from home is the productivity element. As event deadlines get close hours are often long for an event planner and it is great to feel safe in your own home and able to carry on working for as long as you need to. Likewise, if you have international conference calls across time zones it is convenient to be able to do this from the luxury of your home office.

 Home Working Perks

Don’t forget to update and take out the relevant insurance policies as you should with any business working from a home or office base.

There are however many other perks to working at home too – for example paying no or reduced business rates, tax relief and off-setting a percentage of your household running expenditure through the business. These elements will, of course, vary from country to country so do look into the realities of this before you take the plunge.

how to make a party planning business

There are a million and one things to think about if you are considering starting your own event planning business. Whether it is a distant dream or almost a reality, here are 22 steps you need to take to set up a successful event management company.

Starting up an event planning business is not a decision to take lightly. It is a major decision which impacts not only on your life but also on your family and others around you. At the same time, if you are passionate and determined that this is the right direction to take you shouldn’t take no for an answer – go for it!

Although 80% of businesses survive the first year, almost half no longer exist after five years and only one-third make it past their tenth anniversary (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics ). Interestingly, major economic downturns don’t seem to impact the survival rates for new businesses and these stats have remained remarkably consistent over the last two decades.

As one of the one-third of businesses that have survived past the ten-year mark (my event management company was established in 2004), we wanted to create the ultimate useful reference guide to help others take those important first steps to being their own boss.

Starting a new business is definitely not the easy option or a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. It is a high risk, but potentially high reward strategy over the long term.

how to make a party planning business

Here are the details and the process you will need to follow before officially launching your event planning company. There are lots of things to think seriously about and we have flagged essential action to take for each step. Read, digest and bookmark this article for a blueprint of how to prepare to launch your business and ensure the best chance of survival.

Gain Varied Event Planning Experience

how to make a party planning business

The more event planning experience you have the better the service you are going to be able to offer your clients. This isn’t just limited to event planning skills either, any business skills and experience will make you a more rounded business owner. Jump at any opportunity to get paid or unpaid work experience. Use this to learn the things that work and the things you would do differently.

If necessary teach yourself how to use tools that will benefit you as a small business. Today, many of these programs are available online and there is a wealth of video tutorials and written content to help you learn how to use them.

Be confident in what you have to offer:

  • Before taking the plunge, make sure you have gained lots of event and administration experience and are confident with planning events independently.
  • Identify any gaps in your skillset and work hard to strengthen these areas through paid work or volunteering.
  • If you need to keep costs down, teach yourself core skills that you will need, such as email marketing platforms, survey tools, accounting programs, design systems and website building.

Undertake Market and Competitor Research

The first thing you need to establish is if there is a definite requirement for the services that you want to offer. Instead of just believing it is a good idea you need to do some actual research to confirm this.

This information can be difficult to find and you will need to refer to lots of different sources to try to get a reliable picture. Look into public data, reports and analysis on the web, talk to people and try to undertake a focus group and individual phone calls with those that you are looking to develop relationships with, to determine evidence of a need.

how to make a party planning business

Scope out the market through researching:

  • Log the number of competitors there are in your area.
  • Note the similarities and differences in the services they offer, compared to your business idea.
  • Analyze and monitor the number of tenders and opportunities issued for event planning services over a certain time period.
  • Speak to companies who issue these types of opportunities to determine what their frustrations are with the current offering and what is lacking?
  • Calculate how many businesses operate within your target geographical area and business sector.
  • If you can track it down, find national and local figures in terms of expenditure on events. Your local university is often the best opportunity to find out such data if it is not available online.

Identify Your Strengths (and Weaknesses)

how to make a party planning business

Consider whether you are looking to offer a broad, full-service event management company or focus specifically on producing a specific type of event or a specific target market. Although it is tempting to try to offer everything to everyone in order to secure the maximum amount of business it may be that this is actually reducing the amount of business you secure by appearing like a “jack of all trades, master of none”.

If you can, focus on your strengths so you can tailor your marketing and all efforts to attract the right type of business from the start. For example, you may decide to specialize in conferences or exhibitions or party planning. Each of these areas is likely to require a different brand and language to attract the right clientele. The key is not to position yourself in too small a niche it is limiting but not trying to do so much that it detracts you from your real passion and focus and puts you outside of your comfort zone.

how to make a party planning business

Work out your passion and superpowers:

  • List the core areas where you know you have an edge. This should include the types of events you are most confident and passionate about planning or expert knowledge of an industry or subject.
  • Analyze whether your specialty is broad enough to make a living from or whether you need to go wider.
  • Also, be honest and consider what your weaknesses are. If you have gaps in your skill set and are not confident managing large-scale events in specific areas, be honest with yourself. It is important to consider what you won’t do. Running a music festival requires very different knowledge, contacts and skills than organizing a trade show. If there is a specific genre or size of event that would push you outside of your comfort zone or take you too far away from your true passion you are best to set your limits now.

Understand the Realities of Starting a Business

Think about how you are going to survive as it may take some time before money starts coming into the business and you still need to be able to pay your bills during this period. Many people start their business “on the side” during their free time, evening and weekends, whilst working for somebody else. This will obviously depend on the role you have currently to ensure that you are not in breach of contract – make sure you act ethically and fairly to your current employer.

Discuss your aims with your partner and family to try to prepare everyone for the change of lifestyle and circumstances. Working for yourself isn’t the same as working for an employer. The buck stops with you. You are likely to work the longest hours of your life, working 80 plus hours a week is not unheard of for business owners. Also, no work = no pay. Your salary is directly linked to the amount of profit you can generate.

Take decisive steps to work out a plan:

  • Calculate how much you really need to survive each month and pay your bills.
  • Save as much as possible to sustain you for the short term after you launch your business.
  • Look into alternative income options, such as a part-time job, support from your partner/family or a loan.

What Type of Business is Right for You?

There are many different types of organizations and you need to learn about the different entities to determine which is the right one for you. You might want to be a freelance event planner or to set up a company. The legalities will vary depending on the country you will be operating in too. We recommend that you take advice from experts if you are unsure.

Work out which business entity is right for you:

  • Know your personal liability in terms of different business options in case the business fails
  • Find out the setup costs, process, ongoing administrative commitments and growth potential of different business entities
  • Compare and contrast the tax implications of being a freelancer, compared to running a company

Decide on the Business Name

Think carefully and research your business name as this isn’t something you would want to change after launching. Look for any conflicts, which prevents you from using names already in use. Also, think about abbreviations to avoid any unfortunate shortenings.

Decide on a killer business name:

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Share the best ideas with people you respect, including family and potential clients to see their reaction
  • Check whether the website and social media profiles are available for your shortlisted names

Within this post, there is a section dedicated to choosing event planning business names and offering further guidance on this.

Create a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is highly recommended to crystallize your aims and intentions for your company. It is a document describing your business objectives, financial forecasts and strategies for sales and marketing.

Opinions on business plans differ in terms of how detailed this should be. Whether you create a lengthy document of 60 pages, a couple of A4 sheets or write it on the back of a beer mat, it will be a good use of your time and enable you to speak more confidently about your plans and identify problems. Certain banks and investors would also need to see this document. It includes financial and marketing planning information, as well as the vision and mission statements for the company.

Information you should include in your business plan:

  • Your Vision for the Company
  • Mission Statement
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Financial Plan
  • Marketing Plan

Keep reading this post as we have a free business plan template for you to download and complete.

how to make a party planning business

Think Seriously About Investment and Funding

Is any funding available to you? Certain geographical locations may offer incentives or grants for new businesses, to help them start out, or your college or university may be able to offer support. The traditional route for business investment was always through banks or through an angel or investor, although there are many more opportunities and non-conventional routes available today, such as crowdfunding. You may even be eligible for competitions looking for the best startup idea to secure investment and TV programs such as Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den which give you the chance to pitch your business idea, or at least get some great marketing coverage to tell the world about your product.

Steps to take:

  • If you can you start your business without financial help this is always recommended as loan repayments are one less thing to worry about. Create a cash flow forecast to identify when the shortfalls may occur and if there are alternative ways of handling it, rather than a loan (overdraft, different payment terms with clients, negotiating credit terms, etc).
  • If you do need investment, make a list of all of the options open to you, interest rates, repayment terms, set up time and the pros and cons of each. Include less conventional options, such as crowd funding and pitching your idea on TV
  • Calculate exactly how much you need, what you need it for and when.

Incorporate/Register Your Business

Find out the process for formally registering your company and what information and format are required. This varies from country to country. In the UK, for instance, the government is keen to encourage people to go into business and so they make the process easy to reduce the barriers to starting up. You can complete a simple online form to create a company in less than 20 minutes.

Be prepared to formally start your business:

  • Complete, sign and return the necessary forms
  • Partners, Directors and the Company Secretary will also need to sign and complete the forms, if relevant to the type of business entity you are creating

Design Your Logo and Develop Your Company Brand Identity

When your company name is decided and registered you can start creating your company logo and branding. You might have to live with this for a long time, so make sure you are happy with your corporate identity. Tools and design packages are available if you have the skills to create this yourself, otherwise, a graphic designer should be able to create your company identity for you for a reasonable price. They can also design your stationery and business cards, which can be printed for a small outlay.

Develop your corporate identity:

  • Brand guidelines should be created, detailing the correct use of your logo, font, colors, placement and so forth
  • Consider how your logo will reproduce in different situations, such as reversed and on social media, badges, business cards, websites.
  • You will need your logo in different formats such as .eps, .jpeg and .png.

Set Up Your Website and Social Media Accounts

Check your website domain is available and purchase it when your company name is agreed. It is also worth reserving the handles on social media channels too, even if you don’t yet want to start completing your profile details actively posting from the accounts. Aim for the same handles across all networks for consistency.

Sort out your online presence:

  • Populate your web page and social media channels as soon as you can. Even if it is just a holding page and ’coming soon’ message it lets people know plans are afoot
  • Get friends and family to follow you initially to boost your follower numbers on social
  • Start sharing useful content to start building more organic followers

Protect Your Business Intellectual Property

Protect your brand via trademarks, patents, copyrights, whichever route is relevant to your product or service. Take specialist advice on these matters to ensure that you are protected against theft and plagiarism. Don’t think that it wouldn’t happen to you.

Don’t get caught out:

  • Take legal advice to protect your IP
  • Don’t be afraid of asking people to sign a non-disclosure to protect your IP whenever sharing information and ideas
  • Trust no one

Set Up a Company Bank Account

When your company is registered you will be able to apply for your company bank account. This will need to be done face to face at your bank to verify your identity documents and to sign the relevant paperwork. Choose a bank account that matches your needs, for instance, do you need to deposit cash or take payments by card. If so they will be able to advise the best solutions available to you.

Choose a bank to support your vision:

  • Shortlist banks by thinking about your needs now and in the future. For instance, if you have ambitious growth plans you may want to choose a bank that approves a lot of business loans
  • If you need to visit your bank in person to pay in cash and checks, look at location and opening times
  • Check out the online banking process and if an app is available
  • Ask if you are allocated to a local bank manager or if all contact needs be via a call center

Confirm Your Pricing Strategy and Fee Structure

Thought needs to be given to your pricing and fees so you know how to answer questions about your costs. Although you need to know the specific details of an event project to quote accurately you still need to know your hourly and daily rates and to share them confidently. Consider whether you will quote on a fee basis or a time-charge basis. Other pricing methods you might consider are taking a fee as a percentage of the total event budget and taking a commission on any items booked related to the event. You may also want to offer set packages or have an introductory offer to entice people.

Get your price right:

  • Research your competitors to find out how they charge and an idea of pricing. It can be very difficult to gain this information but if you can get an understanding of how your closest rivals price their services it will be very revealing indeed
  • When you get an inquiry, make sure you ask lots of questions and get all the details you need to understand the project before quoting. Every event is different
  • Create a list of questions to prompt you to ask anyone interested in your services. Take down all the details to enable you to calculate and create a proposal to share with them

Market Your Business Like Crazy to Secure Clients

Try to work on securing some clients and projects before officially launching the business. Having one client already signed up was a great confidence boost when I launched my company and definitely a deciding factor to take the plunge.

Tell as many people as you can about your intentions, including friends and family. Although they may not directly need your services they may know someone else who does.

Perfect Your Elevator Speech

If you answer the question of what you do with “I’m an event planner,” you’re hitting a line drive to first when you could be going for home. Instead answer with something like, “I help medium-sized businesses make indelible impressions on clients and increase revenue through user’s conferences.” Now, I’m listening.

how to make a party planning business

People Buy People

It is easy, in business, to overlook the fact that we deal with real human beings. Real people can get lost between numbers, projections, ROI and profit margins, when really they are the most important thing keeping all of us afloat.

The importance of retaining a human connection externally with customers and clients and internally with staff and stakeholders, cannot be overstated. Successful connection is all about conversation, mutual understanding, and appreciation. If you don’t connect with the potential customer you are less likely to win the bid. We need to get personal, get real, and start an authentic dialogue to gain genuine trust.

That’s precisely what makes events so important. Events create the emotional energy behind the sale, the human experience element. And no-one at all, including those in procurement, really choose a logical sales choice. They make emotional ones – buying ideas. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and the only way to truly engage people with that why, is to offer them a direct, human experience of your brand in real life.

how to make a party planning business

Arguably, the value of connection has decreased. Online, no real thought or effort has to go into communicating anymore, and it’s the same with the way brands operate online. With an increase in the ease of communication, there’s a decrease in what it actually means – making the individual feel important. Keep this in mind whenever you are creating a proposal, networking or pitching for new business and work hard to develop genuine relationships with your client.

Win favour and get clients before you launch:

  • Start networking, online and offline, and talking to people about your plans ahead of time to see their reaction
  • Create business cards even before it is “official” and connect with useful contacts via LinkedIn
  • Keep a list of potential prospects and be sure to let them know when you have officially launched
  • Perfect and practice your elevator pitch
  • Keep in touch and follow up with warm leads often; share an interesting article, send them a Christmas card. Don’t let them forget that you are ready and waiting

Take Out Relevant Insurances

Make sure that you are covered by the relevant insurances as soon as you start out in business. In the UK, for example, this may include public liability, employers’ liability, and business insurances such as professional indemnity, business and contents insurance. You may also need specific event insurance for different event projects. An insurance broker will be able to advise the specifics you need to consider within the country you operate in.

Protect yourself:

  • Take professional advice on the type of cover that you need
  • Get several quotes
  • Know the estimated costs and process for additional event-specific insurances you/your client may need

Decide on Your Office Location

Think about where you will work from. Do you really need the overheads of an office? Can you start out working from home? As we have already mentioned, there are a lot of benefits from starting out using a home office. Often meetings can take place at the client’s office or in a local coffee shop or hotel anyway so having a plush office is not essential. If you feel that it is really important to have an office consider hot-desking, a shared workspace or incubator unit where you will get to meet other business owners too.

Give it some thought:

  • If you can keep costs down and work from home then this is a wise decision, at least at first
  • If you think you will feel isolated or struggle to focus when working from a home office, look at flexible options for hot-desking and shared spaces which keep costs and contracts to a minimum
  • Compile a list of potential places to meet so you can always suggest a suitable location to a client

Purchase Business Equipment and Tools You Need

Starting an event management company has low barriers to entry as generally, it is a service based role, which relies primarily on your skills as an individual. As long as you have access to a phone, computer and WiFi you should be ready to begin! Notice will be required to install a phone line and WiFi to your chosen location though, so plan ahead for this before your launch date if you need any changes to your home set up.

Make a list:

  • List the essentials you need to start out. Cross off things you would like to have and focus on what you actually need
  • Identify milestones and rewards, such as, when we are paid by our tenth client we will open a bottle of champagne. Little incentives help you to be more aware of your achievements

Later in the post, we talk in more detail about what to do if you are looking to start a business with no money. For an industry like event planning, having little money is not necessarily a roadblock to starting your own business.

Identify People That Can Help You

For the foreseeable future you will probably be working alone, or perhaps working with freelancers on a project by project basis. You won’t have a large team around you, which you may have had in previous employment. Keep lean while you can – paying other people’s salaries is a big responsibility, especially when you are first starting out.

Sites like Upwork are great as they allow you to find temporary staff that have the skills you need and agree a set fee on a project by project basis. You can outsource legal contracts, copywriting, web design, video editing and any task you can think of. You can even hire a virtual assistant to help with administration or handle phone calls.

Locally, try to develop a network of suppliers that you know and trust so you know where to turn to for quotes whenever opportunities arise. Let them know that you are going solo and they may also be able to recommend you for projects they hear about.

how to make a party planning business

Think about ways you could work with others for mutual satisfaction and benefit. For instance, a nutritionist might partner with a gym to give her clients a discount, and the gym might have a reciprocal agreement for referrals with the nutritionist. Together they’re getting more clients by offering their clients more value.

Grow your support network:

  • Get to know local vendors so you know who to call on when you need quotes turning around quickly
  • Make a list of freelancers that you can contact and that you may need to work with on larger projects and when you get too busy
  • Get a feel for the type of skills and services you can access online through freelancer sites and the rates charged
  • Identify ways you can work with others to offer your clients more value

Officially Launch Your Business

When all these elements are in place the time has come to officially launch your business. People need to know that you are now open for business. Plan well ahead for this day and try to have clients on board even before your official launch.

The hardest step is getting your first client. With every client that you work with you are building a portfolio of achievements which can help you to gain further business.

Launch with a bang:

  • Re-contact everyone and anyone that you have spoken to during this process and let people know you are now officially open for business.
  • Get on Facebook, target your geographic area, start an ad campaign with $20.
  • Plan the best launch party you will ever plan and invite along potential clients. Show them what they are going to get if they work with you.

how to make a party planning business

Stay on Top of Paperwork and Accounting

how to make a party planning business

Any business creates a number of administrative duties, such as tax, accounting and legal reporting and requirements. There are a lot of things that need your attention when running a small business, which takes you away from doing what you actually love and are good at – event planning. Take care to stay on top of all paperwork and declarations relevant to your business and the country you operate in. Submit paperwork and accounts in a timely manner before deadlines otherwise you could be subject to fines.

Always cover yourself by having written contracts with all suppliers and vendors and freelancers so that there can be no misunderstandings or liabilities.

Get systems in place:

  • Note key deadlines
  • Create sample contracts
  • Find a simple accounting package to record all financial transactions – and a good accountant
  • Create invoice templates

Develop Your Business Opportunities

Be sure to dedicate plenty of time to developing and growing your business, otherwise, you will find that you complete your first projects and then have no more work on the horizon. Managing cash flow and the peaks and troughs can be difficult as you get to grips with being your own boss.

Think about the next steps for your event planning business:

  • Set up alerts or systematically check websites for relevant opportunities and tenders and get out there to network and meet people
  • Develop template marketing content and wording for proposals so you are ready to respond quickly as you find out about opportunities
  • Refine your pricing structure, fees and charges as you go along
  • It can be very lonely starting out in business so make sure that you have the opportunity to talk to other business owners, compare notes, solve problems and share inspiration
  • Get a business mentor to help guide you through this tricky beginning period

how to make a party planning business

When I was considering starting my own event management company I enrolled in a night class which helped me to create my own business plan. The tutors shared a business plan sample layout, as well as general advice and support about taking that important first step into being your own boss. I know how much this helped to focus my efforts on starting up the company and my aims for the future and so I wanted to share with you my own event planning business plan sample.

how to make a party planning business

What Makes a Good Business Plan?

There is no right or wrong answers for your business plan, it is unique. You can adapt the layout specific to your requirements. There may be additional information that you want to add in or questions that are not relevant to your business model. Regardless of the specifics you include and how many pages the completed document is, your business plan is what turns your idea into reality.

The most important questions that your business plan needs to address is:

What will make my event management company stand out?

How will my event planning business succeed when so many others fail?

The strongest business plans:

If you don’t have a problem you are solving, you are a minnow in a very large sea. As an event planner you could be rallying against “ho-hum events” or ensure “more revenue, less hassle” for annual conferences. People hire planners because they don’t want to deal with the details. They want the headache to be someone else’s. Demonstrate through your business plan how you will demonstrate this and take those things on so they can get back to business.

What is your value? What do you do differently from other event planners? Know your unique value to a specific type of client and explain it at every chance you get.

Communicate what you want to achieve so that any potential investors can see at a glance what your business idea is, without using any complicated jargon. Your plan doesn’t have to be long but it should establish the vision for your idea, your objectives, how you will deliver the plan and how it will make money.

how to make a party planning business

Know Their Market and Do Market Research

If you understand your market and the competition, you have a better chance of understanding the business need out there and how your business can position itself. Be clear about your target market Who will you be selling to? Why are you different to your competitors?

Are Realistic with Figures

It is difficult to be accurate and the numbers in the finance section can be scary but it is important to try to be realistic. If your business isn’t going to make money it is best to know now so you can refine your ideas into a viable business proposition. Likewise you need to identify how you will make a profit and the anticipated timescales for this. A strong financial business plan will be essential if you need to secure loans and investment, as well as a tool to keep you focused.

Revisit the Business Plan and Goals Regularly

Your business plan should be a working document, particularly in the important first stages of starting out in business. The process of thinking about and creating your plan is what will give you a competitive edge. Check back and revisit your plan regularly. Let the plan grow with you and your business to keep you on the right path.

how to make a party planning business

Download the event management business plan PDF below and create your own bespoke action plan for your startup.

Do you want to add this PDF business plan template to your own website? If so email [email protected] .

How to Set Up an Event Management Company from Home [Video]

Picking a name for your new business venture is highly important, as you want to get it right and select an epic company name that encapsulates your vision for the business. Deciding on event planning business names may be one of the final decisions you make, as working through your business plan will help you to define the vision of your new entity and therefore impact on the name.

Choose the right company name and ensure that your message and ethos are successfully catchy and well marketed and memorable for the right reasons.

Demand Attention

It’s ok to be different. Look at what your competitors are called and make sure that you don’t come up with a variation that could be confusing. Being outlandish or weird can actually benefit you when choosing a company name because they are more memorable, attendees will start talking about it and they will want to know the story behind it!

On the other hand, don’t push the boundaries too far if you want people to get your name right. I have lost count of the number of times we get referred to as Northern Events, as Events Northern is not the natural way of saying it.

Make It Snappy

Not only is a short and snappy name easier to remember and recall but it can make branding, marketing and signage a lot easier to accommodate as well. Shorter names that stick in people’s head are some of the best options that you can choose. Shorter names pack more of a punch.

Be Laser Focused

Are there gaps in your current event niche that aren’t being catered for that you can get across with your company name? Do some market research just for naming, as this can help you with marketing and focusing your demographic further down the line.

how to make a party planning business

Embody Your Ethos

Know and understand what you want to get across to potential clients before you start and try to embody that in the name. Also, remember that it is your message and style that makes your business unique, and that will help to put a creative spin on your business name.

Although it is hard, try to think long-term in terms of your name as you never know where your company will take you. This is something I have learned from experience as, at the start, Events Northern was always focused on events in the North of the UK, so the business name was ideal for our core focus. Over the years though, our business opportunities have become more varied and we do more national and international work, which isn’t just focused on the geographical North. Although this hasn’t held us back, it is also difficult to quantify the number of clients that have not picked up the phone and contacted us because of our name.

Seek the Truth

It can be very easy to be blinkered when you are deciding on something you are so passionate and invested in so asking for other’s opinions can be an asset, especially if you can’t narrow down your options to confirm the definitive name. Crowdsourcing allows you to get a view from real people; whether it is your family and friends or a focus group you can pick up on things you wouldn’t have even thought of and get a different viewpoint. Gathering impartial data and suggestions can also give you inspiration to evolve your ideas further. It is also a way to check for abbreviations or potential initial errors in the name that you can fix now rather than not noticing until further down the line.

The name is important, but telling yourself that over and over again will usually only lead to one thing, writer’s block and then you aren’t getting anywhere. For many people, it is not easy to come up with something creative and original within 5 minutes so these things take time, and most often you will have an “ah ha” moment when you least expect it. If you are struggling to get any ideas out, get a piece of paper and a pen (old school style) and free write for 5 minutes, write whatever comes into your head, literally everything; chicken, ghost, house, rain, whatever pops into your head and it can help to free up your creativity to get through writer’s block.

Expand Your Vocab

Creating a play on words is effective but you need the knowledge to do this, so pick up a dictionary or thesaurus and help to expand your vocabulary. You can use it to find synonyms of other words or expand your adjectives.

Triple Check Availability

This is the techy bit, check that the URLs and legal rights are available, nothing worse than coming up with the best name ever to find it is actually an obscure blog or failing company that you can’t use the domain name for. In some countries, there will also be restrictions on using certain names together which could lead to infringing copyright or naming patents.

If you are dead set on a name but have found someone else has the domain that you want, you can always contact them and ask them to sell it to you because while big brands and names won’t, there could be older websites or retired bloggers that would be happy to sell up and make a little money on the website they had 10 years ago, plus it can’t hurt to ask.

When you are set on a name also check the social media platforms to aim for consistency across the board.

Think Performance

Google can be a useful marketing tool to spread the word about your business but it is much harder to use if you have a lot of competition. Choose names that aren’t as popular, that don’t have common words in them or that make them specific to certain locations such as; Bonnaroo or The Kentucky Derby as these are more unique and you’ll find yourself higher on the search engine pages from the get-go.

A common question that we get asked is “how much money do you need to start an event management company?” The good news is that the answer in most cases is not much!

Starting an event management company generally has low set up costs compared to many other types of business. The essential equipment/elements you will need are:

  • A computer or laptop
  • WiFi access
  • Desk (or table) and chair

Things that will help but are not essential include:

  • Website (recommended)
  • Access to a printer
  • Answerphone/answer service
  • A vehicle (it is difficult to use public transport when you have event equipment to transport and need to be on site at 5.30 am)
  • Business cards

You may already even own/have access to these items. If not, all of these things should be easily within reach.

How to Start an Event Management Company with Little or No Money (Yes it is possible!)

When you are starting out in business (and even when you are established!) you should do everything you can to minimize expenditure. When you work for yourself it is true that every penny counts.

Absolute Essentials (Things you Can’t Skimp on) When Starting an Event Planning Business

If you have no money you can still start an event planning business, so long as you can start making money fast. Let’s talk through how you can start your business if you really have zero money, in terms of the essentials and the nice-to-haves we just identified.

  • A computer or laptop – more than ever before people own laptops and computers. Although it would be nice to have the latest PC or Mac, as long as you can access the internet, emails and basic programs, that is all you need. If you don’t have your own machine you will need to beg, borrow or steal one somehow. Consider a second-hand device or refurbished model if need be.
  • Phone – whether it is a cell phone, landline or VOIP phone system you need some way of calling out and ensuring that people can get hold of you. You probably already have some method of communication but consider increasing your inclusive call, text and data allowance if you find you are using it a lot more than before.
  • WiFi access – if you don’t have WiFi at home there are plenty of coffee shops and public spaces that offer it for free. And they can provide you with a table) and chair too if you need one.
  • Insurance – this is important and not something you can skimp on, but make sure that you get multiple quotes so you can choose the most cost-effective options. Be honest with your broker. Don’t exaggerate your business activities and turnover as it only means that you will pay more for your policy. Provide the facts and know that if and when your circumstances change you can alter your insurance cover. Request monthly payment plans, rather than annual policies.

How To Access Things You Need for Starting an Event Planning Business (Even When You Have No Money)

  • Website –  most domain names can be purchased for a few dollars unless they are in high demand, but through your research, you can avoid those. There are lots of free and low-cost website builders out there too, allowing you to create a simple website or holding page, without any web building skills. Alternatively set up a company page on LinkedIn or Facebook and refer people to there instead.
  • Printer – if you have fully embraced the digital age this one will not worry you but being able to print things you need can be useful to prepare for important meetings and live events alike. Of course, local libraries and print shops can print things for you, for next to nothing, without having to buy a printer.
  • A vehicle – being able to drive and having access to a reliable vehicle are things every self-sufficient event planner will need. If you don’t own your own vehicle consider hiring a car or a van specifically for event periods/
  • Business cards – business cards cost next to nothing nowadays and you can even design and proof them yourself online and have them delivered to you. Alternatively, create a digital business card or connect with people via LinkedIn instead.

5 Genius Ways To Quickly Inject Money Into Your New Business

If you are starting out and desperately need to bring some money in, there can be four ways to access funds quickly:

  • Have clients ready and waiting – this is the preferable and most organic and least scary way of starting out as a solopreneur. If you can have clients and projects ready and waiting for you as soon as you launch your event planning business it makes the transition from paid employment to business owner much less traumatic. This is the best way to avoid sleepless nights.
  • Register on virtual work sites – register your event planning, business admin and other skills onto freelance sites, such as Upwork. This allows you to bid and accept work around your other commitments.
  • Register with an agency and let contacts know you are available – registering for event work through an agency and letting event agency colleagues know you are on the market for event work can be a useful way to be in an event environment, following instructions from someone else and getting paid for it. Just because you are the boss, don’t think that working the registration desks at someone else’s event is below you.
  • Take paid work in a different field – consider taking on a part-time job where the hours and convenience can work around your new business. It might be in an unrelated field but at least having some income coming in can be one less thing to worry about.
  • Loan – it might be that you need to investigate a short-term loan, either from the bank or borrowed from friends and family.

Owning your own event freelancing or small business can feel like feast or famine when it comes to work, which means that managing cash flow can be a big challenge. Some days you’re turning it away because you don’t have the bandwidth and other times you’re worrying about having no projects lined up and how you are going to pay the bills.

Operating your own event planning business is wonderfully fulfilling but it also means you’re on the hook to market yourself while busy performing event services. You need to keep the flow of clients coming in. For so many freelancers and sole proprietors, it can feel like boom or bust. If that’s the case, one of the most important things you can do for your business is evening out that cash flow.

Balancing out your cash flow is one of the best things you can do for your long-term success as an event freelancer or small business professional. It’s a challenge but can be done if you look for the right kind of client and nurture that person and relationship. Here are a few ideas on how you can even out your cash flow problems and work peaks and troughs.

Startup Problems: Too Much Work and Too Many Clients

We get it. The last thing you want to do as an event professional who has feast or famine times is to turn away work. It feels almost painful when you know a few weeks or months from now, you’ll really need the income. But you also likely know that you can’t run yourself ragged forever. It affects your health and means you could be pulled in so many different directions that all of your clients feel the lack of attention. This will make it next to impossible to get good referrals from them so you certainly don’t want to do this. Instead…

Create an Event Co-op

Until you build a roster of recurring clients who keep you busy year-round, you will have hills and valleys, dearth and surfeit. In order to level that out, one of the things you can do is work with other event planners in a referral group. Just as a physician will provide a patient with a referral to another physician, you can do this with a group of event managers. Select a group of professionals you believe in and can trust. Remember, you’re telling clients and potential clients that these event profs are as good as you are. Make sure you’re not giving a bad referral.

You also want to ensure that this sort of relationship works for you too. If you’re referring clients to them, you’re hoping they will do the same for you when the opportunity presents itself. Make this clear.

You can also use the group to help increase your staff. If you’re afraid of losing the client altogether, take the client on and then work with your group to cover some of the other functions you don’t have time for. Pay them accordingly.

Let Them Go (for a fee)

This is a similar idea to the one above. If you don’t have time to take on the client, refer them to someone else but request a finder’s fee. While this is not customary in event planning, it’s not uncommon in other industries and a hungry event planner may be willing to give you a small fee for the referral.

If you find yourself doing this often and there’s a market for this type of service in your network, you may discover that you have a new business.

Set Up a Referral Plan

If you have several happy clients, now is the time to create a formal referral program. Ask happy clients to refer you to others in their network or tell your clients that you are accepting new clients for events in a stipulated time frame (like Spring of 2018). This helps you book up your calendar in advance, rewards your clients for the referrals, and creates scarcity when they see how far in advance you are booked. This drives people to book you early or ask for other suggestions, which can help you work your referral group as mentioned above.

Startup Problems: Balancing Out Cash Flow When You Have Too Little Coming In

Even the best event profs can have problems with a steady flow of clients. Whether it’s due to a cyclical economy or being new in town, you’ll likely face a lack of clients at some point. When you do, here are a few things that can help make up for it.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

With feast or famine, you can’t exactly hire someone. What would happen during the famine? But you also can’t grow your business without hiring someone. What should you do?

In this case of plenty, consider hiring a virtual assistant to allow you to bring in more work. You can hire them on a contingency system where they work on projects when you have the work. When you don’t they go back to serving other clients. There’s no long-term contract and you needn’t worry about paying them when you don’t have projects.

A virtual assistant is a safe way to take on additional work that will help you grow without taking the risk of another full-time, permanent employee. You can task them with researching potential new clients too, to hopefully help even out your flow of work..

how to make a party planning business

If you want to get your name out there in an area where you don’t have much of a reputation, consider volunteering on an event or in an activity that would give you exposure to your ideal client. Work hard and make an impression and your new network of people met through volunteering may just hire you. Don’t push your business on them. Simply look for ways in which to be helpful.

Get Clients with Recurring Events to Book Early

While it may not help you get paid any earlier, this tip can help you get your calendar booked early so you can worry less. And if you require a downpayment to hold the spot, you can get a little revenue coming in before the event. If you have clients with recurring events, give them an incentive to book you early. You’ll have peace of mind and you can pass along a small discount or financial incentive for them to get on your books for next year’s event this year.

Ask Your Network

If your event business is new or struggling, the easiest and least expensive way to grow it is through referral marketing. You never know who you know. Don’t assume your friends and family have no use for your services. Ask them if they need any help. Sometimes, someone has taken on more than they can handle and they need someone to finish the project. Other times, they have someone in their network who needs help with an event.

Most people would be willing to hire an event planner that a good friend referred them to, so get happy clients and attendees to talk about you. Our friends know us and know what we like. They wouldn’t steer us in the wrong direction. But it may surprise you to know that people will even make hiring and buying decisions based on reviews by people they don’t know. According to a study from Ogilvy, Google and TNS, 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influence in their purchasing decision.

According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, one offline word-of-mouth impression drives sales at least 5x more than a paid mention does. Paid advertising may not be in your budget anyway if you’re just starting out but it’s reassuring to know it’s not the most effective way to reach your audience anyway.

Give those referring you all the information they need to make sharing it with their network easy. Make sure to thank them when they do and offer them a referral fee or thank you card or gift for their assistance if work materializes as a result. You can even offer a friends and family discount or free consultation.

how to make a party planning business

Join a Group

Join a group and get to know other people. In-person networking groups like your local chamber of commerce and others as well as virtual groups on LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to make connections with your ideal clients and other professionals who can help expand your network.

When you join a group, don’t hit them immediately with how desperate you are for a new client. Instead, look for opportunities to be of assistance and connect them to the people they want to meet or need help with. If you become a resource for others, they are likely to become a resource for you as well because they will begin to know, like, and trust you.

Become a Subject Matter Expert

As mentioned above, becoming a resource for people is a good way to get hired. That’s why becoming a subject matter expert is paramount to getting clients year-round. If you can become the noted expert in an area, book speaking engagements, publish about topics of interest to your ideal audience, write a book (or an ebook), post on sites offering your assistance or answering questions, following others on social media and joining in on chats and other discussions, you can quickly become known for your insights. When you do, people will approach you to work for them. This means less time spent needing to market your services.

Know one more benefit to becoming a subject matter expert? You can increase your pricing, which is another good way to improve cash flow.

Sell Something

Going off of the subject matter expert advice, look for ways you can expand your offerings and sell something. As an event professional, you are exchanging your time for money. You can make a very good career doing so but you can also exhaust yourself chasing the money and working the hours because you want more of it (to make up for times when clients are few and far between).

An ideal way to balance out cash flow is to produce something that can earn you money without you being involved. For instance, a book, product, or even a course can bring in revenue without an additional investment of your time. You invest initially in its creation because you do so on spec. Most likely you will not be paid to create it. But once it’s created, the revenue possibilities aren’t limited by the hours in the day. People can buy it (and pay you) even while you’re sleeping.

Offer a Smaller Service

You likely serve a particular audience and you’ve decided what they will pay. By setting your prices you have chosen to work with a client of a specified means or revenue. That leaves others out and that’s okay when it comes to booking events.

But a way to get more clients is by going into another market. This could mean taking on another niche or dropping your price. If you’re not interested in doing either of these things, try offering smaller consulting services. This would entail shorter stints, less work on your part, and a wider audience base. For instance, you can offer “day-of” event manager work on events. Some corporate people plan the events and then realize they don’t have time to manage them or need additional support. Or some people just want a plan they can follow. Their limited budgets may prevent them from hiring a full-time planner. You can fill that need.

Improve Your Existing Cash Flow

To improve cash flow, either get more clients, raise prices on your services, or change how you collect the money. For instance, adding a payment plan for large events that would bring in a smaller amount each month preceding the event would help, as would requiring a down payment to hold the date and another partial payment when they see your first plan or some other accepted milestone. Your final payment may be diminished but spreading out the payments would bring some stability to the cash flow.

Put on Your Own Events

Instead of waiting for clients to come to you, think about opportunities you can make a start on right away. You probably have event ideas which could be financially viable, so why not do them yourself? Of course, there is risk involved and investment needs to be secured but it can also potentially give you the biggest returns. You can start small and build the event year-on-year. Consider options such as crowdfunding to test the viability of the idea and reduce your financial risk. Look for in-kind sponsorship, partners, funding opportunities and ticketing to balance the budget.

Winning Out-of-Town Business

If business is really slow, think about if you need to widen your catchment area to look for clients a little further afield. Of course, the convenience factor drops and the travel time and expense increases when you are working out-of-town but if the demand for services is high elsewhere new contracts can be negotiated to cover these factors. Setting travel budgets and fees can feel a little overwhelming in the beginning, but they can still profitable course of action.

Know your worth. It’s non-negotiable. The only exception to that is if you have a potential client who will open up doors for you. In that sense being flexible in your pricing may just be the cost of doing business.

Getting Contracts Approved Faster

Winning a new contract should be a cause for celebration but it can soon turn to frustration when your client’s board or legal team are causing unnecessary hold-ups to the progress of the project (and the first invoice being issued).

Of course, people get busy. Email inboxes become overwhelmingly full. Forgetting to sign your contract isn’t a personal slight but it simply may have fallen off of their to-do list. Politely remind them every few days. Make sure the reminder that you set for the day before the deadline has a much more urgent tone.

If you’re worried about sounding pushy with these reminders, word each differently. But start with something along the lines of, “Just checking in to see if you had any questions about the contract. I’m eager to get started.” or “ Wanted to see if you needed anything further from me in order to get the finalized signatures. Please let me know.” Then as the deadline approaches, add more urgency and personalize the subject line.

Businesses need to know who they serve and what problem they solve. Building your event business is critical to paying the bills but if you’re selecting the wrong clients, numbers won’t matter. Attract the right clients and you’ll create a business you love. Attract the wrong ones and you might not be in business much longer.

A successful event business is about more than just numbers. Yes, numbers make the difference between a red balance sheet and one that’s in the black but there’s more to building an event business than just getting people who will pay you money. If getting bookings for events was all that mattered, everyone would be in business for themselves.

However, having the right type of client is as important as having projects that pay the bills because without good clients, you’re more likely to return to working for someone else. The wrong kind of client can be one heck of a headache so you want to make sure you attract the kind that you enjoy working with.

Don’t Try to be Everything to Everyone

You cannot please everyone, and trying to offer event planning services to everyone, no matter what their brief is, means that you are missing out on specializing on your strengths and developing your specific area of expertise.

Newbie event professionals who want to eat often take anything that comes their way, whether it’s the kind of work they want or not. They also try to be all things to all people because they worry that if they segment their marketing or target a particular niche, they’ll miss out on work. The opposite is true. You can’t market to everyone without weakening your message. Most people think choosing a niche is limiting. It’s not. It’s called specializing and specialists are worth a lot more than generalists. Ask a neurosurgeon. Selecting a niche to focus on can be the wisest move you make.

As personalization increases, niching will become an expectation much in the same way physicians select a specialty. Yes, some people will still be in general practice but those in high demand will specialize.

In a niche, you will be expected to:

  • Know your niche and keep up with its needs
  • Understand the specific needs and requirements of your clients
  • Participate in the social media platforms of the niche
  • Expand your niche as interests expand
  • Market to your niche
  • Cultivate a referral culture in your event planning business

Refine Your Marketing Messaging

how to make a party planning business

Determine who you want to work with and speak only to them. Once you know what you want and who you work well with, cast narrow not wide. Focus in on your ideal and turn away those who don’t fit it. Everyone will be happier in the long run.

When you personalize your marketing to a specified group of people, they will feel you are speaking just to them and will appreciate the personalized attention. You’ll then get to work with the type of client you want in the area you want. By doing so you begin to make a name for yourself among your ideal client type and they’ll share your information with their like-minded friends and peers, attracting even more of your ideal client.

Saying Yes to the Wrong Client, Means Saying No to the Right One

You only have so many hours in your day. Every project and client you choose, takes your time. If you say yes to one that isn’t your ideal, you’re taking the spot away from someone who is, and that someone could be the next email you receive. Pass on clients who aren’t your ideal. When you get your marketing refined to target your ideal client, you won’t need to worry about the others. You’ll receive a better referral and review if they’re in your ideal category because your services will shine.

But still, many businesses hesitate to narrow down prospects because they worry that means less potential clients. It does from a numbers perspective but it doesn’t matter. Let’s take a look at keywords to understand this concept. You can take a keyword and by using analytics tools see just how often someone searched for that term. In pay per click, some terms are more expensive than others to place for because they are popular searches. But that doesn’t speak to their value. In order to decide whether that’s something you want to pay for or not, you want to look at conversion rate. If there are only 1,200 searches of that term per year, but a large percentage convert, then you would be wise to buy for that term.

The same is true for niches. There may not be as many people looking for them but if those who are looking, are serious clients, that’s all you care about. You don’t want thousands of inquiries who want RFPs only to vanish in the night. You want people to self-select before they ask you to give of your most precious commodity – time.

how to make a party planning business

Fire the Mr. and Ms. Wrong Client

If you’ve already taken on clients who were not your ideal, finish up those events and walk away. It’s easy to agree to do another job for your less-than-ideal clients instead of worrying about where your next client will come. If you feel that pressure, resist and understand that taking on the wrong clients means that you’re going to end up with more of the wrong clients as they refer you to their peers. Think of the referral business like high school cliques. Jocks are generally friends with jocks and nerds with nerds. If you want to do business with nerds, don’t ask the jocks for referrals.

Be Brave and Get Known for Your Event Planning Niche:

  • Say no and walk away to clients you know are not a good fit. It may sound like suicide but you need to focus on getting to the right people
  • Trust your gut instinct more often
  • At the end of each project determine whether you should work for the client again. If it isn’t right, be brave and walk away

New Research Reveals the Most Effective Strategies Event Planners Use To Get More Clients

In January 2018 we conducted one of the largest pieces of event planning research ever completed. With 2,400 contacts and over 1,000 respondents. If you would like a copy of this research to publish it on your website, you can request it here:  State of the Event Industry Research 2018 .

45% of the event planners we surveyed told us that they have more clients than 12 months ago. 43% have the same amount and 12% have fewer clients. The outlook for the industry is looking positive overall.

how to make a party planning business

We asked event planners their most effective strategies to find new clients and the top strategy was networking face to face (66%), followed by social media (45%).

how to make a party planning business

In order to be successful in your event planning business, you need to learn to prioritize leads to understand who to spend your time with and who to let go. Since you can’t get a refund on precious time, you’re hurting your business if you waste time on the wrong people.

One of the most critical things you can do for the success of your event planning business, outside of pricing, is understanding the leads process. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll either waste your time on someone who will never become a client or you’ll ignore someone who could be very good for your business.

If you’re unfamiliar with lead screening and prioritizing, it’s time you learn all about it. Here are the basics you need to know.

The Basics of Lead Prioritization

Prioritizing leads will not only help you spend time with the most worthwhile prospects, it will also increase your revenue because more of your time will be spent with those who are able to make a difference to your checking account.

Know Your Ideal Client

There is no way to prioritize a lead effectively if you don’t know who you want to work with. As we have already covered, you should identify your ideal client, otherwise, it makes it next to impossible to be effective in your lead generation. Select a niche to serve, or at least identify your ideal demographic. Do you want to work only high-end events or do you love family-oriented get-togethers? Or maybe there’s an industry you know well. Whatever it is, sketch out who your ideal client is and what they struggle with.

Know Where You Excel

Another way of narrowing down who it is you want to work with is knowing what you’re good at. If you are a whiz at last-minute soirees or you host amazing destination events, decide whether that’s something you want to specialize in.

Now that you know who you want to serve, you can go into prioritizing how to work the leads.

Attend to Inbound Leads First

While this is common sense, some event planners still forget this basic advice. Always work inbound leads first. These are people who have reached out to you. Most event planners understand the priority behind a contact form but fail to see that there are other inbound lead types. These could be people who stopped by at your booth at a show, asked you a question via social media or downloaded material from your website.

No matter how they approached you, the follow-up is critical. Check in with them periodically to see if you can be of service. Use drip marketing or a newsletter to stay in touch and remain top of mind so that when they need an event planner, they think of you.

Prioritize the Clicks

If you send out any sort of cold messaging via email or a newsletter, follow up with those who have clicked on any of these materials. If the person is someone who started as an inbound lead where they contacted you and were then added to a list, they take priority. Otherwise, anyone who clicks on your email or newsletter content deserves a polite, how can I help you? or would you like additional information/content? contact.

No one clicks out of kindness. If they click, they have some interest in you, your services, or your content. Ideally, you would have technology in place that could keep track of their activity history and you could analyze it for patterns. For instance, do they seem to click on a particular topic like corporate events? Then consider touching base and offering them your corporate events guide.

This will position you as an industry expert, understanding of their needs, helpful, and a resource to turn to for assistance. All of these things will bring them back when it is time for them to make a decision about their event.

Stalk Website Visitors

Assuming they have downloaded content from you in the past or are on your email list, you can track every time they visit your site (if you’ve invested in the technology to do so). Pay particular interest in what they’re downloading and the pages they’re visiting.

When you contact them to see if you can be of service, offer them a piece of content that is in line with their interests. Just make sure it’s not something they’ve already downloaded.

Pick Up the Phone

If you have absolutely no potential clients reaching out to you, it’s time to do some research and find events that may be a good fit for your services. You can contact businesses directly (for corporate events), inquire with other vendors on potential partnerships, or market yourself on social media, to name a few.

However you decide to do your own cold calling (or approaching), make sure you have your ideal client information at your fingertips. You do not want to approach someone just for the sake of getting more contacts in. Make sure they are good contacts and would make good clients and a good fit. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and theirs.

But what if you don’t have any of the technology set up? What if you just want to know how to prioritize leads that are all coming in the same way such as through a contact form? Keep reading.

Prioritizing Same Type Leads

Let’s assume all of your contacts are coming in the same way and you’re wondering how to prioritize and screen them so you’re not wasting your time with leads that won’t convert. The first way to help you prioritize is to create a contact form that tells you what you need to know before contacting them. These things include:

  • The nature of the contact such as question, availability, pricing, etc.
  • If it’s a question, allow them to type it in a notes section. If it’s availability, prompt them to add a desired date and size of the event. If it’s a pricing inquiry, ask them for all the details that go into your pricing analysis. That way you don’t have to contact them to get the basic information to answer their question. You already have it and can skip right to providing a response.
  • Their name and contact information such as company name, phone number, email address, etc.
  • Their budget. If you only work on events with a budget in a specified range, make this a must-answer question. It’s better to know ahead of time, even if it means some people drop off, than it is to spend your time with a person who isn’t your ideal client.
  • Type of event.

Remember that ideal client list you made and the demographics you laid out? Use that to prioritize incoming leads or contact forms. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this person in my ideal demographic?
  • Is the type of event they’re interested in something I like to do?
  • Does their budget match my ideal event?
  • Will I gain exposure or networking benefits from being involved with this event? In some instances, you may decide to override your ideal client, budget, or event specifications because of the people you’ll meet or the exposure you’ll receive. This may be true of a philanthropic benefit, for instance.
  • Is there the potential for repeat business? Maybe they’re not your ideal budget but the repeat business involved in a recurring event may bring them closer to your ideal in the long run.

Content, Conversion, and the Sales Funnel

It’s important to talk about conversion, the sales funnel, and lead nurturing. Selecting an event planner is not the same thing as going into a store and buying a loaf of bread. When you want bread, you walk into the store and buy it. There’s very little comparison shopping done. A quick scan of the shelves and that’s it.

On the other hand, there could be a very long sales cycle in selecting the perfect person to plan an event. The client could also be mid-cycle, meaning they don’t need a planner now but anticipate the need for one in the future.

This process of selection is often depicted as a funnel. A funnel starts with a wide mouth. If you’re marketing your services, you’re likely casting a wide net. (Although, hopefully not an immense one. You should be personalizing your campaigns based on your ideal client.)

Entice with Content

At this stage, people don’t know you or your business very well so you provide them with introductory materials based on their needs.

After digesting these materials, some people will decide you are not a good fit for their event. This decision is usually based on preliminary qualifications like budget and industry specialization. This elimination is okay because you don’t want to work with just anyone.

Is This The Start of Something Special?

Next, people now know a little bit about you and have decided you can handle their event but do they want you to? This part of the process is all about personalization and making connections. They have options when it comes to event planners. At this stage, they’re ensuring you are someone they want to work with.

Again, some people will decide you are not a good fit for them now that they’ve gotten to know you better. Maybe your personality and theirs don’t jive. Maybe they’ve found someone who knows a little more about their industry. Whatever the reason, don’t worry about it. This works both ways as you may decide you have no interest in working with them either.

It’s a Match!

The last part of the sales funnel is the narrowest. The potential client knows you can do their event, they like you well enough to give you the opportunity, and now they’re just narrowing it down to a decision. Remember, that decision could mean your competition or it could just as easily mean forgoing an event planner altogether and doing it on their own.

At this stage addressing their needs is more important than ever. If you can provide a much deeper connection and understanding of their goals, they are more likely to select you.

So what moves people down the funnel? It’s not gravity. It’s a thing called nurturing.

You Can Do It

This is why prioritizing potential clients and leads is so important. The sales process requires a natural sloughing off of potential clients. Because of this, you don’t want to spend any extra time with prospects that won’t become clients. You want to recognize the potential of becoming a client as early as possible and spend your time with those people. If you spend your time with tire kickers who never convert to sales, you’re losing money.

Identify your ideal client so you can recognize them when they fill out a contact form or call you. Know the right questions to ask to identify them as such and don’t be afraid to say goodbye to those who aren’t an ideal fit. For those who are a good fit but aren’t ready to make a decision, nurture them until they are. Be a resource and you become a valuable ally.

Be a Client Magnet:

  • Use the tools detailed earlier to recognize your ideal client early in the sales cycle.
  • Provide them with helpful information to assist them in making a decision.
  • Stay in contact with them, acting as a resource.
  • Pay attention to how they are interacting with you.
  • Reach out to them on social media and share content that you believe they will find helpful. Share their content as well.
  • Have many resources on your website that are suited to all stages of the sales funnel so they can self-identify and continue their desire to find an event planner with your help.
  • Use a drip campaign or a newsletter to stay in contact with them as they make a decision.
  • Solve a problem for them.

how to make a party planning business

One of the most common questions we get asked at EventMB is how to get more clients. Whether you are a self-employed event planner or an ambitious CEO, clients are the lifeblood of the business. It seems to be a lot harder nowadays too since people are tuning out advertising. But it’s not hopeless. The good news is that many of the ways you can reach new clients are free (or inexpensive) to you, outside of the time it costs to perform them. Whether you are introvert or extrovert, there are plenty of ways to land new clients. Knowing your ideal client will help you recognize them when you see them. It will also help you understand which tips on this list will help you the most. Here is the biggest list of tips to attract more event planning clients and grow your event planning business.

The event industry is a service industry and event planning is a service which means:

no clients = no business.

You need clients to survive and we all want to gain profitable event clients. Here is a bumper list of ways you can improve your client magnet potential while business is slow.

how to make a party planning business

Create Happy Clients and then Ask for Referrals The primary thing you need to do, is to create happy clients and attendees. Without them, there won’t be any referrals even if you beg and plead – at least not the kind you want to be published. Find ways to delight and excite your attendees and clients as the basis for creating a referral plan. Once you have people who think you’re amazing, you can begin creating opportunities for them to share their love of your work.

Gain More Reviews of Your Services You want to make it as easy as possible for people to review your services so when you ask them to review your work, either refer them directly to the website that you’d like them to post the review on (such as LinkedIn or Facebook) or tell them you plan on posting it to your website and then get it up there as soon as they give it to you. This will make them feel proud to see their review on a site and will also give them something to refer people to in order to learn more about what you do and how you do it.

Get Reviews and Testimonials from the Right People Event planners can benefit from reviews from clients and attendees. But you can also receive persuasive reviews from vendors and people in the industry you’ve worked with. Anyone who has worked with you and benefited from your level of professionalism is a good ask. If you volunteered your services for an event, you can use them too.

There’s no easier way to get that review than to ask for it. Help them understand that you depend on word-of-mouth as a small business and it means a lot to you. There are very few people who will say no to an impassioned, yet humble, request. Just make sure you don’t ask when you’re delivering the bill. No one is in the mood for that.

Ask for Introductions and Pass it Forward This is one of the most awkward things for most event planners. It feels forced, but if you are confident in your services you should feel like you are giving each one of your clients an opportunity to help one of their acquaintances out by referring them to you.

Unless you ask you won’t receive. Always ensure that you “pass it forward” yourself too. If you bring business to your clients they will be eager to return the goodwill.

Be Yourself Be yourself, unless that self is standoffish and shy. In that case, be the opposite. But seriously, let the clients get to know you and open up to them. Don’t be just an event planner. Be THEIR event planner by connecting with them and caring about their lives as well. Someone who does more than just the service you hire them for is someone you want to refer to others.

People want to be helpful and refer others, but they won’t do it for just a mediocre experience. They want to shine in front of their friends and peers. If they have a great experience with you, they’ll gladly share, knowing they’re doing a service for their friends as well by introducing you.

Referral Incentives If you are struggling with natural referrals from busy previous clients then it may be beneficial to add a little more incentive. Offer your existing clients money off or discounts if they refer a friend and they are more likely to recommend you if they are getting something in return. For long-term clients or contracts, you could also offer discounted rates to their new referral as part of a loyalty scheme. The options for this are quite broad because you could base the incentives on the amount of work that they bring in and you may find that you need to do little else once this gets the ball rolling.

Know Your Demographic It is important to fully understand who you are trying to attract, what their preferences are and the best way to contact them. You will be looking to market your services in completely different ways if your demographic is 18-24 year olds compared to 50-60 year olds. Think about technology and social media, as well as more traditional marketing channels such as newspapers, leaflets and business networking.

Online Q&A Create a YouTube video or Facebook Live session where you answer frequent questions about your services so that people can put a face to the brand and make a more informed choice about picking you. You could simply sit and discuss topics that you have been asked (low/no budget) or you could invest in creating something which really shows off your brand and image if you have a little budget to play with.

Make a Package Bundling together various services can help to create a bigger sense of value to your client. Think about offering a simple package to entice more customers. Think carefully about what is and isn’t included though to ensure there is no misunderstanding. What opportunities are there to upsell the package?

Creative Sponsorship Sponsorship can help you increase your brand awareness and improve interaction with potential clients if done correctly. Sometimes you need to speculate to accumulate. Make sure you choose opportunities that are relevant to your audience and get creative so that you stand out from the crowd by showing why clients should pick you! As an event planner you might want to offer in-kind sponsorship – where you offer your services pro bono to run an event or a specific element such as the VIP lounge (instead of giving a financial payment). In return, you are listed and promoted as the sponsor and gain the perks that that brings.

Video Adverts Fewer people are watching live TV now and many are recording and skipping past the adverts. Not that TV adverts were probably ever within your budget anyway! Instead, make a video advert and share it via your social media accounts to your followers and potential clients. You could also use the video as a welcome or explanation of services when you get an inquiry. This is an effective way of showing off some of your projects and is much more engaging than an introductory email. Give it a go to see the difference in your client conversion rate.

Become a Guest Speaker As an eventprof you have a lot of expertise and experience that others want to hear. Some of the best ways of showing what you do is to discuss it and show them exactly how competent you are. Attend events as a guest speaker and you can discuss the problems that your services fix and deal with! The key here is to offer value within the talk itself, give good advice on the day and encourage potential clients to come to talk to you afterwards. Your professional knowledge is that carrot enticing people to come and strike up a conversation with you.

Host a Giveaway Everybody loves free stuff, and hosting quality and interesting giveaways is a quick way to get people involved and aware of your brand. It goes without saying that the more valuable and desirable the prize the more awareness and potential leads you will get but it is important that when using giveaways to attract clients, that you make the prize relevant to the services you’re offering. For example, you could offer taster sessions, event workshops or some of your services for free so clients know what they are getting and you know those that are entering are the “right” people.

Make Use of Trade Shows If you have the budget to participate, a trade show can be great for networking success, brand positioning and sales. Exhibitions bring buyers and sellers from your industry, or local area, together which means you have a good chance to meet long-term potential clients. Try to be innovative, stand out from the crowd and draw attendees to your exhibition stand to better your chances. Most importantly though make sure that you follow up on any promising leads promptly after the event, otherwise, your investment will be worthless.

Create Your Own Leads Sometimes clients are not always forthcoming and you need to proactively go out there and find them yourself. One of the ways to do this is to use platforms that have a lot of business information about people, for example, LinkedIn. You can see the company’s that you want to appeal to and their HR, PR or management department representatives and contact them directly for a more personal and innovative approach. This also helps to connect you to similar people that may help your business too, for example, new suppliers.

Hashtags There is a plethora of information on social media and it can be hard to get noticed without having to pay for adverts or to get your message out. Using popular and relevant hashtags on social media can be an easy way to get in front of potential new clients. Twitter chats can be a great opportunity and some chats are based on geographical location while others are based on different expert topic areas and interests. Keep your content and hashtags relevant and you might find that a retweet or share turns into a bigger opportunity. Resist the urge to do the hard sell on social media though. Focus on being genuine and striking up real conversations and relationships.

Business Cards Whether you still favor traditional paper business cards or have gone digital make sure you always have your details to hand for easy sharing. With more and more people storing their cards on their phone they are less likely to take and keep a business card, so have both options available if you can. Include social media details as well as traditional methods of contact.

Creative Partnerships Do you have a non-competing business that would work well with your own? Approach them to create great package rates that help you both. You can offer to refer to one another with paid incentives for referrals or even special rates of advertising in their shop or website. Clients want to know that they can get everything fairly easily and joining forces with other businesses helps to add value that can benefit everyone.

Talk About Your Business Every day let people know about your business and services. You would be surprised how little other people pay attention to your life, do your friends and family know and understand what you do? Would they recommend you? Getting clients can sometimes start at home by building your network outwards. There is a lot of event and client potential there, so make sure that you are the first person who pops into their mind in the circles they move in.

Business Deals Promotional offers and deals can get new clients in the door to show off your products or services and get them hooked. Some of the more successful deals prompt new clients into action straight away such as “limited time only” or deal limits such as “free consultation to the first 5 people to call/email”. This gives them more incentive to act and creates more of a buzz for new potential clients.

Long-term Pricing A lot of your business may be one-off or short-term event projects but include a long-term incentive into your pricing structure to encourage your clients to think ahead and keep them coming back. This could be an improvement on rates for next time as a loyalty bonus, or offering a long term service such as managing and updating their event social media channels for their event for 12 months when the next project is confirmed. It is easier to keep a client than recruit new ones each time so this could be a winning strategy.

Online Help Increase awareness for event consultancy and management services by helping others online to answer questions. Using sites such as Quora or Clarity can allow you to create a profile to showcase to potential leads that you know what you are talking about. You can offer your services to provide consultations or resolve questions for users which increases brand awareness and proves you know what you are talking about. You can also improve your profile with portfolio elements and add reviews from previous users you have helped to improve your status and make you more reputable. If you fill out your complete profile with all of your services and previous history it will make users more likely to come to you.

Get Personal On a daily basis, people have their inboxes and phones flooded with ads, cold calls, spam and junk and they can spot it a mile away. If you are working on a client lead then do your research, treat every client like a VIP and you are less likely to be added to the SPAM folder. Know your audience and it will foster a long-term relationship rather than seeing you as “just another brand”.

Press Releases Get some press.

With the increase of technology, eventprofs often overlook sending out press releases but this is a missed opportunity to secure local or national media coverage. If you have something newsworthy create a press release and send it out to the right channels.

It’s important to know, the press won’t think you landing a big client is newsworthy, but if you can, share the story in a frame that interests them (like event planner gives back to cancer patients through hosting events they missed due to illness), they might just cover it.

Press Opportunities Follow the #journorequest and #PRrequest hashtags on Twitter for opportunities to share your expertise with journalists writing specific features.

Help a Reporter Out Register on specialist sites such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to enable you to provide insight and put yourself forward as a reliable source to secure yourself media coverage. Getting a quote in a major newspaper goes a long way to establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. It is important to remember not to underestimate the power of traditional press and the kudos and reach they bring when looking for new clients.

Brand Ambassadors Another opportunity for event planners to consider is blogs and websites that are read and respected by your target audience. Perhaps you could submit a guest post offering some top tips or be featured with an interview. High traffic blogs may offer sponsored posts, reviews, banner ads and other opportunities.

Associations Join an association and get to know other event planners.

Join a chamber of commerce or networking organization In-person networking groups allow you to make connections with your ideal clients and other professionals who can help expand your network. You never know who you might meet.

Create relationships with business organizations Volunteer for your local chamber. They throw a lot of events. They could just end up hiring you or if not, giving you a great referral.

Volunteer for a non-profit Volunteering allows you to give back, gain more experience and potentially find opportunities for paid work in the future.

Partner with other event vendors Can you offer a package with an AV company, event stylist or other vendor that compliments your event planning services? By working together you can add value and involve partners that can market the package to their own networks.

Follow-up with past clients Check in regularly with past clients. You never know what ideas it could spark or how often it leads someone to say “I was thinking about contacting you about an idea I have…”

Ask if they are in need of your services, could refer you to a friend, or write/record a testimonial for you on your services.

Work with Venues Contact local venues and get on their preferred partners list.

Plan an Event to Show off your Skills If you want to attract more corporate clients set up a free business networking event to show off what you can do and bring together people who may want to talk to you.

Be a Mentor Just because someone is on the lower rung of the career ladder does not mean they are lacking in connections. Just don’t make your business the only reason you’re mentoring.

Partner with large event planning firms Large players in the industry will often pass on projects that are too small or don’t fit their ideal client spec. Ask them if they might refer them to you instead.

Make Proactive Approaches Contact companies with user conferences and ask them if they’ve thought of outsourcing the work. Be ready to break down the costs of doing so.

Industry events Go to trade shows or conferences that your ideal customer would attend then network like crazy.

Co-working Opportunities Contact your local co-working space. A lot of budding entrepreneurs have a need for event planners on a freelance basis. The co-working space itself may need one.

Free Consultations Offer a free consultation or a 15-minute planning walk-through of suggestions. Sometimes people just need to be pointed in the right direction and realizing the enormity of planning an event and their lack of experience might just get you the job.

Meet Small Business Owners Network with other event planners. Independent business can be filled with ups and downs when it comes to clients. Sometimes you have so many you need to turn them away, other times you wish you had some. Partnering with other event planners allows for recommendations in the case of overflow situations and vacations. Be prepared to do the same for them – pass on extra business when you get to that point.

Create a Course Create a course on UDEMY to showcase your planning skills.

Affiliate Marketing and Incentives Offer a referral bonus for past clients who refer you to new ones. Create an affiliate program with other vendors, software providers, or venues. Give free new client consultations to existing clients to give out to friends and colleagues.

Become an Official Event Partner If you have a large corporate client, inquire about how other departments in that company handle their events. Ask to be introduced to people who might benefit from your services. Look for ways to save the company money by becoming their “official” event planner.

One-stop-shop Connect with technology providers in the event planning space. This may seem like a far stretch but as companies are trying to differentiate themselves from others, they may want to become a one-stop shop for their customers. If a customer approaches them about software and also finds they need event planning, that company may be in a position to give them your name.

Get Known Contact companies with internal event planners and see if they are ever in need of short-term, consultant solutions. For instance, their event planner may be out on maternity leave and you could fill in. They may not think they need that sort of assistance but then a surgery or other temporary work issue comes up and guess who they’re calling?

Go Live Go live on Facebook. This video creation option expands your reach and you’re able to connect with people who may not usually see your content.

Speak at Business Events Speak at the chamber or other organizations whose audience could be comprised of people who would be interested in hiring an event planner. You most likely won’t be able to pitch your own services but the exposure presents you as an expert. They will likely mention your business in the intro or at the end. Ideally, your contact info would be provided so that people can follow up with questions.

Create a Follow Up List Don’t give up on leads. If someone contacts you for more information but doesn’t respond when you give it to them, reach out periodically with help and resources. They may still need you but have been too busy to respond.

Identify Ideal Clients Search connections of your past clients on LinkedIn that would fit your ideal client profile. Either ask your client for an introduction or reach out directly and mention you’ve worked with X in the past.

Build your LinkedIn Profile Rework your LinkedIn profile to detail the types of events you specialize in. If you turn up in searches more often, you’ll get more leads.

Thought Leadership Post industry thought leadership pieces that attract attention. Be controversial.

The Business Story Rewrite your website to include your story.

Email Signature Invite people to book their event with you on your email signature.

LinkedIn Groups Participate in LinkedIn groups for your industry niche. Do not sell your services, just ask questions, comment and be helpful to get noticed.

Get Social Create social media profiles on sites that cater to your ideal client. Post actively on these sites with helpful information and not sales messaging.

Paid Social Media Ads Run a social media paid ad campaign.

Retargeting Use Google retargeting to bring visitors back to your website.

Website Redesign Redesign your website with a fresher look.

Blogging Create a blog and post to it on a regular basis.

LinkedIn Pulse Post to LinkedIn Pulse.

Ebook Write an ebook, downloadable checklist, and/or a playbook for a successful event. Make it available on your website as a free download.

FAQs Create a FAQs page on your website using valuable keywords.

Tracking Get technology that helps you understand who has visited your website and where they went. Then create a content strategy based on what you see them doing.

Checklist Create an interactive checklist to help people plan different types of events and host it on your website.

Online Community Start an online community that fits your niche. For instance, companies that host events may need resources to help them do it. Be helpful and when they decide there’s no value in doing it in-house anymore, they’ll think of you.

Guest Blog Guest blog on a site that will be read by your ideal demographic.

Local Search Results Improve your SEO organically or through paid options. Just make sure that you are concentrating on local search if that’s who you work with.

Email Marketing Create a cold email campaign of people who employ event planners in your niche.

Social Search Search on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to see who is asking about hiring an event planner.

Google Alerts Create a Google alert or use Mention to find people talking about keywords that matter to you.

Pinterest Create Pinterest boards as portfolios for your work or to capture your event visions. When people contact you, they have an easy way to see your past events.

Reviews Check out your reviews on review sites. If you have an office, you may have reviews. Make sure you know what’s out there. Respond to everyone who leaves you a review, even if the review is less than stellar.

Facebook Reviews Ask former clients to leave you a star rating on your business Facebook page.

Use Your Personal Network Share your business content with your friends and family on Facebook. Often people don’t realize what we do. When they know, they may bless you with referrals.

Different Service Levels Create multiple levels of service for potential clients. In economic downturns, people may not host as many parties or events. You need to safeguard yourself against these economic ups and downs by creating something even those with small budgets could use. This could be a product like an ebook on how to plan an event on a budget or offering a consultation-only service where you tell them how to do it in a consultative role but are not involved in the actual planning. These low-end budget clients may eventually convert to full-cost paying clients when the economy picks back up. But if they don’t you have found a source of revenue that requires very little effort on your part.

Drip Marketing Launch a drip marketing campaign to nurture leads until they are ready to make a decision.

Handwritten Note Take up the art of the handwritten note. Use them for thank you’s, introductions, referrals, and more. Your communication is bound to stand out.

Industry Article Write an article for an industry magazine, one that will be in the hands of your ideal customer.

SlideShare Create a SlideShare deck. SlideShare has a wide audience. Sharing your content there is another way to position yourself as a thought leader and expert in event planning.

Case Studies Create a case study of work you’ve done with past clients. Don’t just share how you made them feel but what you did for them from a number’s perspective. Use stats and revenue whenever possible but ensure your client is okay with airing those stats.

Gain Respect from Peers Share others content. When someone shares your content, you get notified of it. The next thing you do is visit that person’s page or profile. It’s a good way to get them to pay attention to you, if only for a minute.

Comment Along those same lines, comment on their content. This will help you build a relationship with them.

Round-up Posts Create a round-up post and include the content from someone you want to build a better relationship with. They’ll appreciate the share.

Opinion Piece Give your opinion on a blog post someone else wrote. Don’t be contrary but giving your view (or supporting theirs by adding to it) can help create a relationship between you and the author. When selecting the blog post, it’s best to choose a post written by someone who you would love to have as a client.

Creative Business Cards Have a business card that stands out. Whether you design it to stand out or it serves another purpose like a USB card or a business card that contains flowers seeds, find a way to stand out from the competition. This is a good idea because potential clients want to know an event planner is creative. A creative card will get their attention and make them believe that you can create a memorable event for them.

Work on Your Ideal Client Personas Work on your ideal client personas and then rework your marketing message to better appeal to your ideal client.

Network Online and Off Join a networking group, in person or virtual, preferably both. Be helpful, don’t sell.

Increase Your Digital Marketing You must have a professional website, social media presence (don’t forget the visual sites like Pinterest and Instagram), and a blog. These are no longer optional. They act as a front desk/receptionist even when you’re not “in” the office.

Provide Resources Create downloadable resources for clients and potential clients. If you’re worried people will use the resource instead of your services, you’re not providing enough value. Make these resources free for the cost of an email.

Build Your List Using the step above as well as subscribers to your blog and visitors to your site, give people the opportunity to stay connected with you through a newsletter. This will keep you top of mind and build your reputation in the industry.

Do Guest Posts or Podcast Interviews There are plenty of fledgling blogs and podcasts. People are always looking for content and guests. You won’t get paid but it will help get your name out there. Just make sure that you agree to do these things only for blogs and podcasts that appeal to your ideal client.

Participate on Social Media “Participate” does not mean drip (only) your content. Participation means active conversation. Yes, content is good but interactions are what will bring new clients to your virtual doorstep. Try participating in Twitter chats and reading other people’s blogs and commenting meaningfully on them. Remember that ideal client? Find them on social media and get to know them.

Always Follow Up Most people fall flat in this area so it’s easy to stand out. Follow up on referrals, comments, events, compliments, suggestions, contact forms, and any form of communication.

Client Feedback Surveys

Use post-event surveys not only as a way to improve but also as a way of engaging clients and creating a source for testimonials.

Educational Content

Create content that helps your client whilst presenting yourself as an expert in the field. Become your clients’ go-to for anything related to events.

Competitor Analysis

Use competitor whitespace analysis to work out what makes you different from your clients and focus on selling the things you can do that they can’t.

Highlight Innovation

Look for opportunities to highlight where you’ve used innovation to the benefit of clients. This shows that your finger is on the pulse and you have the necessary experience to put new ideas to work.

Send a Thoughtful Gift If you really want to make an impression with someone you want to work with send them a small gift. It doesn’t have to be anything flash, but ideally something thoughtful that they will appreciate. Of course, it doesn’t guarantee they will award you a contract but it guarantees that you are memorable to them.

Important Final Advice for All New Business Owners

One of the best things about being a business owner is that you don’t have to answer to anyone. Unfortunately, one of the worst things about owning your own event company is, also, that you don’t have to answer to anyone. Why? Because there is no one to stop you from getting in your own way.

When you work for a boss, and she sees you spending too much time on floor plans, which she can have her assistant do, and not enough time on meeting new clients, which is your top priority, she can haul you into her office and set you straight. “I don’t care how much you like doing floor plans,” she says, “the company needs you out in front of clients.”

But when you’re the boss, there’s no one to call you out and deliver the tough love message. And so, without any oversight, you spend even more time on floor plans than you would with a boss looking over your shoulder. When you wonder at the end of the year why your business didn’t make more money, despite all the successful events and happy clients, there’s a decent chance this is the reason.

Companies that have been successful at breaking into higher and higher levels of growth tend to be very good at policing how they allocate their time, particularly the time of the senior people. Too often, however, business owners gravitate to their comfort zone, which is usually not where your company needs you to be.

That’s the Entrepreneur’s Dilemma: the freedom from having a boss which is so enticing can also be the roadblock to your company’s growth.

How Do You Get Around This?

The first step is understanding where your company needs you the most. A good rule of thumb is listing the various tasks that need to be done, and assigning an hourly rate for what you’d have to pay someone on the outside to do that work. You as the owner should be spending the bulk of your time at the highest level tasks, whether it’s sales or design or managing your team. The lower items should be delegated to someone who can do them at a much lower rate.

Be Accountable

The next step is acknowledging that many people find it quite hard to police themselves, so you need an outside force. A mentor or consultant can help with this, but an often overlooked resource is your own staff. Whether it’s your partner (if you have one) or your assistant (or virtual assistant), enlist them in your efforts. Tell them, “I need to be focusing on the following areas to best grow the company. If you see me spending time on another area, and you’ve got it under control, let me know, as a polite reminder.”

Sounds goofy?

Maybe, but I’ve done it and it works.

In the beginning, people were hesitant to say anything, but I would catch them fidgeting and ask them what was going on. They’d respond, “Um, you remember when you told us to tell you when you were involved in one of those things that are not on your top priority list, and we should tell you when we have it under control? Well, um, we’ve kind of got this under control.”

There are only so many hours in the day, and before you think about borrowing or raising money to expand, make sure that your time is allocated to the highest possible uses that benefit the company. As strategies for growth go, this is the low-hanging fruit.

IN CONCLUSION

Starting an event planning business can be daunting and overwhelming as there are a lot of things to think about and decisions to make. If after reading this post you are just as passionate and determined as before then we encourage you to follow your dream and don’t look back.

how to make a party planning business

We hope that you are feeling inspired now you have 100 new ways to get more clients but the trick is, of course, keeping them and making sure they stay loyal. Ultimately, focus on doing a good job, offering a great service and experience to your clients and they will come back again and again and recommend you to others too.

Now onto you:

  • Do you have a tip to make this page better? Or an idea to add to the idea engine for how to attract more business? Send an email to [email protected] .
  • Do you have more tips and advice to add about starting an event planning business ? Comment below.
  • Do you have a colleague who may benefit from reading this page? Share it with them.

Maritz Reveals Trade Show Registration Trends

Maritz takes a closer look at new attendee behavior and shares insights on how to optimize revenue and attendance.

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Destination Brief: No Sales Tax in Portland Leads To Hero Event Experiences

Event planners face the challenge of creating ever more immersive and exciting event experiences but on a tighter budget. Portland’s zero sales tax, outside-the-box thinking, thriving foodie culture, and varied event venues are helping them to answer the call.

An aerial view of the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, with two pyramidal glass spires on the ceiling that can be lit up in different colors to match the event or conference theme.

How Compression is Reshaping the Meetings Industry

The number of potential dates to host meetings and conferences has shrunk making it difficult for budget-conscious groups to compete for peak days. In addition, there are compression issues for space that groups must contend with.

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New Bureau Launches to Meet High Demand for AI Speakers

Keynote speakers with expertise in artificial intelligence are in high demand as organizations embrace the new technology. One emerging speakers bureau is crafting bespoke sessions to meet client objectives.

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New FTC Rule Addresses Common Event Scams

A new ruling by the Federal Trade Commission targets scammers seeking to rip off the business events industry, paving the way for direct monetary compensation from bad actors.

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Party Planning on a Budget: Tips for Creating Great Memories Without Draining Your Wallet

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Hosting a fabulous party doesn't mean a hefty price tag. With a little creativity and thoughtful planning, you can throw a bash that dazzles your guests without breaking the bank.

While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to how to break down your party budget, as it depends on several factors, including the type of party, number of guests, location (renting a venue versus at home) and catering versus DIY, here is a typical expense breakdown to get your plan started.

how to make a party planning business

To help with the big expenses, here are some budget-savvy tips around themes, food, and entertainment that will leave your guests raving long after the music fades.

Theme Magic

how to make a party planning business

  • DIY Décor Delight:  Unleash your inner crafter! Upcycle old materials, create stunning backdrops with fabric or found objects, and get your guests involved in pre-party craft sessions. 
  • Nature's Bounty: Embrace the power of the outdoors! Host a backyard picnic with blankets and fairy lights, or transform your space into a tropical paradise with DIY palm trees. Nature provides the best (and least expensive) decorations! 
  • Dazzling Dress-Up: Make dressing up part of the fun! Encourage your guests to come in costume or dress up according to the party theme.This not only adds to the party's ambiance but will reduce the need for elaborate decorations. 

how to make a party planning business

  • Potluck Power: Ditch the catering and embrace the potluck! This budget-friendly way to showcase everyone's culinary talents adds variety and keeps costs down. Encourage themed dishes or assign specific courses. 
  • Snacking Stations: Set up fun stations with bite-sized delights. Think taco bars, pizza-topping counters, or DIY nachos with a topping spread. It's interactive, fun, and budget-conscious. 
  • Sweet DIY: Get creative with homemade treats! Bake cookies, whip up a signature cocktail, or make your own ice cream sundaes with a toppings buffet. 

Entertainment Extravaganza

how to make a party planning business

  • Games Galore: Dust off those board games or organize charades with party-themed clues. Interactive games break the ice, keep everyone engaged, and are often things you already have at home. 
  • Photo Booth Fun: Create a photo booth with a backdrop, props, and signs using items you already have around the house, or take a quick trip to the craft store. 
  • Musical Mash up: Use streaming services to create your own playlist instead of hiring a DJ or band. Include a mix of genres to get everyone dancing and singing along. 

The key is to set a realistic budget and stick to it. Then, if you can, enlist your friends and family to help plan, set up, and clean up.

how to make a party planning business

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Politics latest: Keir Starmer accused of 'rank hypocrisy' by Rishi Sunak after setting out what he'll do to tackle small boat crossings

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer lays out his party's plans to try and tackle small boat crossings if it wins power. Listen to the latest episode of the Electoral Dysfunction podcast as you scroll.

Friday 10 May 2024 18:30, UK

  • Starmer says small boat crossings 'one of the greatest challenges we face'
  • Explained: What's in Labour's plan to try and tackle problem
  • Darren McCaffrey: Will Labour's plan cut it with voters?
  • Starmer says no flights to Rwanda will take off under Labour
  • Sunak accuses Starmer of 'rank hypocrisy'
  • Electoral Dysfunction:  Jess Phillips says Elphicke defection like 'being punched in gut'
  • UK exits recession | Economy 'returning to full health'
  • Faultlines:   Can British farming survive?
  • Live reporting by Tim Baker

Across the UK, anger is brewing amongst some farmers.  

Protests have already been held in London, Dover and Cardiff, with more planned - mirroring similar tensions seen across Europe in the last six months.     

They say they’re annoyed about cheap foreign imports and changes to subsidies forcing them to give up land in favour of environmental schemes.    

But what does this mean for the food on our table - and does British produce risk becoming a luxury product for the wealthy only?    

On the Sky News Daily , Niall Paterson is joined by West of England and Wales correspondent Dan Whitehead to find out why farmers are so concerned, and speaks to Liz Webster, the founder of Save British Farming, about why she believes eating British isn't just good for our farmers - it's good for the nation's health, too.   

In response to our report, Farming Minister Mark Spencer, said: "We firmly back our farmers. British farming is at the heart of British trade, and we put agriculture at the forefront of any deals we negotiate, prioritising new export opportunities, protecting UK food standards and removing market access barriers. 

"We've maintained the £2.4bn annual farming budget and recently set out the biggest ever package of grants which supports farmers to produce food profitably and sustainably."

The Welsh government said: "A successful future for Welsh farming should combine the best of our traditional farming alongside cutting-edge innovation and diversification. 

"It will produce the very best of Welsh food to the highest standards, while safeguarding our precious environment and addressing the urgent call of the climate and nature emergencies."

👉  Listen above then tap here to follow the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts   👈

Following the defection of the Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke to Labour, Beth, Ruth and Jess discuss the surprise move and whether it could have been handled differently by Sir Keir Starmer.

They also talk about Beth's interview with the former immigration minister Robert Jenrick and his warnings about Reform UK.

Plus, how significant was the defeat of former Conservative mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street? Beth and Jess were both there to tell the story.

And they answer a question on Labour and the Muslim vote, and what the party can do to restore confidence and trust.

Email Beth, Jess, and Ruth at [email protected] , post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.     

👉 Listen above then tap here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts 👈

In January 2023, Rishi Sunak made five promises.

Since then, he and his ministers have rarely missed an opportunity to list them. In case you haven't heard, he promised to:

• Halve inflation • Grow the economy • Reduce debt • Cut NHS waiting lists and times • Stop the boats

See below how he is doing on these goals:

The Sky News live poll tracker - collated and updated by our Data and Forensics team - aggregates various surveys to indicate how voters feel about the different political parties.

With the local elections complete, Labour is still sitting comfortably ahead, with the Tories trailing behind.

See the latest update below - and you can read more about the methodology behind the tracker  here .

Speaking to Sky political editor  Beth Rigby , Sir Keir Starmer has defended his decision to allow Tory MP Natalie Elphicke into Labour.

Ms Elphicke was on the right of the Conservative spectrum, and previously defended her sex-offender ex-husband, comments which she apologised for this week following her defection.

Addressing Tory voters, Sir Keir says he wants Labour to be a "place where they who have ambitions about their families, their communities, their country, can join and be part of what we are trying to build for their country".

Asked by Beth if he was ruthless, Sir Keir said: "Yes, I'm ruthless in trying to ensure we have a Labour government that can change this country for the better.

"Not ruthless for my own ambition, not ruthlessness particularly for the Labour Party - I'm ruthless for the country. 

"The only way we'll bring about a change in this country is if we're ruthless about winning that general election and putting in place a government of public service, that’ll be a major change.

"Politics, I believe, should be about public service, that's what I've been about all my life."

More now from political editor Beth Rigby's interview with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

She reminded him that he previously ruled out doing a deal with the SNP - but has not done so for the Liberal Democrats.

Sir Keir again ruled out a coalition with the SNP - adding that he is aiming for a "majority Labour government".

He says Labour needs "to keep working hard, keep disciplined and getting our message across, which is something fundamental to me".

Pushed on his lack of ruling out a possible agreement with the Lib Dems, Sir Keir says: "I'm going for a majority.

"That's the answer I gave you a year ago. It's the same answer I'm giving you now."

Sir Keir Starmer was earlier today pushed on whether Rwanda deportation flights will take off if he was prime minister - although it was not clear if he would cancel flights which had already been organised.

Sky News understood that previously booked deportation flights to Rwanda would still go ahead if Sir Keir entered Number 10. 

But the Labour leader has now gone further.

Speaking to political editor Beth Rigby , Sir Keir has ruled out any flights taking off.

"There will be no flights scheduled or taking off after general election if Labour wins that general election," he says.

He says: "Every flight that takes off carries with it a cheque to the Rwanda government. 

"So I want to scrap the scheme - so that means the flights won't be going."

Sir Keir says he would rather spend the money on his own measures to counter small boats.

"No flights, no Rwanda scheme. It's a gimmick," he says.

By Alix Culbertson , political reporter

Scotland's new first minister has told Sky News that the controversial gender recognition reforms "cannot be implemented."

John Swinney,  who became first minister this week , has faced questions over his stance on gender recognition after MSPs voted in 2022 to pass a bill to make it simpler for people to change their gender without having to obtain a medical diagnosis.

The UK government blocked the bill from being made into law and the Supreme Court rejected a request by the Scottish government for a judicial review.

Asked if he would be fighting to push the bill through, Mr Swinney told Sky News: "The reality of the situation we face is that the Supreme Court has said that we can't legislate in that area. We can't take forward that legislation."

The UK economy is no longer in recession, according to official figures.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a better-than-expected 0.6% between January and March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Economists had predicted the figure would be 0.4%.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it showed the economy had "turned a corner".

He told Sky News's Ed Conway: "I am pleased that while there's more work to do, today's figures show that the economy now has real momentum, and I'm confident that with time, people will start to feel the benefits of that.

"We've had multiple months now where wages are rising, energy bills have fallen, mortgage rates are down and taxes are being cut... I'm pleased with the progress that we're making."

Mr Sunak added: "I am confident the economy is getting healthier every week."

You can read more here:

Rishi Sunak has criticised Sir Keir Starmer's position on Rwanda as "rank hypocrisy".

Speaking to broadcasters, the prime minister says the Labour leader has announced things the government is "already doing".

He gives the example of "punching through the backlog, having more law enforcement officers do more, that's all happening already".

"We've announced all of that more than a year ago," the prime minister adds.

"The question for Keir Starmer if he cares so much about that, why did he vote against the new laws that we passed to give our law enforcement officers new powers? 

"They've now used those to arrest almost 8,000 people connected with illegal migration, sentenced them to hundreds of years in prison.

"And if it was up to him, all those people would be out on our streets, so I think it's rank hypocrisy property of his position."

Be the first to get Breaking News

Install the Sky News app for free

how to make a party planning business

Procrastinator's guide to Indiana's election: How to vote and what races are on the ballot

how to make a party planning business

It's officially election week, which means it's time to make a voting plan for the May 7 primary election if you haven't already. Polls are open from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. local time Tuesday.

IndyStar pulled together a primer of what you need to know in order to vote if you live in Central Indiana.

Live Election Day updates: How are polls today? What are voters saying about the Indiana primary?

IndyStar Election Night Live: Join IndyStar journalists, local pundits May 7 for live analysis of the primary's biggest races

How do I know if I'm registered to vote?

Voters can double check they are registered by going to indianavoters.in.gov and entering in their information.

If you are not yet registered to vote, it's too late to do so for the May primary. However, you can still register to vote in the November general election by going to indianavoters.in.gov .

Where can I vote?

In Marion County, voters can can cast a ballot at any vote center on Election Day. A list of available locations, as well as a map of sites, can be found at vote.indy.gov/vote-centers . Boone, Hendricks, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby and Hancock counties all allow voters to go to any vote center in the county as well.

Hamilton County residents have to vote at their assigned locations. You can find your voting location at indianavoters.in.gov .

What else to know before you head to the polls

  • Decide which party you want to vote for: In Indiana, voters don't register with a particular political party, which means once you get to the polls, you'll have to tell the poll workers whether you want to pull a Republican or Democratic ballot. What you pick will impact the number of contested races you get to vote on.
  • Bring your ID : Indiana law requires voters to show a government-issued photo ID that displays your name, photo and an expiration date of the last general election or later. Student IDs from an Indiana state school, not a private university, will work as long as they meet the above criteria.

What races will be on my ballot?

This year the following elected positions are up for election:

  • President of the United States
  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • State representatives
  • State Senate (half of the seats)
  • Other local races

But, not everyone will have a choice for every elected position. Some races are uncontested or feature no candidates. You can see who all will be on your specific ballot at indianavoters.in.gov .

Who is running for governor?

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, former Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, Fort Wayne entrepreneur Eric Doden, former Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and mom-of-five Jamie Reitenour are running for governor on the Republican ballot.

IndyStar profiled each of the Republican candidates:

  • Read Braun's here .
  • Read Chambers' here .
  • Read Crouch's here .
  • Read Doden's here .
  • Read Hills' here .
  • Read Reitneour's here .

Jennifer McCormick, the former state schools superintendent, is the only choice on the Democratic ballot for governor.

Will I have a choice for U.S. Senate or president?

That depends on whether you pull a Republican or Democratic ballot.

For president, President Joe Biden is the only choice for the Democratic nominee. Meanwhile, Republicans can technically choose between former President Donald Trump and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley . Haley, though, dropped out of the race after she had qualified for Indiana's ballot.

For U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. Jim Banks is the only Republican candidate who will be on the ballot. Democrats will have a choice between Rep. Marc Carmichael and Valerie McCray.

What other races should I read up on?

The following primary congressional races are poised to be competitive, two of which are located in central Indiana.

  • Republican 3rd Congressional District primary : With Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Banks running for one of Indiana’s U.S. Senate seats, eight Republican candidates are running for the northeast Indiana district. Nonprofit executive Tim Smith, former Allen County Circuit Court judge Wendy Davis, former 3rd District Rep. Marlin Stutzman and state Sen. Andy Zay had raised the most money by mid-April, including personal loans.
  • Republican 5th Congressional District primary : Nine Republican candidates are running for the this district, which stretches from Hamilton County north to Grant County. U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz and Noblesville State Rep. Chuck Goodrich are the frontrunners, according to internal polling.
  • Republican 6th Congressional District primary: U.S. Rep. Greg Pence decided not to seek reelection in this district that includes the southern portion of Marion County, which has led to a contentious Republican primary between seven candidates . Former Republican mayoral nominee Jefferson Shreve, state Rep. Mike Speedy, state Sen. Jeff Raatz, former lawmakers John Jacob and Bill Frazier, businessman Jamison Carrier and Darin Childress are running.
  • Republican 8th Congressional District primary : U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon is also not seeking reelection. Seven Republicans are running for the southwestern Indiana district. State Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, and former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler are the frontrunners.

There are a number of competitive Statehouse races , too. Three Hamilton County Republican primary races feature no incumbent lawmaker this year, due to the departures of state Reps. Jerry Torr, Donna Schaibley and Chuck Goodrich.

You can read all of IndyStar's election coverage here.

Contact IndyStar government and politics editor Kaitlin Lange at [email protected] or follow her on  X  @Kaitlin_Lange .

Topeka business introduces virtual wedding planning

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A local Topeka event space is redefining wedding planning and this small business says it could even make the perfect virtual gift for Mother’s day.

A new era of wedding planning is here.

Abbey Brown, Owner of the Brownstone says her event space is now providing virtual wedding planning.

“So you meet one one-on-one with your designer and then your designer goes back and creates an entire board for you so up to 20 pages of designs specific for your wedding day. So we give you designs for your ceremony, cocktail hour and your reception and with that design we actually have clickable links so that way you can take your design from the design board to an actual shop and go purchase the items, rent the items and then go execute,” says Owner of the Brownstone, Abbey Brown.

Brown says advancements in technology have revolutionized nearly every aspect of our lives, and the wedding industry is no exception.

“So we actually took this service and we planned an entire styled shoot and entire wedding in New York. We went there during bridal fashion week and we took some of the dresses that were used on the runway the day before and we executed this styled shoot,” says Brown.

And with Mother’s Day right around the corner, Brown says virtual wedding planning could be the perfect gift for some.

“So this is a really great option especially for mothers of the bride because whether you’re a bride or you’re a mother of the bride this is such a special time. Gifting this to them with allow them the opportunity to have a teammate in planning their wedding and really take that stress off of them so that way they can sit back drink mimosas and enjoy their day,” says Brown.

If you’re interested in virtual wedding planning click here .

Copyright 2024 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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IMAGES

  1. Start a Party Planning Business on a Budget

    how to make a party planning business

  2. How To Start A Party Planning Business From Home in 2020

    how to make a party planning business

  3. Start a Party Planning Business on a Budget

    how to make a party planning business

  4. Thinkins about starting a party planning business? Check out these tips

    how to make a party planning business

  5. How To Start A Party Planning Business

    how to make a party planning business

  6. How to Start A Party Planner Business: 12 Steps to Start

    how to make a party planning business

VIDEO

  1. How to get more leads for your Party Planning business ASAP

  2. Just starting your Party Planning business? Listen up!

  3. How to build a team for your Party Planning business quickly

  4. Want to start your wedding planning business in India? Must Watch (#weddingguide)

  5. Mixology class at Casa Bacardi in Puerto Rico

  6. ITM EVENTS YEAR IN REVIEW 2023

COMMENTS

  1. How to Start a Profitable Party Planner Business [11 Steps]

    8. Acquire party planner equipment and supplies. Starting a party planning business requires gathering the right tools and supplies to ensure every event is a hit. From decorations to organizational tools, equipping yourself with the essentials will make your job easier and your events more memorable.

  2. How to start a party planning business in 7 steps

    Showcase your services, portfolio of past events, client testimonials and contact information. Implement an inquiry form to capture leads and make it easy for potential clients to reach out to you. 07. Market your party planning business. Implement a strategic marketing plan to promote your party planning services.

  3. How to Start a Party Planning Business in 12 Steps

    1. Choose Your Niche. The first step is to decide what kind of parties you want to specialize in. This is also called finding your niche. Think about the types of events that interest you and the ones you have experience with—this will help narrow your focus so that you can build a successful business.

  4. How to Start a Party Planning Business in 14 Steps (In-Depth Guide)

    1. Conduct Party Planning Market Research. Market research is important for an event planner hoping to craft a successful business plan. As a new event planning company, you should know about your target market, local market saturation, trending event planning services in the event planning industry, and more. Source.

  5. How to Start an Event Planning Business

    Event planning involves managing the details of large or small events, including meetings, conferences, or parties. This business is typically utilized for: Large educational meetings, such as graduations or conferences. Major promotions, including marketing events, product launches, and fashion shows. Corporate events, like after-work cocktail ...

  6. How to Start a Party Planning Business

    1. Market your business effectively. In the early phase of your party planning business, marketing is crucial to establish a reputation and customer base. Make sure your website is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. Try to have your company's name and contact information written clearly on each page.

  7. How to Start a Party Planning Business

    Financing Your Party Planning Business. Even event planning service requires some initial capital: Startup Costs: Calculate costs for setting up your office, marketing materials, a website, and any initial hires. Secure Funding: Depending on your needs, you could self-fund, take a business loan, or look for investors.

  8. How to create a party planning business plan

    02. Company and domain names. Naming a business is an essential step in the process of making a party planning business plan. A corresponding domain name reinforces our brand and ensures easy online access for potential clients. Consider using a business name generator to find the right name for your business.

  9. How to Start a Party Planning Business and Thrive in 2023

    1.2 Gain Hands-On Experience. One of the best ways to learn the ropes of party planning is to gain hands-on experience. Offer your services to friends and family for free or at a discounted rate to build your portfolio. This will allow you to showcase your expertise and create a network of satisfied clients.

  10. How to Start a Party Planning Business

    1. Choose the Name for Your Party Planning Business. The first step to starting a party planning business is to choose your business' name. This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable.

  11. How to Start an Event Planning Service

    Now that we've covered the basics, let's get into the steps you need to take to start an event planning service: Step 1: Make your company. Your first step involves making your company and filing ...

  12. How To Write A Party Planner Business Plan + Template

    Writing an Effective Party Planner Business Plan. The following are the key components of a successful party planner business plan:. Executive Summary. The executive summary of a party planner business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan.

  13. 6 To-Dos Before Starting an Event Planning Business

    At the end of the day, the name of your business doesn't matter " as long as you produce truly memorable events. However, a catchy event business name idea might stick in someone's brain better during an elevator pitch. 5. Do your market research. Before jumping, in I always tell people to understand their market and competitors.

  14. How to start a party and event planning business

    Remember, your event planning business' name should be: Easy to spell and pronounce. Original, and as unique as possible. A good representation of the services you're offering (don't go for something jokey and fun if you'll be planning serious corporate events, for instance). Appealing to your audience.

  15. How to Start an Event Planning Business in 2024: Step-by-Step Guide

    Prepare an Event Planning Business Plan. Consider Startup and Operations Costs. Paperwork and Legal Registration. Figure Out Pricing Strategy. Get Licenses, Permits, and Insurance. Build a Core Team. Marketing to Spread the Word. 1. Conduct Industry and Market Research.

  16. How to start an event planning business in 8 steps

    Balance the budget. Coordinate with staff and subcontractors. Decorate the space. Oversee the caterers and bar staff. Supervise the event. If you want to start an event planning company, it might be smart to test out a job or three before making the dive.

  17. Starting Your Party and Event Planning Business

    Develop a comprehensive business plan. Identify your target market and niche. Invest in marketing and promotional strategies. Cultivate strong relationships with vendors and suppliers. Focus on delivering exceptional customer service. Stay abreast of trends and innovations within the event planning industry.

  18. How To Start A Party Planning Business From Home

    1.Make a list of suppliers and vendors. Include at least two vendors for each thing you might need. It will depend on the types of parties you're planning, but your list might include things like live music, florists, clowns, magicians, venues, and caterers. 2.

  19. How To Start A Party Planning Business

    Create Your Event Planning Business Plan. The next step is to create your event planning business plan for your event planning company. This will be a detailed document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and tactics. Your business plan should also include a marketing plan, as well as a financial forecast.

  20. How to Become a Party Planner

    With all that on their plate, the event planner may hire a party planner to set up dinners, coordinate meet-and-greet sessions, and plan other social get-togethers. So for this article, we're going to focus on how to become someone who primarily plans social events. 1. Create a plan for what you're going to plan.

  21. How to Start an Event Planning Business in 8 Steps in 2023

    There are a few things you'll want to do to set up a successful event planning business. We're exploring eight key steps that will take you from finding your niche to booking events, accepting payments, and tracking your performance to grow your business. 1. Perform Market Research.

  22. How To Start an Event Planning Business in 7 Steps

    1. Gain relevant experience. Spending time working in the event planning industry, either on a paid or unpaid basis, is a valuable prerequisite for starting your own event planning business. You can use this time to learn about industry trends and prices, identify best practices, hone your skills and learn about customer preferences.

  23. How to Start an Event Planning Business from Home

    Take decisive steps to work out a plan: Calculate how much you really need to survive each month and pay your bills. Save as much as possible to sustain you for the short term after you launch your business. Look into alternative income options, such as a part-time job, support from your partner/family or a loan.

  24. How to Host a Party: 12 Things Great Hosts Always Do

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