Are you wondering who your event clients are because you want to plan events?
Do you need to choose an event niche (or maybe you think you have but you’re wondering if it’s the right one)?
Are you wondering if you should plan all types of events, because you think it’ll be easier to find and get hired?
Many event planners have more than one passion or interest. We love parties, we love bringing people together. So whether you want to plan fundraisers, celebrations, parties, meetings or weddings, when you have more than one area of interest it can feel a little crazy at times.
Event planner, this is something I know all too well. Trying to be all things to all people just to get started or just to get hired. #beentheredonethat
When I started my event business in 2004 (from my kitchen table), I had no idea what I was doing or what to specialize in and I considered offering “full service event planning” so I wasn’t turning anyone away.
I mean, you have to pay the bills, right?
But that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped, and it became really frustrating and painful because it was harder to find the clients who would hire me.
Then I started looking at my competitors and other industry leaders and realized they specialized in ONE area. They weren’t doing all or just any type of event, they were known for one event niche and that’s what they focused on.
At first, I was really scared to do this because I didn’t want to turn anyone away. I was scared to say No or to refer them to another planner…
Then this happened…
Soon after getting clear on who my clients are exactly and choosing my event niche, I was planning events with over 30,000 attendees, working with top international brands, professional athletes, and Hollywood actors.
That’s why I made this video for you. So you have clarity on your niche and so you understand why it’s important to narrow your market.
When it comes to choosing your event niche, here’s what you’ll learn in today’s video:
- How to decide which event niche is right for you
- About the different types of events and the benefits of choosing a niche rather than offering event services in EVERY type of event niche
- Why it’s important to identify what you’re qualified to do, what you value and what you enjoy doing
Two Types of Events
In order to choose a niche, let’s first talk about the two types of events to consider.
Corporate Events Corporate events can be seminars, workshops, product launches, promotional events, fundraisers, executive retreats, team building events, or incentive events. It can also be a company, nonprofit, or charity event – anything that focuses on increasing community visibility and allows organizations to get their marketing message out to the world
According to the Convention Industry Council 2014 Economic Significance Study, 1.3 million corporate events took place in the United States alone. So, whether you plan meetings, fundraisers or receptions, there are plenty of opportunities in corporate event planning because it typically provides a higher rate of return and steady business.
Social Events Social events include weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions or holiday celebrations. Really, this refers to any event where socializing is expected and encouraged! Now, regardless of which industry you choose – social events or corporate events, I highly recommend you narrow your niche even further.
By doing this, you are opening more doors for your business because you’re increasing the chance of referrals, becoming an expert, and saving you and your clients money.
5 Benefits to Choosing an Event Niche
Without having a specific niche, it makes it difficult to market your services and hard for clients to find you or refer you to friends, family, or coworkers. If you have a specific niche, you will be the person that comes to mind when someone needs the services you offer. If you’ve read our blog on increasing referrals, you know just how important and beneficial they are to your business!
- Become an Expert
By narrowing your niche, you are allowing yourself to become an expert in your industry. You’ve heard the quote “The quickest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time.” If you choose to focus on all social events, you will only be able to give partial effort. If you focus on one event, you will be able to master that niche and know every element of that type of event.
- Saves Your Clients Money
As you become the expert in your event industry, your vendors will start to like, know, and trust you, which means you become their “go-to” event planner. With that, you will have the power to negotiate better rates, which saves your clients money – something all clients will be excited about!
- Saves You Money
Because you are focusing on one specific event type, you only need to spend money on the specific resources and supplies that are relevant to the types of events you plan. If you are focusing on children’s birthday parties, it’s unlikely that you will need to have access to seating arrangement or travel arrangement software. The more specific your niche, the less cost to you!
- Learn About Your Interests, Values, Skills and Personality Preferences
Whether you are just getting started in event planning, or you are improving your skills and knowledge, it is important to identify your interests, values, skills, and personality preferences in order to make a well-informed decision.
If you learn about your interests, it will help you identify opportunities in the niche you choose, making networking and marketing much easier and enjoyable!
If you have multiple interests, I suggest you volunteer for corporate and social events and choose which you enjoyed the most. It’s always a good idea to get your feet wet before diving right in!
Once you are aware of your interests, it’s important to know what motivates and moves you towards making decisions. Your values are a huge determinant in the decision-making process, so being able to identify these will have a big impact on the event niche you choose (as well as your success)!
And, understand your skills.
Assessing your skills allows you to determine which skills to acquire or further develop. This helps you identify what niche your skill-set matches. If you are skilled at planning events with a large attendance, you may be more inclined to choose corporate events with a niche in seminars, conferences or fundraisers. But in order to decide which event niche to choose, you will need to understand your personality preferences.
Understanding your personality allows you to see correlations between the ways you make decisions and your work style. Selecting a niche is a long-term decision and it is time well-invested early on in your event career.
3 Strategies to Help You Select Your Event Niche:
- Contrary to popular belief, in order to be successful, you do not have to create something brand new. This creates a lot of pressure, because it is extremely difficult to create something truly brand new. Not only that, but it’s hard to determine whether or not you will be successful because your idea has never been put to the test.
The most strategic approach is to forget about starting fresh and take something that is already working and make it better.
- Ignore the competition! It doesn’t matter how much competition there is, if you can give your clients a better event experience, you will succeed.
You can do this by becoming the market. What I mean by this, is be a consumer of the products and services in the niche market that you choose. Do this by participating in discussion boards, reading reviews, and by acting as your target audience. By doing this, you will recognize what’s working and what needs to be improved in your specific niche.
- Specialize and Own Your Market! If you are like many of our students and members, you are (or were) scared to start an event planning business “because it’s too competitive.”
The truth is, there is competition in any industry, but when it comes to niche selection, you can get more results faster, by specializing. If you pick a market that actually interests you, your success will follow.
Niching-Down A.K.A. Specializing
Once you have chosen your niche, you can even narrow it down even further. This is known as “niching-down” or “specializing.” For example, you may choose an event niche in weddings, but if you can narrow it down and specialize in something like destination weddings, you will become the “go-to” event planner, because you are now the expert in that niche.
By specializing in an event niche, it is easier for your clients to find you! When people do a Google search online, they don’t typically search for general terms. T
hey are more likely to search something specific like “destination wedding planners” because they want the most direct path to the information they need. When you are choosing your event niche, I want you to remember this – You don’t have to own the entire market, you just have to own a specific piece of your market.
Focus on clients you want to work with and who can and will pay you.
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
Let me know in the comments below, do you have an event niche or are you struggling to find one? Let us know in the comments below!