10 Steps To Becoming An Event Planner
Is becoming an event planner right for you?
You’ve planned a few events and you’re totally in love.
It’s all you can think about and you can’t wait to do it again.
That’s it! All you want to know is ‘how do I become an event planner’?
How do I get started in the event industry?
But here’s the problem. Despite how bad you want to be an event planner, you can’t go all the way. Why? You’re not sure how to get started, you have a day job that pays the bills, or maybe you don’t know how or if you’ll actually make money planning events.
Uncertainty can be scary!
Not done properly and nobody will hire you. Taking the right steps can only lead to becoming a successful event planner.
10 Steps to Becoming an Event Planner
In this video, watch (and take notes!) as I share 10 ways to get the experience you need to get started and become an event planner.
When I started in 2004, I questioned myself because I loved planning parties and events for friends and family, but I wasn’t sure how to begin my event planning career or where to start looking to get the experience I needed.
What To Do First…
Step 1 – Volunteer for caterers, florists, at nonprofits, or work for an established event planner. Your long-term success in event planning will be based on the experience that you bring to your clients. That means, if you’re thinking about getting started as an event planner, you should understand what an event planner does and what skills are needed.
Step 2 – Take on more responsibility. Become the catering manager, or a fundraising chair for a nonprofit, or take on a lead-planning role at an event planning company. Decide your niche market and focus on getting event experience in those areas. You can offer a wider range of services later; once you’re established, but determining your niche helps you focus on the right type of vendors to work with, clients to establish relationships with, and events to plan.
Questions to answer yourself to help determine your niche:
- What event services will you offer?
- Who do you like working with?
- What type of budgets do you want to work with?
- Will you offer full service planning or day of management?
Step 3 – It’s not what you know, but who you know. In event planning, networking is key so go to networking events, hand out business cards and let everyone know you’re an event planner!
Wherever you go, hand out business cards and collect contact information for the people you meet. After every meeting or introduction, I follow up with a “nice to meet you” email and below my signature is a description describing my event planning services.
Your Event Portfolio
Step 4 – Create an event portfolio. Showcase your work with photos, brochures, and invitations of the events you’ve planned. Organize each piece online (iPad storybook works well) to easily present your experience and share your stories. Most people are visual so it’s important to paint the picture for them!
Step 5 – Take an event course. Your success as an event planner is based on your event experience and knowledge. Taking a professional course helps you gain credibility, teaches you about industry trends, and helps you establish contacts within the industry.
Step 6 – Create a business plan. If starting an event business is your plan, Google ‘event planning business plan’ to find a template that works for you.
Step 7 – Register your event business name. Local government websites list the licenses you need to run a business.
Step 8 – Start a budget. To become an event planner, it’s important to have money while establishing yourself in the industry.
Step 9 – Marketing. Create a website, social media accounts and business cards. You’ll need a client contract, too.
Step 10 – Develop your network of suppliers and vendors – focusing on caterers, photographers, florists and entertainers, to name a few.
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
Why do you want to become an event planner? Let me know in the comment below.
Have an eventful week,