Is becoming an event planner all you dream about?
Do you want to know how to become an event planner (or maybe you want to start your own event business) yet need help figuring out how to get started?
Fear often holds people back from planning the event of their dreams and asking to get paid for the time they spend preparing it.
Also, the fear of losing the security of a full-time job keeps people from jumping to running their businesses.
Maybe you’re not good enough. Or you’ll look foolish if it doesn’t go as planned or work out?
If you’re feeling held back by fear, know it’s completely normal. After all, planning an event is a big undertaking and can sometimes seem overwhelming. But there are steps you can take to help ease your fears and overcome any obstacles standing in your way.
One of the first things you can do to get started as an event planner is to build up your skills and learn everything you need to know about running events. This could include taking classes, attending workshops, or working with established planners to gain valuable experience and knowledge.
Networking with other individuals in the industry will also help increase your confidence in planning events.
Another important step towards becoming an event planner is developing a business plan. This will allow you to set clear goals and establish a roadmap for your event planning career. While also helping you think through the various details, obstacles, and challenges that may come along the way.
Staying in fear will only get you more of what you’ve got… stuck with no momentum!
Uncertainty can be scary.
Yet it would be best if you took action to plan the events you daydream about. So, what steps do you need to take to be a successful event planner?
10 Steps to Becoming an Event Planner
In this video, watch (and take notes!) as I share ten ways to get the experience you need to get started with confidence.
When I started in 2004, I questioned myself because I loved planning parties and events for friends and family. Still, I needed to figure out how to get started with my event planning career or where to start looking to get the required experience.
Having a wealthy family or rich friends would not be in the cards for me so I decided it was time to get going on my own. Event planning was less glamorous than some might think.
There were many challenges and successes, from researching and finding vendor discounts, finding products, and designing invitations and programs through serving food for 100+ guests at a venue with no kitchen. The best part of what I do is the joy on my client’s faces when they see it all come together.
My biggest challenge was learning to keep everything organized and delegating tasks efficiently, especially since everything usually has a tight deadline during the holidays.
Another challenge for me was networking with potential clients. Most people are more comfortable using their existing relationships than meeting new people and trusting them on such an important day.
Here are the 10 steps I used (and my students have used) to go from uncertainty to full-time event planner.
Become An Event Planner In 10 Steps
Step 1 – Volunteer for caterers, florists, at nonprofits, or work for an established event planner.
Suppose you’re thinking about getting started as an event planner. In that case, you should understand what an event planner does and what skills are needed.
Your long-term success in event planning will be based on the experience you bring to your clients.
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 broader range of services later once you’re established). Determining your niche helps you focus on the correct type of vendors to work with, clients to develop relationships with, and events to plan.
Here are questions to ask 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 essential!
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 – below my signature is a description describing my event planning services.
Your Event Portfolio
Step 4 – Create an event portfolio. Most people are visual, so it’s important to paint the picture for them! Showcase your work with photos, brochures, and invitations to planned events. Organize each piece online (iPad storybook works well) to easily present your experience and share your stories.
Step 5 – Take an event course. Your success as an event planner is based on your event experience and knowledge.
Taking a certified event planning 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 – Create a budget. To become an event planner, money is important 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 – focus on caterers, photographers, florists, and entertainers, to name a few.
How To Become A Full-Time Event Planner
Whether you’re looking to become a certified event planner or switch from an event planner to a full-time business owner, we can help!
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
What’s one step you can take right away to get started and become an event planner?
Thank you so much for joining me and adding your comments below. I genuinely love hearing from our event planning community.
The only way to tackle fear is to take action. If you want to avoid spending another day stuck doing something you don’t love, or waiting until everything is perfect, get started before you’re ready.
Ultimately, suppose you are passionate about events and have the determination and drive to succeed.
In that case, you can become a successful event planner. With the right mindset, skillset, and support network in place, you can overcome any fears or hurdles standing in your way and make your dreams a reality.
Have an event-full day!