Is becoming an event planner all you dream about?
Do you want to be an event planner (or maybe you want to start your own event business), yet you can’t seem to figure out how to get started?
Fear often holds people back from planning the event of their dreams, asking to get paid for the time you spend planning the event, fear of losing the security of a full-time job.
Maybe you feel you’re not good enough or like you’ll look foolish if it doesn’t go as planned or work?
Staying in fear will only get you more of what you’ve got. Stuck with no momentum.
Uncertainty can be scary!
Yet if you don’t take any action, you’ll never 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 10 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, but I wasn’t sure how to begin my event planning career or where to start looking to get the experience I needed.
10 Steps to Get Started
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 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 – 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.
What’s one step you can take right away to become an event planner?
Thank you so much for joining me and adding your comments below. I truly love hearing from our event planning community.
The only way to tackle your fear is to take action. If you don’t want to spend another day stuck doing something you don’t love, or ‘waiting until everything is perfect’, get started before you’re ready.
Have an event-full day!