10 Steps To Becoming An Event Planner

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 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.

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

Lots of love,

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64 Comments

  1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint April 26, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    happy it helped you DeShone!

    Reply
  2. Avatar Terry May 10, 2017 at 3:41 am

    I’m just starting to get my event planning business going, I’m starting with my kid’s birthday bash in 4weeks. I have found a vendor who can supply everything but the food. Now I’m trying my best to figure out what the best pay rate is for a self taught event planner like myself. It’s just me too!! There is no one else helping with this adventure, how do you balance the time to do everything with 4 kiddos.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint May 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Well a birthday bash is a great way to start – and fun too.
      Here’s a post to help you determine how to charge for your services moving forward: http://eventplanningblueprint.com/how-to-charge-for-event-planning-services/
      Once you’re up and running, hire people to help you, hire great vendors and use interns to help manage your time and obligations.
      Good luck Terry!

      Reply
  3. Avatar Sarah-Jude Davis June 1, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Hey ! Thank you for all this tips !
    I would love become an event planner one day. But first I have to study to become one. I’m Sarah-Jude, I’m from France, and I’ve always been in love with all kinds of events.
    That’s why I decide, to go to USA and study event there. I can’t wait to start !

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint June 1, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Welcome to EPB Sarah! Check out our program How To Be An Event Planner: http://howtobeaneventplanner.com
      It might be exactly what you’re looking for – and we have people from all over the world in this program.

      Reply
  4. Avatar Daniella ogbuagu July 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Hello, thanks for the tips it’s exactly what I need my name is Daniella from Nigeria am 28 and I recently started an event planning comp doh I have little experience but I have successfully planned an event with help from experienced vendors but the problem am is since i planned my last event haven’t gotten any calls or clients from referrals so I will like tips on what to do when these situation happens and also how to attract my targeted clients seeing the industry is quite competitive.thanks

    Reply
  5. Avatar Joey December 20, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I would think that the best method for anyone who want to be an event planner at the beginning stage is to write down everything. List up everything you can think of be it a certain organized manner or not. You can show your list to other people so that they can give you idea as well if you happen to be miss out certain category.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint December 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      Lists and speaking to those that know you best can certainly help you figure out what you want to do!

      Reply
  6. Avatar Erin Smith January 8, 2018 at 1:07 am

    I am going to take a course to receive an Event Planning certificate, as well as planning to go back to school to get a degree in Communications/Public Relations.

    Reply
  7. Avatar Steve January 12, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    This is great! We try to plan and organize events in the best way possible all the time. This checklist is a great start!

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint January 12, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      thanks Steve!

      Reply
  8. Avatar Stephanie May 3, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    I am just wanting to do budget partys and something on the side from my work as a groomer. What could I possibly do I love doing birthday partys, and bachlorette partys. And also baby showers

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint May 4, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Do what you love Stephanie. If you love birthdays, parts and showers, then do that!

      Reply
  9. Avatar Gloria May 25, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I love to organize, that is put things in place. And I also discover that when I organize stuff, I feel this joy on my inside just seeing things in place. To me it is like art, communicating with people to understand their wants and putting it to play . I am currently open to venture into the business. I have gained alot form your publication and I hope to get this right.

    Reply
  10. Avatar Kenneth Jenkins June 5, 2018 at 7:35 am

    The business that we are going to be running will be event planning. This will be a family business. Right now we need help getting started

    Reply
  11. Avatar Jacey June 5, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Hi! I’m a recent college graduate, and I’ve been a little lost for direction as far as my career goes. I’ve been an event programmer for over a year at the job I hold and I hadn’t even considered the possibility of making it a career until now (I know right). I was just wondering what I could do to try and make it a career being that I have the experience? What places should I look into or is it even feasible to try and start something myself so early? Any help would be appreciated! Thank you so much.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint June 6, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Hello, Jacey, thank you for reaching out! You have come to the right place! First and foremost, it is definitely feasible to make it a career. I’m not sure where you are currently at career wise, but depending on your financial situation and availability, you could dive in right it, get started with How to Be an Event Planner (http://eventplanningblueprint.com/howtobeaneventplanner) and really get going. One of the many benefits to this course is the flexibility. You are able to work at your own pace – so, if you want to take a more conservative approach, you can work on it while you work your current job. Regardless, this is the place to be! We will encourage, support, and help you every step of the way!

      Reply
  12. Avatar Monta July 5, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Since a young age I have always had an artistic eye. From music, art, baking, and writing but my confidence and circumstances got the best of me. Over the yrs I have realize my love and passion for making things beautiful for someone’s special day – like when you walk into Disneyland and it’s this amazing adventure around every corner. That’s how I feel about event planning – especially the decor because I am a visual person so I notice details. I have done a few parties over the yrs and people have asked if I have a card, and it’s flattering, but I’d have to say, “no, I’m doing this for a friend.” More and more people tell me that I should not ignore my passion, so I’m taking steps and a leap of faith and getting out of my comfort zone. I don’t have a website but I imagine it. I am a passionate person and I often wear my heart on my sleeve.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint July 5, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      First and foremost, thank you for your comment! It sounds to me like you are destined to be an event planner. I am happy to see that you have already planned a few events and have had a chance to test the water, that’s the best way to start and get a feel for the industry. Because of your knowledge and ability to plan events, I would like to suggest you take a look at our Success Academy course. This course is less about “planning events” (as you already seem to know quite a bit about that), but more about creating an event planning business. As you mentioned – you already have a name in mind, so this course will really help you move along, get your business up and running and get the legal concerns taken care of. If you do feel like you need more coaching on the actual planning of events, we do also offer a course called How to be an Event Planner, which does cover the logistics of planning an event.

      Which course you choose is entirely your choice, but from a personal perspective, I think you may find more value in the Success Academy course – http://eventplanningblueprint.com/successacademy

      Please let us know how we can help, we are here for you every step of the way!

      Reply
  13. Avatar Jane Kam August 6, 2018 at 4:25 am

    Reading this article gets me more excited about event planning. I have always loved planning and organizing things; I love every detail to be perfect and I try to get myself involved however I can and my passion for events grows all the time. I have not done anything recognizable (my biggest excuse is money) but I know it is a risk I have to take sooner or later, and I know I need direction to be successful.

    Reply
  14. Avatar Staci September 4, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    This is so amazing, thank you for being so helpful! Event Planning has always been a hobby for me. I planned my weddings (both of them) and every birthday my children have had. I love doing theme parties and get so excited when everything comes together. I create invitations, table settings. I planned my bff’s baby shower and made themed snacks. I have always been a little lost about what it is I could do with this planning and creating and wondered how it could be a business or career for myself. Most recently, I had to plan a funeral. The toughest thing I have ever done. But because of this, I truly felt this is my calling. I am OCD when it comes to organizing, and do well at managing multiple people that have tasks to be completed. I need to follow the light.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint September 5, 2018 at 8:39 am

      Welcome Staci, so glad you found us. If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for our weekly email tips at https://eventplanningblueprint.com/ – they’ll help guide you in the right direction so you can move your passion into your profession.

      Reply
  15. Avatar Traona September 8, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I want to become an event planner because I’m a very creative person and I’m always planning something or getting creative in my own home. I am actually planning my boyfriend’s surprise party which is very important to me and I am using that party as a new beginning to make me confident enough to go forward working my way up to become an event planner. Your steps really helped me because I didn’t know where to start or how to start, so thank you for that!

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint September 10, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      You’re welcome, we’re glad the steps have helped you and wish you success with your events!

      Reply
  16. Avatar Melinche September 27, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I am a party fanatic! I love the decorations, lights, costumes, and colors. More importantly I like being the one incharge of all the behind the scenes. I’m charge of everything this party has to offer. Not only weddings, but Halloween, and Christmas being my three mains. I want to be certified and get myself established. What better way to make friends than to throw a party?!

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint September 27, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      We love your enthusiasm for parties, Melinche, they’re one of our favourites too! Feel free to check out our training program: https://eventplanningblueprint.com/howtobeaneventplanner that includes business training and a certificate of completion.

      Reply
  17. Avatar anicka May 2, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Loved these tips! I’ve been considering and wanting to be an event planner for some time now! My question is along with a certification for event planning do I need some sort of degree as well? I’m not finished with school yet and not sure when I will be but I would like to start on the event planning sooner rather than later. What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint May 2, 2019 at 2:25 pm

      So glad you loved the tips, Anicka! In fact, you do not need an event certification and they have virtually no relevance in the field. Here’s more info: https://eventplanningblueprint.com/event-planning-certificate/

      Many experienced planners don’t have any certifications and will tell you that not one client has asked for it in all their years of planning 🙂

      You can get started right away, even while you’re in school.

      Reply

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