What Do You Need to Start an Event Planning Business?

If you've always had a knack for knowing how to throw a party everyone wants to attend, you may find success in the event planning business. Even in times of tight economic circumstances, as long as people have a reason to gather or an event they want to celebrate an event planner can usually always find clients. Your job will consist of making other people's dreams a reality, taking care of everything down to the smallest detail, transforming desires into memories. There are a few things to consider when you start on this career path.

  1. Education and Training

    • While getting an education in this field isn't a necessity, it will help you learn how to manage such a business more effectively. Meeting Professionals International (MPI) keeps an updated list of places where you can get a degree in event planning or planning business management. Certification is available to reassure your customers they're dealing with a professional; entrepreneur.com elaborates: "Also consider working to become a CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) or CMP (Certified Meeting Planner). These designations are given out by ISES [International Special Events Society] and MPI, respectively."

    Considering The Cost

    • Start-up costs are something to consider early in your decision to pursue event planning. There are a large number of factors to consider, encompassing everything from the area in which you live to the size of the office space you'll be renting, if you choose not to work from home. Even what kind of events you will be working on often determines how much you'll have to pay to get started; planning for a nonprofit organization's annual dinner is much different than someone's dream wedding. Don't fall into the trap of under-pricing your services just to get the attention of new clients, as you may not be able to recoup your investment and your business will fail before it even gets the chance to thrive.

    Choose Your Specialty

    • Figure out under which category your specialty will fall so you know your potential clientele. While the term "event planning" encompasses an astonishingly wide array of specialized fields and variations, there are two general fields each event falls under: corporate or social. Just as it sounds, events generally held by businesses under umbrella terms like "reception," "fundraiser" and anything else put together or hosted by a company. Alternatively, events planned by individuals or those that don't carry a company logo are considered social. Birthdays, bar or bat mitzvahs, and reunions tend to fall under this category most commonly, while other planners tend to focus strictly on weddings and anniversaries.

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