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How to Start an Event Planning Business in 2022

Last updated February 8th, 2022

Now may seem like a strange time to begin an event planning business but it could actually be the perfect time.

The world has come to terms with COVID and the fact we now have to live with it as an endemic illness rather than pandemic. The world is opening up again, rules are being relaxed and distancing and mask wearing will soon likely be a thing of the past.

After more than two years of restrictions, there will be a huge appetite for meeting real people again. That means a corresponding appetite for in-person events.

So, while the unlocking happens, you can be setting up and establishing your event planning business ready to help sate that appetite.

Want to find out more? Download our FREE Event Management Guide
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Start with a plan

You plan a business just like you plan an event. With a vision, an end goal and a plan.

Every business needs a business plan. Whether you need funding or not, a business plan is as important as experience in the industry.

A good plan should include:

There is a specific way to lay out a business plan, check out this guide at the Federation of Small Businesses for more details.

Perform your due diligence

Due diligence means different things in different industries. In this context, it means making sure you have the right experience to be successful, identifying key competitors and undertaking market research.

Assessing your experience

If you have been working in events for a while, you will probably have a good idea of what you know and what you don’t. You should also be able to look at your skills and identify areas of weakness and particular strengths.

Plan to offset weaknesses and lack of experience with employees or partners. Plan to leverage your strengths and experience in your marketing.

Competitor analysis

Knowing who you’re up against can focus the mind. You should identify what event planning companies operate in your market and who you will be competing with for jobs.

Analyse the number and type of companies in event management around you, areas where they are strong and you are not and the opposite.

Use what you learn to outperform where they are weak and promote your particular USP.

Competitor analysis is essential for any new business. Learn how to perform it here.

Market research

Market research will tell you whether there’s a need for event planning companies in your area and whether there is scope for you to compete in the local marketplace.

You can also identify gaps in the market, the number of tenders companies generally get, the average budget of events in your area and the types of issues companies experience with event companies.

Build all that into your own offering to differentiate yourself from the competition.

This guide to market research is an excellent starting point, especially if you’re planning to work from home.

Want to find out more? Download our FREE Event Management Guide
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The business itself

Setting up the actual business is exciting but also something that’s over very quickly. Much of the excitement is in the planning and anticipation of the setup. Once it’s done, it’s back to business as usual.

You’ll need to:

You’ll also need to set up your computers, software, communication channels, home or work office, building if you’re using one and anything else you might need.

We would recommend using free software to begin with, Google Docs and Sheets, Zoom, Slack and so on.

Don’t use a Gmail email address though. Use your business email address as you should get email with your web hosting plan.

It’s a little thing but can make a huge difference!

Begin marketing your business

The moment you have a name and a logo, start your marketing. Set up social media accounts in your business name, set up an email account, set up a YouTube channel or TikTok account and put all the pieces in place to begin marketing.

Then begin blogging, releasing updates and building anticipation for your new event planning company.

It will be slow at first, but a steady, consistent marketing plan will eventually begin paying dividends.

Lean on friends, colleagues and anyone you know to help promote your venture. There’s no such thing as too much attention!

Set up your pricing structure and formalise them

You would typically set up a basic pricing structure as part of your business plan but at some point, you’ll need to formalise it in a pricing list or internal document you’ll use for tenders.

Use what you learned in competition and market analysis and from your own experience to assess what to charge.

Don’t be tempted to compete solely on price as that’s a race to the bottom.

By all means, manage your first couple of events at cost or a little over, but don’t plan to compete purely on price alone.

Reach out to venues, suppliers and potential clients

Now you have everything in place, it’s time to begin accelerating your marketing efforts.

We suggest concentrating on venues you’re likely to use, suppliers and organisations in your area that can supply what you’ll need for events.

Then begin contacting potential clients using your press pack.

Also consider networking events, meet and greets in your area, your local chambers of commerce and anywhere you know your target market hangs out or is likely to network.

Use every means at your disposal to get your name out there in a positive way!

Keep on keeping on

If at first you don’t succeed… Companies in event management go one of two ways. They grow and become insanely successful or they wither and disappear.

We want you to be the former, so be prepared to work, be knocked back and be prepared to pick yourself up and keep going.

While running your own business is incredibly satisfying and more rewarding than any other type of employment, it’s also a struggle.

You’ll work more hours than ever for less pay than ever before. You’ll feel down, worthless, unable to compete and overwhelmed by more established competition.

But all those competitors started where you are now and you can achieve the same success with hard work and determination.

Good luck out there!

 

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