Do you want to become an event planner, but don't know where to start? You're a "people person" and have great research and organizational skills. You'd love the opportunity to put your skills to work, but you're not sure how. Here's a way to start a business planning events.
Choose a Focus
The first thing you'll need to do is choose particular areas in which to focus. You can plan events for individuals, families, organizations or corporations in a variety of ways. You want to make sure there's enough of a market need in your area for the types of events you want to organize. The following list is not exhaustive, but it will help you brainstorm ideas of what kinds of meetings and events to concentrate your business on:
- Product launches
- Political rallies
- Fashion shows
- Company retreats
- Trade Shows
- Live Events
Getting certified as an event planner is important to help you compete effectively. Corporations, and some individuals, will take this into consideration when hiring someone to plan events. Check your local college's event planning or management program. You can also become a Certified Special Events Professional or a Certified Meeting Planner through the International Special Events Society and Meeting Professional International. The more you can do to market yourself as a professional by certification and experience, the more you can beat out the competition.
You may have the skills to become an event planner, but you may not have the experience. Let's say you want to be a wedding planner or a party planner. Get experience by volunteering your services to family and friends. You will get to meet and work with vendors, practice your skills, and build contacts for future work. You should also volunteer your services to churches, charities, and non-profit organizations, especially if you want to work with corporate clients.
Network for Clients
If you want to succeed as an event planner working from home, you must network in your community. Join the trade organizations of the market you want to serve. Attend functions and social events to network with potential clients, vendors and suppliers. Get involved with your local chamber of commerce, and watch for opportunities to plan events as a volunteer or for pay. Your networking efforts may also lead to joint ventures for large projects or future team members.
You can market yourself by generating free publicity and putting on you own events. Write press releases about special events and quote yourself and others as experts. Submit those press releases to free outlets online and to your local television and radio news stations. Put on your own events, and spread the word to the contacts you wish to build relationships with. Have you business cards, flyers, and simple brochures to handout (if appropriate). You should also have them handy when you attend meetings or networking events at local organizations, or other events that you staff.
Planning events can be a great way to work at home. It can be profitable, as long as you work hard to network and gain experience. Learn how to effectively gain contacts in your industry and start building your business.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.