Woman ready to start an event planning business

What you Need to Start an Event Planning Business

All over the world, the event planning industry is booming. People and corporations are hiring planners to help them organize special occasions and celebrations more frequently than ever before. A successful market like this is a great opportunity to start your own event planning business. Planning professionals who are also business owners create their own business structure, determine their own hours, and build their brand. They invest time and money to experience the rewards of independent business ownership.

Building a business from the ground up might seem intimidating, but there are many resources available to help you get started. Prepare yourself by researching what you need to start off strong!

Quality Event Planning Training

Before you can market yourself as a professional, you should complete quality training. Clients will be reassured if they can see your credentials and know that you’re well educated in your trade. If you start your business without event planning training, people might hesitate to contract your services even if you have relevant experience and a portfolio. Consider event planning certificate programs like those here at QC Event School to advance your planning skills to a professional level.

Woman getting quality training to start an event planning business

Planning Experience

Most successful small business owners gained work experience before branching out on their own. You’ll benefit from working for other event planning companies first. The knowledge you gain as an employee will inform how you run your own business. Make note of your superiors’ skills and learn from their mistakes so you can apply those lessons to your own business practices later.

A Portfolio

As you gain experience in the industry, build a portfolio containing examples of your best work. Clients will be interested in the services your new business has to offer if they can see pictures and testimonials of beautiful events you’ve organized in the past. A thorough portfolio exemplifies that you’re an experienced professional with the skills and knowledge to run a successful event planning business.

An Understanding of your Industry

Research your market. Is there a demand for event planner jobs and services? What types of planners are already in the area? What type of planning is needed most? This might influence which services you offer. Some business owners take risks and offer services that are available from many of their competitors or none of them. Each of these options has pros and cons. Offering common services generates competition, which can be healthy for the industry. It can also make establishing your own client base difficult. Alternatively, offering something no one else specializes in can make you the resident expert. It can also make clients wonder whether that service is necessary if you’re the only one. Business owners keep their finger on the pulse of their industry to assess what their target market wants and needs. You should begin this analysis before starting a party planning business.

Doing an analysis to start an event planning business

A Knowledge of Local Regulations

Local governments have regulations that all small businesses are held to. Research which licenses you need to successfully throw events without violating regulations. Having your client’s wedding reception shut down because your staff didn’t acquire the right license for alcohol service will guarantee a loss of business. Research precisely what your local licensing board requires in advance so you are fully prepared to offer your services safely.

A Brand

Invest time and care in building your brand. These represent you and your services and they are usually the first exposure clients have to your business. Choose a name and logo that communicate your style of event planning. Your brand should reflect what your target market is searching for. Your business name and logo should be simple but memorable, and your marketing materials should follow suit. Evaluate what kind of advertising materials are best for you. Perhaps your target market is a young professional crowd who will pay more attention to a website than a magazine spread. Make sure the website tells them exactly what you offer without overwhelming them.

A Breakdown of Startup Costs

Perhaps the smartest thing a new business owner can do before their launch is establish a breakdown of startup costs. You should know exactly where your money will be spent and how much is required for each expense. Preparing a breakdown will ensure that you have enough funds to get started and minimize your chances of being caught off guard by unforeseen expenses. Consider the following factors and allot your budget accordingly.

  • Rent: Will you work from an office or from home?
  • Transportation: Will you drive a company car?
  • Payroll: Will you have assistant planners or work alone?
  • Licensing: How much will it cost to abide by local planning regulations?
  • Taxes: All businesses pay taxes. Research your local small business bureau and prepare for how you might be taxed.
  • Advertising and promotion: How much money, and how often, will you invest in marketing your services?
  • Legal and accounting fees: Most small business owners work with lawyers and accountants to ensure that financial and legal dealings run smoothly.
  • Communication: Do you need tablets, phones, or laptops for contacting clients and employees?
  • Supplies: Will you have décor or furniture samples on hand for your clients to see? Do you need to furnish an office?
  • Miscellaneous: Save some funds for unforeseen expenses and emergency costs.

Calculating expenses to start an event planning business


Insurance is mandatory for all business owners. It protects your interests and covers your general liability, office space, company vehicle, equipment, and employees. There are many types of small business insurance and your lawyer or an insurance advisor can help you decide which is best for you.

A Business Launch Plan

How will you let the world know that you’re ready and open for business? Consider having a grand opening promotion or throwing a small launch event where potential clients can meet you and ask questions. You want to make an impact on the public without advertising too obnoxiously.

Confidence and Determination

Starting a small business takes dedication, but it is a goal that you can absolutely achieve. Before you move forward with business plans to start a career in event planning, prepare yourself for how much time and effort branching out on your own requires. Investing yourself heavily in business preparations will be rewarding later on.

Are you ready to become an event planner? Check out the selection of event planner programs offered at QC and learn about our business training!

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