Becoming an Event Planner On a Budget
If your bank account isn’t overflowing with money, you may think that there is never a good time to switch careers. But if your current job or situation isn’t making you happy, sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith! We’re not saying that you should be jumping into anything blindly, though. You have to educate yourself on all the professional skills that planners should have in order to succeed in the event planning industry.
So how do you go about doing on that when you’re on a tight budget? It can be challenging, but nothing a little research and creativity can’t fix! Think you’ve got what it takes to become an event planner? Check out this budget-conscious guide for all the details!
Get professional event planner training
You may think it’s easy to become an event planner once you find out how many attendees are going to the event and the type of vendors to contact, but there’s much more to it. All these tasks come with subtasks including follow-ups and meetings that will test your time management skills, organizational skills, and interpersonal skills. With comprehensive training, you’ll learn how to keep the ball rolling on multiple tasks for multiple events over a defined period of time all while tailoring the event to suit different tastes. Still sound easy?
If you’re serious about starting a career in event planning, you have to get professional training.
You may be lucky enough to secure a job assisting an established planner whose work you admire and you won’t have to pay out of pocket to train under them. You can apprentice under them and learn their best practices for planning a variety of events and get real work experience. The trick is finding someone who is willing to take you under their wing. Busy planners who are working hard to get high-paying gigs probably won’t be disposable to closely guide you on your journey. Especially if you’re a beginner, you may not benefit as much as you might be able to if you had started with a solid, educational foundation and then apprenticed.
Choosing an event planning program
A lot of students choose to take event planning courses to beef up their portfolio, expose themselves to a large variety of event styles and professional contexts, as well as learn the industry’s best-kept techniques. Students can choose between online and traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. Some students find that a live classroom setting would benefit them, while others choose online education due to travel and work restrictions.
It’s true that some schools can run you into massive debt for their planning programs, but there are cheaper options out there! With online courses, you may be able to find some amazing promotions that could cut tuition costs. If you’re serious about getting professional training while sticking to a modest budget, keep your eyes peeled for holiday sales or special flash promotions for event planning courses. You never know what other courses might be bundled up in a promotion—maybe that Luxury Event & Wedding course you couldn’t afford is now suddenly within reach!
After you graduate…
You still have a ways to go after you graduate. Initial business start-up costs can be huge! If you’re outsourcing the design of your professional logo, registering your business with local authorities, putting together business materials, and building a portfolio….well, that’s a lot to shoulder when you’re on a budget.
So how can you save money while getting your name out there and readying yourself to launch your business? Here are some tips to help you save money:
Setting up your office:
When you’re finally ready to launch your business, don’t immediately sign a lease for office space in the middle of the city. Yes, you should set up a professional business front with information about your services, but virtual business fronts can be just as effective while being highly cost efficient. Setting up a professional website (with a polished URL) and then running a highly-organized office in your home can save you lots of money.
You just have to make sure that you clearly define the two spaces. You don’t want to be distracted by housekeeping tasks while you’re in the office. Especially if you’re holding consultations in your home – do you really want clients to see that pile of dirty laundry?
Why spend a lot of money on advertising your business online or on public signs when you can just invest in some stand-out business cards and attend networking conferences? The people milling about these events are already open and in the mood to connect with other professionals so you won’t have to worry about anyone being disinterested in you. You’ll have the chance to meet other professionals from different industries and build contacts. Even if nobody in the room is looking for an event planner right away, give them a card anyways. You never know who they might speak to!
Organizing a stylized shoot:
Coordinate with local vendors (makeup artists, photographers, caterers, florists, etc.) to create a theme that will showcase your combined skills. All vendors (including yourself) donate their time, and once the shoot is completed, you all get to use the photos to promote your work. You’ll all be reaping the benefits of a stylized shoot without having to put in too much money. As everyone is coming together and donating their services in an effort to build polished portfolios and market their services, people will be more motivated to contribute their best work and ideas. All for one and one for all!