How to Start an Event Planning Business While Still in School
Want to discover how to start an event planning business of your very own, even if you’re still in school? Join QC Event School‘s Student Ambassador, Tamesha Antria, as she reveals 8 tips to help you achieve this goal!
Tamesha is a graduate of QC’s Event & Wedding Planning, Event Decor, and Virtual Events Training courses. She’s also a current student of the Destination Wedding Planning Course. Her business, Tamesha Antria Productions, offers everything from officiant services, wedding and event planning/coordination, virtual events, and much more!
There are tons of reasons why aspiring event planners should get professionally trained/certified. Not only will it help you take your craft to the next level – it’ll result in countless bookings and lead your career to long-term success! Plus, the best part about being certified is that you can get certified at any time.
Whether you have some skin in the game or you’re new to the industry, there’s always new room for you in the event planning world! If you’re brand-new to event planning, a proper education is the best way to start your journey. And even if you’re a working professional who already has some events under your belt, there will always be room for more growth. Either way, one thing’s for certain: professional training adds immeasurable value to your event planning business!
How to Start an Event Planning Business: The Value of Professional Training
Here are just some of the ways that reputable certification training will benefit you:
- You’ll dive deeper into your skill-set – not only by learning about it, but also practicing constantly! Having real-world case scenario assignments taught me to consistently practice my craft. For example, once I’d started my courses, I dove straight into organizing stylized photoshoots in my area.
- You’ll expand your client reach with the effective operational policies and procedures! Professional training will teach you to best understand best industry practices, as well as provide you with tips and suggestions to help you thrive.
- By actively taking these two steps above, you’ll dramatically increase your bookings! When you create seamless processes and policies, you’re eliminating confusion for your client. Thus, having a simple, easygoing, and thorough booking process will only benefit you in the long run. We’ll talk a bit more about this shortly.
- When you consistently grow your craft, you naturally stand out from your competitors! Of course, what will make you stand out even more is your industry knowledge… and this will truly come from your training, as well as the personality that shines through your event planning business and work.
- Professionally training gives you a general idea of how you can form multiple streams of income! From floral design, to event decor, to specialized areas of planning (i.e. destination weddings, corporate planning, etc.), etc. – you’ll gain a clear understanding of the many options at your disposal that can increase your profit.
Why You Should Get Trained with QC Event School
I recommend training with QC Event School because, in my humble opinion, QC is untouched with the thoroughness and simplicity of their online certification programs. As a graduate (and current student) of this school, I appreciated having such a wonderful educational support system as I went through the process of starting my own business. QC Event School is more than an institution; we’re a family. And as a family, that means we’re all here to address any of your event professional needs!
If you want to know how to start an event planning business, the first thing to understand is that such an endeavor is no small feat/task. This is especially the case if you’re also in the middle of obtaining your certification. Now, it’s highly recommended that you graduate from your certification course and earn your qualifications BEFORE booking paying clients. That being said, some planners may be ahead of the game. As such, they may obtain their certification after already receiving paying clients. I would say to do whatever best fits with your current situation.
How to Start an Event Planning Business While Still in School
If you personally feel that you’d prefer to wait until you’ve earned your certification before booking paying clients, that’s totally okay! It doesn’t mean in any way that you’re putting yourself at an disadvantage. With that in mind, however, there are critical steps you CAN still take while completing your studies. These steps can help you start your event planning business, without the pressure of booking paying clients just yet. This way, once you have graduated and receive your official certificate, you can hit the ground running!
Tip #1. Research the industry standard and local competitors in your area!
QC Event School’s certification courses provide internationally-recognized training. However, the industry standards you’re learning about may not always apply 100% to the industry standards in your specific area. This is because it would be very complicated to train and properly educate students on every country’s (or city’s) industry standards throughout the entire world. That would take forever to learn!
So, this is when your work continues.
Your research should be extensive. Note your competitors choice in business names, what makes them stand out, how are they branding, and how they market themselves. The biggest thing to pay attention to here is pricing! Even if you’re new to the industry, it’s important that you don’t undersell yourself. In my business, for example, my service rates are equal to or greater than my competitors. In Atlanta, instead of being competitors, we’re a community. This means that if one person wins, we all win.
So, research and connect with your local competitors. Networking and partnerships are essential for growing long-standing event planning businesses!
Tip #2: Begin brainstorming what you want your event planning business to look like!
This means developing an idea of what you want your brand, aesthetic, business name, and business goals to be. And of course, once you decide on a business name, don’t forget to get it registered. This way, no one else can swoop in and use it instead!
Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself once you’re ready to sit down and begin brainstorming:
- What do you want your brand to look and feel like? Are there any colors, imagery, emotions, etc. you’d like others to automatically associate with your event planning business? You don’t have to have it all figured out right away, but it’s great to come up with a few things that resonate with you. List the services you want to offer as well, to get an idea of the kind of company you’d like to start.
- Do you want your business to focus on event planning and coordination?
- Do you want your business to have some sort of niche? For example, would you also like to offer floral design services, in addition to planning services? How about event decor? Moreover, is there a specific area of the planning industry – such as destination weddings, milestone parties, corporate planning, luxury events, etc. – that you’d like to offer clients?
- Will your business be a rental and design company?
Pro Tip: Deciding the kind of event planning business you’ll have, as well as which services you want to offer, should be decided BEFORE you choose your name. If you need any help with this, QC Event School’s courses come equipped with a business unit designed to help you launch your very own company. This training includes everything you need to know to start your business successfully – even down to the different types of business (e.g. LLC vs S-Corp, etc.). So, while this business unit is optional, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of all it has to offer!
Tip #3: Start researching different social media platforms and narrow down which ones you’d eventually like to target (and how)!
Social media is very personal – to the point where you choose your social media platforms based on how you can best communicate with your audience. Make sure you do extensive research for each platform. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are just a few platforms currently leading the social media industry. Furthermore, learn how how to effectively communicate and engage with your audience on each platform. This will be essential to keeping your community strong and growing!
Tip #4: Learn more about the various marketing strategies that can help you get your name out there!
Marketing will literally be your best friend as you start your event planning business. It has taught me to understand what my clients and general audience want to see. When it comes to proper marketing, strategy is key! This is because marketing can quickly become costly if you don’t have a proper plan for implementation. Before you spend money on ads and paid platforms to give your company more visibility, make sure you research the field extensively.
Tip #5: Brainstorm where you want your event planning business to specialize in!
As I mentioned earlier, a smart question to ask yourself is whether or not you want to have a niche. If you do, the next step is figuring out how you can achieve it. In the world of event planning, you have plenty of niches to choose from. Choosing a niche is what companies do to set themselves apart from others. For instance, you might find a special events planner whose niche is concerts. Another might be a designer whose niche is florals, rather than rentals. Personally, my niche is intimate events (i.e. guest counts of 75 or less). This works for me as a planner because it’s true to who I am.
Tip #6: Determine who you want your target audience to be!
As you work through your certification training, you’ll learn how to develop your client persona. Here are some questions to help you determine who your target client is:
- What does your target client like to do?
- Where do they shop?
- What side of town do they live on?
- Is your target client a male, female, both, and/or neither?
- Do they fall within a specific age range?
Take the time while you’re working through your course to specify who your target audience is. This is important because when you start to advertise on social media, you’ll need to know who you’re speaking to and how to speak to them.
Tip #7: Create a business website and social media channels so you can secure the handle(s) you wish to use!
Firstly, I have to stress that you should create your event planning business website PRIOR to your launch. I can’t emphasize this enough! Before you’re even active on social media, I personally feel that you should have a website. This goes into your marketing funnel and strategy. Moreover, it ensures that your domain name can be used and your handles are secured.
Next, Make sure that you have some consistency around your business name and social media handles. To the best of your ability, try to keep everything the same – or at least close to the same as your legally registered business name. For example, if your business name is Events by Jane, you’d ideally want your website’s domain to be www.eventsbyjane.com. On social media, it’d be best for your brand if your handle was also @eventsbyjane on as many platforms as possible. This will eliminate any confusion in your customer discovery process, and you’ll be more easily found on all social media outlets.
Tip #8: Find any and every opportunity to begin networking!
Now that you’ve done all of the research, it’s time to put in the work! Whether you’re starting your event planning business right away, or working with another planner/designer, you can get straight to networking and creating opportunities. Executive planners are always looking for Junior Planners and internship opportunities.
Event planning/design companies also don’t mind partnering to create seamless events and styled photoshoots. Stylized photoshoots are the perfect way to connect with vendors on a commonly shared goal. They gives us the opportunity to see if we’re a great fit for each other. Additionally, it’s also a great opportunity to go to different venues and become a preferred vendor. The opportunities are limitless!
Pro Tip: You can also begin networking while still in school by joining QC’s free Virtual Classroom on Facebook. Join today and start forging professional relationships with your fellow QC peers. If you want further proof about the power of networking, click here to read about how two QC alumni started their very own business together!
If you want to start your own event planning business and are looking to get a stable head-start in the industry, QC Event School is THE place to get your training! You can enroll at any time by emailing one of our Student Support representatives at [email protected]. Speaking from experience, obtaining my certification has boosted my confidence, opened new doors for opportunities, and much more!
When YOU sign up, we’ll help you do the same. And I guarantee that if you follow the above steps while still in school, you’ll be able to start your event planning business on the right foot. As a result, as soon as you’ve graduated, you’ll be ready to launch yourself into the industry and book your first paying client ASAP!
Leave a comment below about where you’re currently at in your professional journey and how you’d like QC to help you! And don’t forget to reach out to me the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook. Thanks so much for reading!