How to Become an Event Decorator: The Ultimate Guide
Do you love planning events and getting creative with decorations? If so, this guide is for YOU! Today, we’ll teach you how to become an event decorator from scratch!
We’ll many cover topics for your consideration… From the types of events an event decorator can work on, the skills required for the job, how to find clients, etc. So, whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your career to the next level, read on for all the information you need to get started!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is an Event Decorator?
An event decorator is responsible for the physical appearance and overall atmosphere of an event. This can include everything from selecting the right color scheme and decorations to setting up furniture and managing the layout of the event space.
Event decorators may work on a variety of events, including weddings, corporate functions, parties, conferences, and more. No two events are the same, so each one presents a new challenge for event decorators.
Learn more about the job description of an event decorator here!
What Skills Does an Event Decorator Need?
To be successful in this role, event decor experts must have strong creative vision. Furthermore, they must be able to think outside the box. Being detail-oriented and organized is also critical, as they’ll often be working with tight deadlines. In addition, good communication skills are essential for coordinating with clients and other vendors.
Finally, event decor professionals should have a good understanding of safety procedures and regulations. After all, they’ll be responsible for ensuring that all decorations are installed correctly and safely.
Aren’t Event Planners Already Decorators?
You might be surprised to discover that the answer to this question is actually NO!
While event planners do have to be creative and possess an eye for detail, their focus is primarily on the logistics of the event. This includes things like managing the budget, booking vendors, and handling the day-of timeline. While some planners will offer decorating services as part of their business, there are also many who don’t. Instead, they’ll outsource these services to a trained event decorator.
Event decorators, on the other hand, are focused solely on the physical appearance of the event space. They don’t have to worry about any of the other logistical details. Rather, they can simply focus on making the event look beautiful.
When it comes to you and your career goals, there are 2 ways you can approach professional event decorating:
- You can get trained and certified in order to expand your existing event planning business (by offering decor services as well).
- You can get trained and certified in order to build a business solely around event decorating services.
Whichever route you choose to pursue is entirely up to you!
How Much Money Does an Event Decorator Make?
In terms of the type of income you can expect, this will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- Your location
- The demand for event decor services in your area
- Local competitors vs. your ability to stand out from them
- Whether or not you have professional training/qualifications under your belt
- How much effort you’re willing to put into your marketing efforts, business strategies, etc.
- Whether you’re running your own business vs. working for an existing company
- Whether you’re only offering event decorating services vs. also offering additional services as well (i.e. event/wedding planning), etc.
Average Salaries for Event Decorators
With this in mind, we can share with you some average incomes for event decorators, based on specific countries around the world.
For instance, in the United States, the average annual salary is between $17,500 USD and $50,500 USD. In Canada, the average annual income for event designers ranges from approximately $35,000 CAD to $67,000 CAD. And if you reside in the United Kingdom, you’ll likely make anywhere between £21,000 GBP and £53,000 GBP per year.
Again, keep in mind that this number could also very well be higher if you were to also offer additional services – such as event/wedding planning – as well!
How Do I Become an Event Decorator?
Now that we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about event decorating, it’s time to give you a few tips on how you can get started in this field. Importantly, it won’t matter whether you want to add decorating services to your existing business or start a decorating business from scratch…
These 6 steps will be just as useful either way!
How to Become an Event Decorator in 6 Easy Steps
Step 1: Decide What Kind of Decorator You Want To Be
The first step is to simply decide what kind of event decorator you want to be. After all, you should never enter any new career blind. The more prepared you are, the better!
Luckily, there are all sorts of different ways you can specialize in this field, such as by:
- Focusing on a specific type of event (i.e. weddings, corporate events, private parties, etc.)
- Offering services for both indoor and outdoor spaces
- Offering both in-person and virtual event decorating services
- Creating packages that include additional services like event/wedding planning, floral design, furniture rentals, prop sourcing, etc.
Step 2: Build The Foundation for Your Business
Now, if you intend to join an existing events company, this skip won’t necessarily apply to you. That said, we still recommend reading it, in case you ever wish to branch out on your own down the road. In the meantime, though, what we recommend to anyone wanting to get hired onto a team would be to polish up your resume and interviewing skills.
But if your goal is to start a business of your own, then you need to know that in order to launch any business and have hope for success, there are some things you’ll need to do during the beginning stages first. For example, you’ll need to:
- Come up with a clever and catchy business name (and get it registered);
- Create a stunning website that accurately reflects your brand identity and gives prospective clients all the right info about you/your business;
- Get active on social media;
- Develop a stunning portfolio of your past (and best) decor work;
- Come up with a realistic business plan;
- Figure out your business’s budget;
- Determine which marketing strategies you intend to execute for your business;
- And more.
If you’ve never launched your own business before, don’t worry! This 11-step article by Shopify can help guide you in the right direction.
Step 3: Choose What Services You Want to Offer
The next step is choosing which services you want to offer as an event decorator. For example, will you just be responsible for setting up the decorations? Or will you also be responsible for designing them, too? Once you know what your strengths are, you can start to build out your services accordingly.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of potential services that event decorators typically offer:
- Event design
- Venue selection
- Budget management
- Floral design*
- Furniture rentals
- Prop sourcing and styling
- Linen rentals
- Lighting design and installation
- Backdrop construction and installation
*Did you know that QC Event School offers a self-paced, online Floral Design Course? It’s true! Check out the full program details here!
Step 4: Take a Course on How to Become an Event Decorator
Now that you know what kind of event decorator you want to be, as well as the services you want to offer, it’s time to get the right training. And depending on which route you want to take – i.e. starting your own business or working for an existing company – the training you’ll need will be slightly different.
For example, we strongly recommend taking an event decorating course, one way or another. QC Event School’s self-paced, online Event Decor Course will teach you everything you need to know to become a globally-recognized International Event Decorating Professional™ (IEDP™) in as little as 3-6 months!
In this 3-unit program, you’ll learn all about:
- The role and responsibility of a professional event decorator
- How to conduct successful client consultations
- Color schemes, theory, and psychology
- The importance of tone and atmosphere for any/all events
- How to successfully execute a cohesive theme
- Creating practical event layouts
- How to work with various types of event decor elements
- Researching and sourcing vendors/suppliers
- Lighting and its variations
- Renting decor and equipment
- Working within a budget
- How to build and launch a thriving business
- And SO much more!
If you intend to join an existing events team, then this course will be more than enough to build a solid skill-set and help you make your resume irresistible! On the other hand, if your goal is to launch your own company, this program will also be more than enough… But you may want to give it that extra boost in the right direction.
If so, we also recommend QC’s Accelerate Your Business Workshop! This 10-unit course will give you all the tools and know-how needed to take your business endeavors to the next level and increase your chances of success. Some of the vital lessons you’ll learn include (but aren’t limited to):
- Identifying your target clientele
- Finding the “gap” in your market and standing out from your competition
- Planning and evaluating promotional offers
- Building an effective and user-friendly website for your business
- How to use Google Analytics and leverage SEO to get your name out there
- Creating useful content for your target market
- Developing email newsletters
- How to set up PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns
- How to develop a high-quality, professional portfolio of your work
- Tips for organizing a stylized photoshoot
- The value of networking (and guidance for getting started)
- Writing professional emails, proposals, contracts, etc.
- Conflict resolution strategies
- Client acquisition and retention strategies
- And SO much more!
Step 5: Get Real-World Experience as an Event Decorator
The best way to learn how to become an event decorator is by getting real-world experience. And luckily, there are a few ways you can go about doing this:
Volunteer for Local Events and Weddings
One of the most popular ways to gain experience (and get your name out there) is by volunteering for local events and weddings. You can get started by searching online for volunteer opportunities in your area. Another option is to reach out to friends, family members, and/or acquaintances who may be planning an event and see if they need any help.
This is a great way to get started because it will allow you to try out different event decorating styles and techniques without the pressure of having to “perform” for paying clients. Not to mention, it’s also a fantastic way to build your portfolio!
Offer Complimentary Decorating Services to Friends/Family
If you have friends or family members who are planning an event, another great way to get experience is by offering your services to them pro bono. Although you might not necessarily get paid for it, this will give you a chance to try out your event decorating skills in a low-pressure environment while also building up your portfolio.
And if you’re not crazy about not getting paid for this kind of work, you can always offer to do it “in exchange” for something else (like dinner, a gift card, etc.).
Do Small Gigs/Side Projects
Another fantastic way to gain experience as an event decorator is by doing small gigs or side projects. There are always people looking for someone to help with their small events or parties, so this should be relatively easy to do.
You can search online for event decorator gigs in your area, or reach out to local businesses/venues to see if they’re in need of any help. This is a great way to get your feet wet and start gaining some real-world experience.
Take Part in a Stylized Photoshoot
Finally, another great way to gain experience and build your portfolio is by taking part in a stylized photoshoot. You can reach out to local photographers or event planners to see if they’re interested in collaborating on a project.
Not only will this give you some great experience; it’ll also allow you to add some stunning images to your portfolio!
Step 6: Start Applying for Jobs or Launch Your Own Business!
Now that you know everything there is to know about becoming an event decorator, it’s time to take action and put your new skills to use. Start by scouring job boards or online classifieds for open positions in your area. When applying for job postings, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure your resume is up-to-date and tailored to the event decorating industry
- Highlight any relevant qualifications, skills, or experience you have in your cover letter
- If you don’t have much professional experience, consider reaching out to local event planners or venues and offering your services as an intern or assistant
Alternatively, if you’re set on starting your own business, then it’s time to start promoting your services and seeking out clients! Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Create a professional website or online portfolio showcasing your work
- Use social media platforms (like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Twitter) to promote your business
- Network with local event planners, venues, and other industry professionals
- Attend trade shows or conventions related to the event planning industry
So, there you have it! Now you know everything there is to know about becoming an event decorator. Just remember to take action and put your new skills to use, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful career in no time.
Do you have any other tips on how to become an event decorator? Share them with us in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!