With the two-year pandemic now in the background, events across the nation have once again become wildly popular. In fact, they’ve exponentially become bigger, brighter and better. If you’ve been thinking about becoming an event planner, this is the right time to start your event planning company and we’re here to help. This article discusses the six steps needed to get your event planning business off the ground by conducting research, adopting marketing strategies, building a business plan and getting funding into place. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Research the Target Audience
When starting a company, it is extremely important to identify the audience who will buy your event planning services. Start by determining the boundaries of your company: local, regional or national? From there, consider the types of events you’ll plan: birthday parties for all ages, corporate events, milestone events such as weddings and anniversary parties, or those that simply celebrate life. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help define your target audience:
- Why is this event being held and where is it being held?
- Will your customer want a gathering with over 500 attendees?
- How much per person will your typical customer want to pay?
- Will your target audience want you to schedule trips, plan tours, and take on the role of becoming a trip advisor?
- Will you cater meals, as well as plan events?
Answering these questions will position your targeted customer and assist in defining your company.
Step 2: Research Competitors
In the event planning industry, competition can be tough, with many event planners competing for the same projects. You’ll want to set up your company to stand out among the others, offering unique experiences for your clients that other companies don’t provide. Consider the competition and research them by answering the following questions:
- How do competitors advertise their event planning services?
- How many services do competitors offer; are any services unique or especially valuable?
- What event size is the limit for competitors?
- How do competitors invoice clients and what is the price range for services?
By gathering this information, you’ll develop a clear snapshot of your competitors, the value they offer, and how your event planning company can overcome those offers and services.
Step 3: Define Your Company Brand
An event planning company absolutely must have an identifiable, eye-catching brand. Every portion of communication with prospective and current customers should include elements of your company brand. Why? Your brand establishes the company identity and authority, the brand suggests the nature of services offered, and an event planning brand should also issue an invitation to the target audience. Every email, text message, social media callout, company vehicle, and employee uniform needs to carry the brand message. If desired, enlist the services of a graphic designer to help set up the colors and look of your logo and brand messaging. Be consistent across all platforms with your branding message so potential and current customers recognize your company and choose to engage with you and your staff team.
Step 4: Create the Company Mission and Objectives
The creation of your event planning company mission and objectives can be as simple as a few sentences or as lengthy as two pages; include in these statements the “why” behind your event planning company and the way in which you plan to achieve your key goals and objectives.
Step 5: Choose the Marketing Strategies
After deciding who your target audience might be and the events they may need, it is crucial to determine how you will market your event planning company to them. If you are planning events for an older target audience, use some traditional methods, such as mailers and radio spots. If your target audience is the young adult, use social media callouts and humorous email messages to get the attention of prospective clients. Pay for click through ads online and post content frequently on the company website, inviting customers to share experiences that are memorable. Connect with your target audience in contact points to send the message that they are important and that your company is here to serve their event needs.
Step 6: Build the Business Plan
After completing Steps 1-5, you are now ready to complete your business plan. If you do not yet have a plan, use this comprehensive template and business plan, as your guide.
In each area of the plan, insert the information you’ve researched and defined. Add your mission and objectives and outline your marketing strategy. When your event planning business plan is complete, you’ll be prepared to approach investors, lenders, banks or financial institutions for funding, if needed, and your blueprint for your event planning business will be firmly established.