Whether you’ve just secured your event planning credentials and are ready to launch your business, or you’ve side-hustled in events ready to officially start your business - congratulations! Welcome to the event planning industry, and get ready for a wild ride of fun, excitement, incredible people, and success! However, before you get started, there are a few things you need to do.
1. Develop a Roadmap and Business Plan
Even if your gut decisions are spot-on, don’t start your event planning business on a whim. It’s time to prepare and create a roadmap for your success. Business planning can be complex and require conversations with business attorneys and accountants. However, these other key steps are essential to you coming out of the gate strong without tripping over the first few entrepreneurial hurdles.
- Market research: Know your market, your competitors, and your target clients.
- Set goals: Identify and define success, use SMART goals, and assign timelines to achieve those objectives.
- Scope of work: Create guidelines outlining what you will and won’t handle as an event planner.
2. Strategize for Marketing and Advertising
Develop a strong marketing plan for both your new event planning business as well as one you can follow to advertise your clients’ events. You’ll want to effectively be ready to launch successful campaigns that boost brand awareness of your new business along with the exciting New York events you take on to curate.
- Branding: Use your “why statement” to identify your brand voice and personality.
- Marketing: Social media, email marketing, websites, event apps, and content marketing.
- Advertising: Curate a list of go-to advertising methods, like press releases, Google Ads, community sponsorships, print, radio, etc.
3. Assemble Your Dream Team of Partners
You might be starting an event planning business, but you’re essentially planning to be in the people business. And it’s mission-critical to know that even as a solopreneur, you can’t go it alone. Before you officially launch your brand, start reaching out to assemble your dream team of colleagues and build your network. You’re going to need a go-to roster of professionals for:
- New York event venues
- Event entertainers
- Event caterers and food/beverage vendors
- Event rental companies
- Photographers and photo booth services
- Florists and designers
- Potential event sponsors and exhibitors
4. Heed What Veteran Event Planners Wished They Knew When They Started
Get to networking events and start mingling with other event professionals. Event planner collaboration is key to launching a strong event planning brand. And you can learn so much from other veteran planners in the industry. Below are just a few sentiments some of the most successful event planners wished they knew when they got started in the business. These nuggets of advice are great for new planners preparing to launch their businesses.
- Start your Yelp page right away and put a strategy in place to garner feedback from every event and vendor.
- Don’t feel like you have to “build your inventory” of things to use in your various events.
- Fridays are going to be your new Mondays.
- Event business insurance is affordable - get it!
- Use templates for everything: emails, checklists, sponsorships, etc.
- Not every event client is going to be a good fit - find your niche!
- Run the numbers with your event packages to confirm profitability.
- Get to every ribbon-cutting, community event, and networking opportunity with plenty of business cards on hand.
5. Immerse Yourself Among the Best at The Expo
Congratulations on taking the first step toward launching your event planning business! Keep these insights in mind to help you prepare for success. And add one more step to your list - get tickets for The Event Planner Expo 2024. This is NYC’s premier conference for the events industry, attracting thousands of top pros over three full days. It’s here you can form strategic partnerships, learn from iconic leaders, and introduce your new business. Become an exhibitor, sponsor, and Expo participant to fast-track your success as a New York event planner!