Start Your Own Event Planning Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success

Start Your Own Event Planning Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success

by The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Cheryl Kimball

Paperback(Fourth Edition)

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Weddings, graduations, birthday parties, anniversaries, and conferences—what do these all have in common? Everyone would rather hire someone else to plan and run them! That someone can be you.

Take your passion for event planning to the next level with in-the-trenches advice and tools you need to start, run, and grow a successful business. From writing a solid contract to finding reliable vendors, our experts help you identify your niche, teach you how to scout potential clients, evaluate the competition, market your business, and more.

Discover how to:
Identify a niche and establish yourself within the industry
Build a loyal customer base for large and small events
Implement targeted strategies for planning commercial, political, civic, social events, and more
Promote your business, events, and yourself with Pinterest, Instagram, and other social and online marketing tools
Develop proposals, vendor agreements, contracts, and manage day-to-day operations and costs
Keep within budget using money-saving tips and industry-tested ideas

Plus, gain valuable insights from interviews with practicing event planners, and stay on track with checklists, worksheets, and other resources.
Everything you need to make your event planning business a successful reality is right here—get the party started today!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599185620
Publisher: Entrepreneur Press
Publication date: 04/14/2015
Series: StartUp Series
Edition description: Fourth Edition
Pages: 172
Sales rank: 124,886
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

For more than 30 years, Entrepreneur Media has been setting the course for small business success. From startup to retirement, millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners trust the Entrepreneur Media family— Entrepreneur magazine,, Entrepreneur Press,,, and our industry partners—to point them in the right direction. The Entrepreneur Media family is regarded as a beacon within the small to midsized business community, providing outstanding content, fresh opportunities, and innovative ways to push publishing, small business, and entrepreneurship forward. It is headquartered in Irvine, CA. Cheryl Kimball lives in Middleton, NH.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Chapter 1 The Event Planning Industry 1

The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Event Planning 2

What Is Event Planning? 2

When Do Event Planners Work? 3

Where Do Event Planners Work? 4

Why Do People Hire Event Planners? 4

Who Becomes an Event Planner? 4

How Do Event Planners Do It? 8

A History Lesson 8

A Sophisticated Turn 9

Who Hires Event Planners? 9

The Corporate Market 10

The Social Market 11

Conducting Market Research 11

The Market Analysis 12

Interview Prospective Clients 13

Analyze the Competition 13

Chapter 2 Building Your Business Foundation 15

Industry Research 16

Finding Your Niche 17

Choosing a Specialty 18

Calculating Startup Costs 19

Creating a Map for Success 21

Your Business Plan 21

The Components of a Successful Business Plan 22

Crafting a Mission Statement 24

Chapter 3 A Day in the Life 25

Research 26

Design Time 31

Developing Design Ideas 31

Elements of Style 32

Selecting a Site 32

Creating the Perfect Décor 33

Food, Glorious Food 35

That's Entertainment 37

The Main Event 37

All-Important Organization 38

Organization Checklist 40

Balancing the Logistics 40

Coordinating the Event 43

"You Cannot Rest on Your Laurels" 45

Chapter 4 Getting Started 49

It's All in a Name 50

Choosing a Business Location 53

Types of Business Forms 55

Sole Proprietors 55

General Partnership 56

Limited Liability Company 56

Corporations 56

Licenses and Permits 57

Choosing Insurance 59

Creating Effective Proposals and Agreements 60

Proposals 60

Agreements 61

Chapter 5 Financing Your Business 69

The First Step 70

Finding Financing 71

Buying Equipment and Inventory 73

Essential Equipment 73

Tracking Inventory 78

Chapter 6 Hiring Employees and Outside Vendors 81

Reaching Out to Candidates 84

Advertising 84

Interviewing Applicants 85

Interviewing Strategies 85

Paying Your Employees 86

Training Time 87

Choosing Vendors 87

Types of Vendors 87

Finding the A-List Suppliers 88

Negotiating with Vendors 90

Hiring Professional Help 91

Chapter 7 Marketing Your Business 95

Networking to Business Success 96

The Ins and Outs of Advertising 97

Your Business Card-Small but Mighty 98

The Informative Brochure 99

Direct Mail 100

Newsletters 100

Press Releases 100

The Power of Customer Service 101

Giving Back to Your Community 102

Building Your Image 104

Chapter 8 Website Essentials 105

Setting Up a Website 106

Website Must-Haves 107

Your Homepage 108

Drilling Down 109

The Rest of the Site 109

Contacting You from a Website 110

Trades 110

Marketing Your Website 111

Your Website URL 112

Keep 'Em Interested 112

Choosing a Web Host 113

Chapter 9 World of Social Media 115

Traditional Media with a Digital Twist 116

E-Newsletters 116

Press Releases 117

Social Media 118

Blogs 119

Facebook 120

LinkedIn 121

Twitter 121

Photo Sharing Platforms 121

Pintrest 121

Instagram 122

SnapChat 122

Chapter 10 Managing Your Finances 123

Financial Statements 124

Paying Your Vendors 125

Pricing Your Services 125

Maintaining Cash Flow 128

Adding Up the Costs for an Event 129

Calculating When Your Business Will Break Even 131

You and Your Taxes 132

Deducting Expenses 134

Chapter 11 Planner Profiles 137

Wedding Planner 138

Fundraising Planners 140

Corporate Planners 141

Educational Planners 142

Other Event Planners 142

Music Planners 143

Major Milestones Planners 143

Graduations, Homecomings, and More 143

Profiles 144

Amy Piper, Signature Events 144

Cheryl Hagner, Wesleyan University 145

Kym Nason, Nonprofit Fundraiser 146

Marcy Weeks, Event Builders 147

Scott Marshall, Seacoast Events 148

Chapter 12 Onward and Upward 149

Keep Your Business Healthy 150

When Bad Things Happen to Good Event Planners 152

Recipe for Success 153

Looking Ahead 155

Appendix Event Planning Resources 157

Associations 157

Books 158

Educational Opportunities 159

Event Planning Software 159

Industry Experts 160

Magazines and Publications 160

Websites of Interest to Event Planners 160

Glossary 163

Glossary 163

Index 167

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