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Event Creators: Discover the Secrets to Starting a Thriving Event Management Business

Have you recently hosted an event and felt that rush of excitement and accomplishment? If so, you might be considering taking the leap and starting your own event management business. While it's undoubtedly hard work,...

Have you recently hosted an event and felt that rush of excitement and accomplishment? If so, you might be considering taking the leap and starting your own event management business. While it's undoubtedly hard work, venturing into the world of event planning can be incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. Plus, being your own boss in this industry opens up a world of possibilities.

At Eventbrite, we've had the privilege of helping thousands of event creators succeed in their endeavors. Now, we're here to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to start your own event management business. This resource will take you through the entire process, from developing your initial concept to scaling your business to new heights.

Is Starting an Event Business Right for You?

If you already have experience in event management, chances are you're familiar with the excitement and stress that come with organizing live events. But are you suited for starting your own events business? Here are a few key factors to consider:

  • Traits like entrepreneurship and creativity are crucial. As a business owner, you'll shape the success of your enterprise. Being a self-starter, well-organized, and having an interest in business or entrepreneurship are essential qualities.
  • Be prepared for some startup costs. Having some savings before venturing into business is a smart move. Calculate the amount you'll need when creating your event management business plan. While many startup business owners rely on personal savings, you can also explore other options such as microlenders, personal business loans, and small business grants.
  • Understand that income can be inconsistent. Having your own business means your paycheck might not be steady, especially in the beginning. It's wise to have a day job to cover your expenses or enough personal savings to support yourself while you build your business.
  • Embrace the opportunities and risks. Starting a business comes with both potential rewards and risks. Understand that there will be uncertainty and inconsistency along the way. Being comfortable with taking risks is vital.

Starting an event management business can be incredibly rewarding, but it's important to have a realistic understanding of what it entails. This way, you can plan accordingly and navigate any challenges that come your way.

How to Start an Event Management Business

Are you ready to embark on this exciting new chapter? Let's dive into the steps involved in starting an events management business.

1. Do Your Homework

Before diving headfirst into your new venture, take the time to research and plan effectively. Key areas to focus on include:

  • Niche/specialty selection: Determine the type of events you want to organize. Whether it's professional/corporate events, large-scale conferences, or live concerts, starting with a primary focus area will help you establish a strong foundation.
  • Market and competitor research: Identify your target market, its size, and your main competitors. Dig deep into what other event creators are doing in your area and find ways to stand out and offer something unique.
  • Training and certifications: While not mandatory, completing training programs and certifications, such as the CMP, can help you prepare your business, gain confidence, and operate more efficiently.

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2. Gain Experience

If you haven't already, this is the time to gain valuable experience in event management. Whether it's managing your own small events or working on events for others, this phase is all about expanding your skill set, testing new strategies, and building industry connections that will serve you throughout your career.

Set goals for your business. How many events would you like to host in the next six months? How many attendees do you aim to attract, and what revenue targets do you hope to achieve?

Take the opportunity to define your brand. Do you want to host fun, edgy events for a hip young crowd, social events for young adults, or professional networking opportunities for older professionals? Thoughtful consideration of your brand will support your transition into a full-time event management professional.

3. Identify Your Target Audience

Define the event types you want to manage and the audience you want to attract. You can choose to specialize in a niche (like "tabletop gaming tournaments") or keep things more general (like "concerts") to reach a wider audience.

Developing audience personas will help you devise effective marketing strategies, determine ticket prices, and attract the right attendees. Brainstorm, gather demographic data, understand your target audience's pain points, and visualize the people you want to attract to your events.

Look for gaps in the current event industry in your area. For example, if you're in a college town and all the music events are at 21+ venues, consider hosting all-ages shows to cater to the younger college student demographic. By filling gaps and addressing the needs of your community, you can create successful events.

Alissa Seymoure, a successful Eventbrite creator, DJ, and yoga enthusiast, discovered that her target audience for Deep House Yoga wanted to enjoy house music in a safe environment, free from the intense club scene atmosphere. She started an event series that offers a fun, lively, and secure space for yogis to move their bodies and enjoy electronic music. By identifying a market gap, understanding her target audience, and using Eventbrite to promote her events, Alissa has found success in her business venture.

Benefits of events business plan

4. Create an Event Management Business Plan

Now it's time to outline your strategies in a detailed events business plan. A business plan will help you:

  • Clarify your business goals
  • Determine pricing structures
  • Forecast revenue and expenses
  • Identify potential risks and opportunities

Your plan should illustrate your event's financial potential and outline the resources and operating structure you'll need. It also serves as a valuable tool when seeking business loans or sponsorships.

5. Complete the Necessary Paperwork

Next, tackle the logistics and set up your business. Some essential steps include:

  • Obtain a business license from your state or city.
  • Establish a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your personal assets in case of a lawsuit.
  • Obtain business insurance to protect your company and event attendees.
  • Secure funding from a bank or lender, if necessary.

Setting up an LLC may require professional assistance. You can work with a local accountant or utilize online business filing services.

Bank account and bookkeeping tools

6. Manage Your Finances

Prepare the financial side of your business by taking the following steps:

  • Open a separate business bank account to keep your finances organized.
  • Set up a bookkeeping system to track your revenue and expenses.
  • Create a budget for your initial operations, including event expenses, marketing costs, and staff salaries.
  • Choose an events management platform like Eventbrite to handle ticket sales, marketing, and other essential aspects of your business.

Ensure you have a solid financial plan in place to support the growth of your event management business.

7. Assemble Your Team

Consider hiring staff or seeking volunteers to help run your events, especially for larger-scale productions. Here are a few options:

  • Hiring employees: This is the most expensive option and may not be suitable for beginners. Consider hiring employees if you plan to host frequent events or require regular assistance with administrative, marketing, and management tasks.
  • Hiring contractors: Hiring contractors for specific events can be more cost-effective, but finding the right people each time requires effort.
  • Finding volunteers: If you're on a tight budget, recruiting volunteers may be the way to go. Start by reaching out to friends and family before expanding your search to individuals interested in your event type.

It's crucial to keep your expenses low when starting a new business. Consider both short- and long-term costs when making hiring decisions.

8. Begin Operations

With all the groundwork laid, it's time to start planning, running, promoting, and managing events! Utilize platforms like Eventbrite to post and market your events for free, allowing you to allocate your budget towards reaching attendees.

Devote time and resources to marketing your events as you grow your business. Eventbrite offers a range of tools to simplify social media and email marketing, including Canva integration for designing promotional materials, AI-assisted email templates, Eventbrite ads, and social media ad tools. Track the success of your promotional methods to refine your approach and ensure continued growth.

Grow Your Event Management Business with Eventbrite

Owning your own business can be exhilarating, fulfilling, and, yes, a little scary. But with the right team and the right tools, you can develop your event management business to its full potential. With Eventbrite, you can streamline your entire event management process, from planning to ticket sales, community engagement, marketing, and more. Take advantage of all-in-one event management software to navigate the exciting world of event planning with ease.