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How to Become an Event Decorator: A Guide to Starting Your Own Business

Do you have a knack for event decor? Are you always the one taking charge of decorations at family gatherings and parties? Starting your own event decorating business might just be the perfect career path...

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Do you have a knack for event decor? Are you always the one taking charge of decorations at family gatherings and parties? Starting your own event decorating business might just be the perfect career path for you! In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to start an event decorating business from scratch, from setting up to marketing your services and more!

Who is an Event Decorator?

An event decorator is someone who designs and sets up decorations for various events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate functions, conferences, and more.

Job Duties

The job of an event decorator involves conceptualizing a theme for the event based on the client’s vision and setting up decorations accordingly. This includes tasks such as selecting the right colors, materials, and props for the event. Similarly, it also involves setting up lighting, furniture, and other decorations.

How to Start an Event Decorating Business

Starting an event decorating business requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some key steps you should take:

Step #1: Conceptualize Your Event Decorating Business

The first step in starting an event decorating business is to figure out what kind of services you want to provide. This includes deciding on the type of events you will be working on and the types of decorations you’d like to specialize in. For example, do you want to focus on creating elegant floral arrangements for weddings or provide luxury balloon decor for corporate events?

Step #2: Come Up with a Business Name and Get it Registered

Choosing a business name is an important part of building your brand. Furthermore, getting it registered will ensure that your event decorating business is legally recognized. So, come up with a unique and creative name for your business that resonates with both clients and event planners.

Step #3: Research the Market

Research your target market to better understand the needs and wants of potential clients. This could include studying the competition, analyzing trends, and brainstorming unique ideas for event decorations. Also, explore different decor styles as well as color schemes that would be popular in your market.

Step #4: Develop a Strong Brand Identity

Creating a strong brand identity is essential for any business! After all, it’s the first thing potential clients will notice about your event decorating business… And the last impression they’ll walk away with! So, start by designing an eye-catching logo that reflects your style and event decorations. Additionally, you’ll also want to solidify your brand’s vision, message, tone of voice, and visual assets.

Step #5: Draft a Business Plan

Once you have a clear vision for your event decorating business, it’s time to create a detailed business plan. This will help you navigate the start-up process and ensure that you know what steps to take next. Moreover, your business plan will also help you secure any needed financing. It should cover details such as company overview, mission and goals, marketing plan, target market research, competitor analysis, financial projections, product/service offerings, and steps for setting up the business.

Step #6: Secure Financing

Developing a source of funding is vital for any business - and your event decorating business is no exception. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may need to secure financing through a loan or investment. You can apply for a traditional bank loan, seek out investors, or even consider crowdfunding options such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Just be sure to do your research and understand the requirements for each option before you commit.

Step #7: Determine Your Business Location

If you plan to operate your event decorating business from a physical location, then you’ll need to decide where that will be. Consider the size requirements, zoning regulations, and even the local demographics when making your decision. On the other hand, if you prefer to operate your event decorating business from home, make sure your business is properly registered and set up a designated office space.

Step #8: Get Necessary Equipment and Supplies

Once you have done your research, it’s time to get the necessary equipment and supplies for your business. This could include chairs, tables, linens, lighting fixtures, floral arrangements, and any other items you may need to provide services for your clients.

Step #9: Set Your Event Decorating Service Rates

Once you have the equipment and supplies to start your event decorating business, it’s time to establish your rates. Start by researching the rates of similar businesses in your area. From there, decide on a pricing structure that is both competitive and profitable for your business.

Step #10: Build a Business Website

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is essential for any business. Start by registering a domain name that reflects your company name and services. From there, you can build a website that includes photos of your event decorations, pricing information, and other details about your business.

Step #11: Get on Social Media

Social media is an invaluable tool for connecting with potential clients and getting your business out there. Create profiles on relevant social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Showcase your work, interact with followers, and respond to comments to maximize your exposure.

Step #12: Figure Out Your Marketing Strategies

Figure out your marketing strategies for promoting your event decorating business. This could include traditional print advertising, social media marketing, email campaigns, paid ad marketing, influencer marketing, co-marketing/partner marketing, word of mouth marketing, direct mail marketing, telemarketing, PR marketing, brand marketing, stealth marketing, content marketing, and affiliate marketing. Track the results of your efforts to refine your strategies over time.

Step #13: Create Client Acquisition and Retention Strategies

Don’t overlook the importance of creating both client acquisition and retention strategies. Review feedback from previous clients to improve your processes. Stay in touch with customers after their event to keep them coming back for more.

Step #14: Familiarize Yourself with SEO

Familiarize yourself with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to increase your online visibility. Research basic SEO best practices for event decorating businesses and update your website and content accordingly.

Step #15: Start Creating Quality Content

Content creation is a great way to boost your event decorating business. Create informative blog posts, tutorials, and engaging videos to share on social media and other platforms. Optimize your content with relevant keywords to increase online visibility.

Step #16: Start Networking

Networking is crucial for expanding your event decorating business. Attend local events, join industry-related Facebook groups, and connect with other professionals on LinkedIn. Learn from other professionals, find potential customers, and get advice on improving your business.

Step #17: Stay Up to Date on Trends

Stay up to date on the latest trends in event decorations to stay ahead of the competition. Follow websites, magazines, and influencers in the industry to stay informed and create fresh and appealing designs.

How to Promote Your Decorating Business on Social Media

  • Facebook: Create a business page, utilize the "Stories" feature, post about your latest projects and offers, use relevant hashtags, and consider running ads.
  • Instagram: Showcase your work with photos and reels, share tips and tricks, use relevant hashtags, and consider running sponsored ads.
  • Twitter: Share interesting content related to event decorations, use hashtags, and utilize Twitter’s ad platform.
  • Pinterest: Create boards to showcase your work, use relevant keywords and hashtags, and consider creating Pinterest ads.
  • TikTok: Create videos of behind-the-scenes, tutorials, and use trending hashtags and sounds, and consider running ads.
  • LinkedIn: Create a professional profile, share relevant content, connect with other professionals, and join groups related to event decorations.

Things Needed for Event Decoration Businesses

  • Supplies: Stock up on decorations, fabrics, balloons, centerpieces, and more.
  • Tools: Have the necessary tools such as ladders, extension cords, and hot glue guns.
  • Transport: Arrange reliable transportation for moving supplies and tools between events.
  • Employees: Consider hiring additional employees as your business grows for larger projects or events.

Where to Buy Event Decor Supplies

For high-quality event supplies, consider checking out stores such as Michaels, Party City, Hobby Lobby, Save-On-Crafts, Oriental Trading Company, and JoAnn Fabrics. You can also explore online retailers like Amazon or eBay for more selection.

Buying On a Budget

If you're on a budget, consider checking out sites such as Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace for gently used decorations and props. Additionally, some stores offer discounts for bulk purchases.

Other Options

Explore options such as renting decorations from other decorators, reusing decorations from past events, gifting decorations from vendors, or renting decorations directly from the selected venue.

How to Build an Event Decor Portfolio

Building a portfolio is crucial for showcasing your work and attracting potential customers. Take quality images of the events you decorate and include them on your business website. You can also create an online portfolio on sites such as Behance, Flickr, or Tumblr. Write descriptions for each project and list relevant details. Share your work on social media platforms as well to broaden your reach.

The Importance of Getting Certified in Event Decorating

Getting certified in event decorating demonstrates your expertise and builds credibility. Certification may provide access to discounts from vendors and networking opportunities with other professionals. Research certifications available and choose one that suits your needs. For example, QC Event School offers a self-paced, online Event Decor certification course that can be completed in as little as 12 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How much do event decorators make? A: Event decorators' earnings vary based on experience and demand. In the United States, event decorators tend to earn between $55,000 USD to $81,000 USD per year.

  • Q: How much of an event budget is for decor? A: Typically, event decor should take up 15-25% of the entire budget.

  • Q: How long does it take to set up event decor? A: Setup time depends on the size of the venue, complexity of the design, and number of people helping. It can range from one hour for a smaller event to several days for a larger one.

  • Q: How much should you charge for decorating? A: Rates vary based on the type of decorations, expertise required, and event size. Consider factors such as travel time and setup/teardown times when determining your rate.

  • Q: How much money do you need to start a decorating business? A: Startup costs range from several hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the scale of your services. On average, small businesses spend around $40,000 USD in startup costs and expenses during the first year of operation.

  • Q: How do event decorators get clients? A: Networking, social media presence, word of mouth, paid advertising, client incentives, social media promotions, collaborations, community involvement, and content advertising are some ways to attract clients.

  • Q: What are client consultations? A: Client consultations are meetings with potential clients to discuss their event decor needs and determine if they want to hire your services. Ask questions, understand their requirements, and provide an estimate before signing contracts.

  • Q: Does your event decorating business need a contract? A: Yes, having a proper contract is essential to protect your business and clarify expectations. Include event details, payment terms, setup/takedown timeline, and clauses for non-fulfillment of obligations.

  • Q: How can you start an event decorating business from home? A: Start by creating a budget, utilizing existing supplies, advertising your services through a website and social media, and finding suitable venues for larger events.

  • Q: How can you start an event decorating business with little to no money? A: Utilize existing resources, partner with vendors and suppliers for discounts, and take advantage of free online resources to learn the basics of event decorating.

  • Q: Is event decor a good business? A: Yes, event decor can be a rewarding and lucrative business if you have creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. It allows you to work with different people, showcase your creativity, and generate impressive results.

Conclusion

Starting an event decorating business from scratch may seem overwhelming, but with proper planning and execution, it is undoubtedly achievable. By following the steps and tips provided in this guide, you'll be well on your way to building a successful and professional event decor business. Good luck and happy decorating!

Start an exciting, lucrative career in event decorating in as little as 3-6 months by enrolling with QC Event School today!

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