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The Event Planning Startup Kit: Everything You Need to Start an Event Planning Business

Are you ready to embark on your journey of starting your own event planning business? Whether you have been working in this industry for years or are just starting out, working in the events field...

Are you ready to embark on your journey of starting your own event planning business? Whether you have been working in this industry for years or are just starting out, working in the events field is an exciting and vibrant experience.

The opportunities are vast. You can organize birthdays, trade shows, fundraisers, weddings, and much more. And when you work for yourself, you have the freedom to choose whether to work part-time or full-time.

However, starting in the event planning services is not easy! Like most other new businesses, it can overwhelm you with all the information you need to learn. There are so many factors to consider, from event marketing to selecting the right vendors and even choosing a name for your company. It's easy to get lost in the chaos of blogs and social media experts.

To help you sift through this overwhelming information, we have compiled this event planning startup kit. You'll want to bookmark this page and refer to it frequently!

Getting Started as an Event Planner

Owning an event planning company is not just about arranging Pinterest boards. Before you start attracting your first clients and organizing events, there are a lot of tasks to be done.

First and foremost, it's helpful if you know why you want to become an event planner to keep yourself motivated on the days when you lack motivation or feel overwhelmed. And if you plan to have a partner or investor for your startup company, you will need a business plan.

Finding Your Specialization

Many new business owners jump in as beginners and agree to any event to accumulate experience. However, the most important thing you can do for the morale and success of your event planning company is to choose a specialization.

Considering that event management is ranked among the top 10 most stressful jobs, choosing a specialization that aligns with your strengths is best. If you have experience in corporate event planning, start from there. If you have dreamed of becoming a wedding planner, choose that path and specialize in wedding organization.

Choosing a specialization will also help new clients find you more easily when you refine your marketing message.

Event Planning Startup Kit Image: Event Planning Startup Kit

Clear Vision and Mission

There are many reasons why people choose to start their own companies: higher flexibility, increased income potential, creative independence - the list goes on. You will have your own reasons for starting an event planning company, and those reasons will become part of your vision and mission. Classy Career Girl offers a 4-day self-paced course on creating a vision and business plan.

Creating a Business Plan

As any successful business owner will tell you, they started with a solid business plan. And event planning is no exception. A business plan not only helps you build the structure of your business but also forces you to research and understand your target market. Take the time to sit in your small office and start with these resources.

The Balance Small Business provides an excellent guide on writing a business plan from start to finish.

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a similar guide and even some templates for you to see how others have done it before you.

Professional Certifications

You may have enough years of experience in the industry to impress clients. However, if you are just starting out in event management, a certification can be a reliable factor that potential clients need to feel confident working with a new company.

Whether you work in any field, showing that you invest in yourself and have a passion for your career is always advantageous.

CSEP: Certified Special Event Professional

If you are considering a career in event planning directly, CSEP is a highly regarded certification in the industry. You will need three years of experience before taking this certification, so it's a good option to keep in mind if you're just starting out.

CMP: Certified Meeting Professional

CMP has been around since 1984 and is a globally recognized certification. It aims to promote standards, practices, and ethics in the industry. Note that if you are starting your event planning career, you will need some experience before applying for this certification.

QC Event School

QC Event School is a distance learning school that offers a range of professional certification courses recognized in the industry. You will receive guidance from professionals currently working in the industry and even support in starting your own business.

They offer courses in:

  • Event and Wedding Planning
  • Corporate Event Planning
  • Personal Event Planning
  • Festivals and Live Events
  • Virtual Event Planning

Udemy: Wedding Planning Academy

Udemy is a popular online learning platform. They have a comprehensive course tailored for beginners in wedding planning. This course will guide you from start to finish to kickstart your career as a professional wedding planner.

Learn the Event Industry Language

You will be exposed to an entirely new language when you become an event planner. Knowing the meanings of terms like 'bump out' and 'batten' will help you communicate with others in the industry.

Equip yourself with a glossary and avoid awkward situations when you are at a high-pressure event or negotiating with a venue or supplier.

Finding the Right Event Venue

Choosing the right venue can make or break your event. And depending on the type of event you are planning, you may need to book the venue from a few months to several years in advance.

Some things to consider when selecting a venue:

  • Location - if it's a local event, it should be centrally located and easily accessible for most attendees.
  • Parking - are there enough parking spaces or valet parking services available?
  • Capacity - you want your guests to be comfortable and not feel cramped or like they're at a stadium if it's a small gathering.
  • Flexibility in contracts - check the fine print in case you need to cancel a contract.
  • Layout - understand how people, tables, and booths will move within the space.
  • Budget - don't spend your entire event budget on the venue just because it's available and beautiful.

Here are three online resources to help you choose your venue:

  1. IACC Online Venues
  2. Unique Venues
  3. Peerspace

Event Planner Checklist

Nobody wants to wake up at 4 am on the day of an important event and realize they forgot to order chairs. It's a stressful situation that you want to avoid. The best defense against forgetting important details is to keep an event planner checklist close by.

Remembering to book wedding services and contacting a floral supplier are details you can't afford to forget. We suggest creating a checklist for yourself and saving it in the Glide app. This will allow you to access the list from your phone, tablet, and desktop when planning your event.

Event Planning Software

Every savvy business owner knows that there is a multitude of software to help manage everything related to running a business. You will find countless options to help track and manage startup costs, gather information from valuable vendors, build a new customer database, and even host this startup kit.

The software choices are endless, and you can spend hours - WEEKS - of your life researching and signing up for every event planning software available.

Save your precious time for better things and explore these top options to help you maintain and grow your event planning business.

Project Management

Whether you are a checklist person or demand a Kanban board, there is always a project management tool to help you organize and plan a successful event.

Glide

Glide is a no-code business app platform with a beautiful, customizable interface that you can tailor to fit your workflow. Create projects, subtasks, deadlines, and progress reports - schedule meetings with team members and have internal chats. Or use a pre-designed template even before you start.

Glide Image: Glide - business app platform

HoneyBook

HoneyBook is a comprehensive event planning software that is user-friendly and allows you to manage the client side of your business. You can send invoices, receive real-time payments, and even send event questionnaires. It provides you with the option to build brochure templates to market your brand and present yourself professionally.

Asana

If you've relied on sticky notes or a notebook to keep track of tasks or jot down business ideas, you know it's unreliable. Asana is a project management tool that lets you create efficient task lists, track event budgets, and even communicate with team members.

Registration Management

Every event needs an easy way for guests to register, confirm attendance, buy tickets, and receive event updates.

Eventbrite

Chances are, you might have used Eventbrite in the past to purchase event tickets. Word of mouth is helpful when starting your business, but it only brings you useful results for a short period. Eventbrite can help you advertise your event, sell tickets, create custom email campaigns, and even track ticket sales.

RegFox

In RegFox, you'll find an easy-to-use form builder tool to customize your event registration page. Limit the number of tickets you can sell and send professionally branded confirmation emails with easily scannable QR codes for convenient check-ins.

Greenvelope

Are you planning a wedding or birthday party? Send custom invitations and track RSVPs with Greenvelope. Easily import your guest list, send automated reminders, and email guests with any changes or updates.

Social Media Management

In the age of social media, you'll want a presence on the most meaningful platforms to you and your business. Because it's easy to spend hours browsing what others are doing, finding time to market your business and still manage your time is crucial.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a comprehensive social media scheduling tool. Plan your posts without having to open Instagram or Facebook. Use your precious time for more important tasks, such as planning future collaborations.

Later

If you're new to using social media to grow your business, Later is an easy-to-use social media scheduling tool with a short learning curve. It has a clean and user-friendly interface. You can plan your images, collect media from within the app, and choose between auto-posting or manual posting. There's a free and affordable pricing plan.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Your customers and suppliers are crucial factors in the success of your business. Organizing them from day one is the best way to avoid chaos in the future. Spreadsheets can work but won't meet the demands as you grow.

Glide

Glide also serves as an easy-to-use customer relationship management (CRM) tool. It's a no-code app platform that allows you to build powerful custom apps for your event planning business in minutes. With Glide, you can track budgets, manage all your projects, organize clients and vendors, and more. Its drag-and-drop interface is user-friendly and attractive, making it accessible for anyone to use.

Glide Image: Glide - customer relationship management app

Event Hub

If you organize live events with exhibitors, Event Hub is a good choice. It's a CRM platform designed to manage vendors, process payments, handle applications, and more. If you organize live events with exhibitors, you can categorize them and send personalized push notifications.

GlueUp

GlueUp is a CRM dedicated to non-profit organizations. If you plan to work in this field, this is a good CRM to explore. Manage your contacts, automate workflows, and easily interact with potential customers. In GlueUp, you can segment your potential customers and personalize email campaigns.

Best Tools for Small Businesses

As you can see, there are many tools to help you run your event planning business. This event planning startup kit is a great resource to help you avoid information overload.

Generally, the best approach when starting a business is to keep things simple. Jumping around platforms will only stress you out and drain your mental energy. Choosing one app to handle (almost) all the work will help you save time, money, and mental energy.

Glide is a no-code app platform that allows you to build powerful custom apps for your event planning business in just a few minutes. With Glide, you can track budgets, manage all your projects, organize clients and vendors, and more. And its drag-and-drop, easy-to-use, attractive interface will help anyone use it.

The best part is that you can create apps in Glide for free. Start today and choose from a wide selection of existing templates or design your own custom app right now.

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