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Tips for Starting an Event Planning Business

written by: Dachell McSween•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 3/5/2011

Do you love to organize events? Well, starting an event planning business may be perfect for you. Event planners are needed in all areas including in the corporate, entertainment and nonprofit worlds.

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    In today's society, you will find event planners organizing weddings, corporate events, charity events, and even children birthday parties for busy parents. Here are some tips for successfully starting an event planning business.

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    Find Your Niche

    Do you like planning events for children and families instead of adults? Before you begin your business, define your market. If you want to plan corporate events, then organizing an event for a sweet sixteen will not be a good idea for reaching your target audience. Defining your niche as an event planner will also help you get more clients by focusing on your expertise. Your niche can also include planning "green" or charity events. Take time to find out your interest and research growth possibilities as an event planner in your local community.

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    Setting Up Your Biz

    With any start-up business, you need the basics -- a phone, computer and printer, business cards, stationery, etc. Actual fees can vary according to your niche audience and whether you are beginning as a part-time or full-time business. Most event planners, especially in the beginning stages, work long and stressful hours. During this time, you should decide how much you will charge your clients. An important start-up fee for every event planner is insurance for your business. Organizations such as the Event Planners Association and International Special Events Society provide in-depth information about launching an event planning business.

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    Finding Potential Clients

    As a new event planner, it will definitely take time to build your client list. In the beginning, it might be a good idea to volunteer your services with a nonprofit organization to gain experience and publicity for your business. Join your local chamber of commerce and attend business networking events, so that people will learn more about your event planning business. Also, don't underestimate the power of family and friends in your community. They might have suggestions or tips about businesses or people looking for event planners in your area.

    Even if you don't have a website yet, make sure you have a Facebook and Twitter page. Through these social media sites, you can publicize your services and send information about the latest news happening in your area. Along with planning events, you want to establish yourself as a person who knows what is going on in your community, including sharing information about new restaurants and venues.

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    Building Relationships with Vendors

    Along with organizing events, event planners should know all about the best venues, caterers, florists, entertainment, lighting and party supply stores in their local area. Start building relationships with business owners that you will most likely partner with for upcoming events. There is a possibility that these businesses will offer you discounts for using their services on a regular basis.

    Starting an event planning business takes a lot of perseverance and hard work. After building your client list and establishing relationships with vendors, you will be on your way to becoming a successful event planner.

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    Turner, Krista. Start Your Own Event Planning Business. Entrepreneur Press, 2004.

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