How to start an event planning business
Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the leap into event planning. So now you may be wondering how to get started. We’ve put together a list of tips for you to consider as you embark on your new endeavor.
5 tips to start your business
Courses and Certifications
You certainly don't need a degree or any certifications to be an event planner. However, if you are looking to develop skills or learn more about the industry, taking a course or completing a certification program can help you as you start out in your business. Plus, designations will set you apart from event planners who do not have a higher-level training.
If you are newer to event planning with little experience, you may want to consider taking some online event planning courses. Here are a few online programs to consider
If you already have a background in event planning from a prior employer, taking an accredited certification event planning program is a good place to start. These programs provide you with hands-on training and prepare you for your new role of owning your own business. A few certification programs you may consider are:
- Certified Meeting Planner program offered through Meeting Planners International (MPI)
- Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP)
- Certified Meeting Professional certification from the Convention Industry Council (CIC)
Create a business plan
Creating a business plan is important to your success. It will provide the direction you need to achieve your mission and goals. Essentially, it’s a map for your future that will support your growth. While creating your business plan, you will most likely conduct a good amount of research to help you understand the business side of event planning. Include these elements in your business plan:
- Company Overview
- Target Market
- Competitive Landscape
- SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) Analysis
- Products and services
- Financial goals
- Startup Costs
Event Management Software
A convenient way to stay organized, efficient and on track when you are event planning is by using an Event Management Software. There are many on the market to choose from. Here are a few to look into:
Research and stay on top of trends
To be successful in your new startup, it’s important to understand the event planning industry and its trends. One way to keep your finger on the pulse is to subscribe to industry magazines and online resources for event planners. Some resources to consider are:
You should also consider joining an event planning association. Joining an association is a great way to get new ideas for your business and to network with other industry partners. Some associations to consider are:
- Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) – annual membership starts at $220
- Event Planners Association (EPA) –
- American Association of Certified Wedding Planners –
- National Association of Wedding Professionals
- Wedding International Professionals Association
Build a website
In the beginning you may not have the funds to hire an expert web designer who can give you all the bells and whistles of a robust website. If this is the case, then choose a platform where you can create your own website. Some of the most popular and easy to use website builders include:
We hope these tips help get your business started on the right track. After you gain your clients, make sure they are protected with event insurance.
Markel Specialty offers event liability insurance to hosts and honorees, protecting from incidents such as property damage to the venue or injury to a guest. Up to $2 million in event liability insurance can be purchased by your client from Markel Specialty any time at least 1 day before the event. Policies start as low as $75.
By offering event insurance, it will not only protect your clients, but it can also protect you by potentially decreasing your own business liability risk for accidents due to negligence of the event host or honoree. Markel Specialty's event insurance is an easy and affordable solution for your clients – a free event insurance quote takes only a few minutes online or on the phone – that will help protect your clients (and you).
Free client materials! We can provide you with free brochures to help raise your clients’ awareness of the benefits of event liability insurance.