How to Become an Event Planner

[From About.com] If you’re ready to start your event planning career, you may be searching for tips on how to become an event planner, step by step. To help you get started on your journey, here are the basics of what it takes to succeed.

Seven Steps to Building a Successful Event Planning Business

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Step One: Make the Decision to Succeed

Before you call your first potential customer, start a blog or build a website, you must decide that you’ll do what it takes to be successful. Starting any type of new business requires learning new skills, adapting what you learn to your unique marketplace, and persevering when faced with obstacles.

Decide from the beginning that you’ll keep working toward your goals, no matter what.

Step Two: Set Your Goals

Take the time to write out your business goals. How much money do you need to make? How much will you need to charge, and will you charge by the hour or by the event?Establishing a fee schedule makes you appear professional and helps keep your income consistent. Having monthly, quarterly and annual business goals gives you a place to focus as you’re establishing your business.

Step Three: Do Your Research

What type of events do you want to plan and who is your best customer group for those events? How can you reach that group of people most easily? Who is your competition for those customers? Researching the answers to those questions will help to narrow down your business to a specific niche, which makes your marketing more effective.

Step Four: Set Up Your Business to Succeed

Seek out information on taxes, business licenses and insurance, certifications, small business accounting programs and all the details a successful business owner needs to know.

As you’re looking for these answers, you may decide to purchase some type of event planning training.

Tip: A good event planning program should help you map out a path for setting up your business to succeed.

Step Five: Create a Strong Business Profile

Here’s where you begin to package your skills and experience by creating your professional profile, even if you’ve never planned an event professionally. What skills have you gained by planning special occasions for friends, family or charity events? How many people attended those events? You probably learned to interact with vendors such as caterers, equipment rental companies and entertainers, so don’t forget to showcase those abilities, as well. Create a portfolio with photos and ask the event hosts to give you a written recommendation.

Step Six: Get the Word Out

When you’re starting your event planning business from scratch, your marketing strategy builds the framework for future success. A quality event planning program can also guide you through the most effective marketing techniques, including blogging, social media connections, word-of-mouth, print advertising and creative avenues you might not have considered.

Step Seven: Never Stop Learning

As your client list, event portfolio and business income grow, you’ll begin to see what works well for you and what’s not productive. Learn from any missteps you might make and add that to your ever-growing base of business knowledge.

These are the basics in how to become an event planner, step by step.

What steps have you already taken, wish you hadn’t taken or are planning to take this month to build your event management business?

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