An event planning business is a business that helps corporate organizations, governments, groups, and individuals plan their events from start to finish. An event planner ensures that they work with the stipulated budget of the organization or individual and ensure that they deliver a successful event.
In some cases, it is the responsibility of the event planner to draw up a budget for the organizer of the event once they get a brief of the nature of the event. Available statistics show that the events industry size was valued at $1,135.4 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $1,552.9 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 11.2 percent from 2022 to 2028.
Steps on How to Start an Event Planning Business
Table of Content
Conduct Market Research
If you are considering starting an event planning business, you would need reliable market research to be able to maximize profits from the business. The first step in the market research process for your event planning business should be to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.
In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, tell you what your potential market will be looking out for from an event planning business, and also help you operate your event planning business with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability.
a. Who is the Target Market for the Event Planning Business?
- Potential Couples/Young Adults
- Blue Chips Companies
- Corporate Organizations
- Religious Organizations
- Political Parties/politicians
- The Government (Public Sector)
- Schools (High Schools, Colleges, and Universities)
- Sport Organizations
- Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups.
b. Is an Event Planning Business a Profitable Business?
Yes, the event planning business is profitable. The U.S. corporate event market size was valued at $95.3 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach $510.9 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 17.3 percent from 2022 to 2030.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
Yes, there are existing niches when it comes to event planning business, and here are some of them;
- Wedding Planner
- Corporate Event Planning
- Outdoor Party Planning
- Children’s Party and Birthday Party Planning.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- 360 Destination Group
- Access Destination Services
- BCD Travel Services B.V.
- BI Worldwide
- Creative Group, Inc.
- ITA Group
- Maritz Holdings Inc.
- Reed Exhibitions Ltd
- Bassett Events
- Berkeley City Club
- Colin Cowie
- David Beahm Design
- David Tutera
- Debi Lilly
- Event Fusion
- Events & Company
- Fun Events Group
- GBK Productions
- Kai’s Catering + Events
- LJF Events
- Love Luck and Angels
- Luxurious Wedding.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Event Planning Business in the United States?
No, there are county and state regulations for event planning business but it is important to state that each state has its own requirements for different types of businesses and as there are different laws and costs per state, it is important to do your own research into local regulations and zoning policies.
f. Is There a Franchise for Event Planning Business?
Yes, there are franchise opportunities for event planning businesses. Here are some of them;
- Complete Weddings + Events – Initial Investment – $26,350 – $48,650
- Crystal Rose Franchise Inc. – Initial Investment – $50,000 – $200,000
- We Tie The Knots – Initial Investment – $19,000 – $24,000
- Sweet Beginning Wedding Consulting & Event Planners
- Crystal Rose.
g. What Do You Need to Start an Event Planning Business?
- A Feasibility Report
- Business and Marketing Plans
- Business Licenses and Permits
- EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
- A Corporate Bank Account
- Operational Capital (For Ongoing Expenses)
Choose a Memorable Business Name
When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable. Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for an event planning business are;
Creative Event Planning Business Name ideas
- Roseline Behr® Event Planners, LLC
- Allen World™ Event Planners, LLC
- Mena Jackson© Event Planners, Inc.
- Moon Light® Event Planners, Inc.
- Uriel Boston™ Event Planners, Inc.
- Party People™ Event Planners, Inc.
- Rise Cheers© Event Planners, Inc.
- Vince De Milo® Event Planners, LLC
- The Edge™ Event Planners, Inc.
- Frenzy Zone© Event Planners, Inc.
- House of Judah® Event Planners, Inc.
- Lincoln Moore® Event Planners, Inc.
- Stan Vickers® Event Planners, Inc.
- Dollar Moore™ Event Planning Company, Inc.
- Fun Zone® Event Planners, Inc.
- Green Horizon® Event Planners, Inc.
- Ivette Ramsey® Event Planners, LLC
- Likeminded Connect® Event Planners, LLC
- Dennis Whitewood® Event Planners, LLC
- D Lucas® Event Planners, LLC.
Register Your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Event Planning Business
When it comes to the business structure for an event planning business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits. Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a Name for Your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Choose a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open an Event Planning Business?
- General Business License
- Public Health Permits
- Certificate Of Occupancy
- Zonal Permits
- Signage Permit
- Sales Tax Permit and Federal Income Tax ID
- Health Inspection (Operational State Facility Inspections)
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Start an Event Planning Business?
There are several professional certifications you can acquire as an aspiring event planner and here are some of them;
- Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM)
- Certified Manager of Exhibits (CME)
- Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM)
- Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM)
- Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
- Global Certificate in Event Design (EDC)
- The Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP).
e. What Documents are Needed to Open an Event Planning Business?
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Contract Document
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
If you are considering starting an event planning business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start an Event Planning Business?
The startup cost for an event planning business is not uniform, but basically, an event planning business will cost from $10,000 – to over $50,000 to start, and that can easily go higher depending on your overall business goals and objectives.
b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting an Event Planning Business?
- The Fee for registering the business in the United States – is $725.
- The budget for legal fees, insurance, permits, and license – is $5,000
- The cost of leasing a facility – is 20,000
- The amount needed to renovate your Facility (electrical, furnishings, plumbing, painting, and landscaping) – is $5,000.
- The cost for the purchase of furniture and equipment – is $10,000
- Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
- The cost opening party – $5,000 (optional)
- Cost for payment of salaries for the first 3 months of operation – $15,000
- Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts, and Promotions et al) – $1,000
- The cost of launching an official website – is $600
- Miscellaneous – $2,500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening an Event Planning Business?
- The size of event planning business
- The choice of location
- The required licenses and permits
- The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
- The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the event planning business
- The cost of furnishing and equipping the event planning facility
- The cost of the insurance policy covers
- The cost of registering the business
- Cost of recruiting and training your staff
- The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?
It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your event planning business since you will be carrying out your business outside the office facility.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of an Event Planning Business?
- Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
- Salaries of employees
- Marketing and business promotion costs
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Chief Operating Officer (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
- Event Planner (Manager) – $30,000 Per Year
- Support Staff (Attendants)- $25,000 Per Year
- Customer Service Officer (Receptionist) – $24,100 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start an Event Planning Business?
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
- Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Party People® Event Planners, Inc. is a standard and licensed event planning company that will be based in Rochester – New York. We have been able to secure a corner-piece property in a centralized and busy location in the heart of the city.
Party People® Pearl Party, Inc. is a client-focused and result-driven event planning outfit that provides broad-based experience at an affordable fee. We will offer standard and professional event planning services to all our clients at local, state, national, and international levels. We will ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass our clients’ expectations whenever they contract their events to our organization.
b. Products and Service
- Wedding planning
- Corporate event planning
- Outdoor party planning
- Annual general meetings
- Sports tournaments/competitions planning
- Children’s party and birthdays party planning
- Organizing pearl parties.
c. Mission Statement
Our mission as an event planning company is to become the ‘go to’ brand. We are going to position the business to become the leading brand in the event planning industry in Rochester, New York, and also to be amongst the top 5 event planning companies in the United States of America within the first 10 years of fully launching the business.
Our vision is to establish a standard and world-class event planning business whose services and brand will not only be accepted in Rochester, New York but also in other cities in the United States of America.
d. Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of an event planning business are to organize events for clients to take off the burden of planning an event from their shoulders.
e. Organizational Structure
- Chief Operating Officer (Owner)
- Event Planner (Manager)
- Customer Service Officer (Receptionist)
a. SWOT Analysis
- Perfect location
- Ability to come up with unique event planning concepts
- Experience and trained professionals.
- Excellent customer testimonials.
- Not enough existing clientele to run at full capacity immediately
- The owner is new to large scale marketing
- Lack of economies of scale.
- Growing acceptance of event planners in the United States
- Build upon existing clientele
- Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
- Loans diminish profitability until they are paid off
- The first year will be financially tight while we gain customers and pay off loans
- Competition in the area could increase
- Management of employees requires time, money, and efforts
- Unfavorable government policies.
b. How Do Event Planning Businesses Make Money?
Event planning businesses make money by charging clients for organizing their events.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to corporate organizations, religious organizations, NGOs, households, offices, schools et al within and outside your city
- Advertise your business in relevant lifestyle and entertainment magazines, radio and TV stations
- List your business on local directories/yellow pages
- Attend international expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different categories of clients to work for them
- Leverage the internet to promote your business (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your business, people who consider you an expert in the field)
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?
Generally, as an hourly rate, the average starting cost of a wedding planner is around $75, but higher-end professionals typically range from $100 to $275 an hour.
Please note that on average, event planners should charge between 15-20 percent of the total cost of an event as part of their fee. Depending on the complexity of the program and the amount of time it takes to plan and execute an event, sometimes this is enough to cover a planner’s entire cost and source of profit.
b. How Much Profit Do Event Planning Business Owners Make a Year?
It depends, but industry experts estimate the average event planning business owner’s salary as $54,630 per year, with many owners earning more than $253,890 annually.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- The capacity of the event planning business
- The location the event planning business is covering
- The management style of the event planning business
- The business approach of the event planning business
- The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the event planning business.
- The number of years the event planning business is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of an Event Planning Business?
The profit margin of an event planning business is not fixed. It could range from 25 to 45 percent.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $250,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $300,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $450,000
Set Up your Shop/Office
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Event Planning Business?
- The demography of the location.
- The demand for the services offered by event planning businesses in the location
- The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of event planning businesses in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open an Event Planning Business?
- Los Angeles, California
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- New York City, New York
- Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Maimi, Florida
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Seatle, Washington
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- East Rutherford, New Jersey
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate an Event Planning Business?
No equipment is needed to operate an event planning business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard event planning business, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer (you can occupy this position), event planner (manager), attendant, and customer service officer (receptionist).
Launch the Business Proper
In recent times, no event planning business opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.
The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the event planning business, you will officially inform people in your city that your event planning business is open for business.
a. What Makes an Event Planning Business Successful?
- Choose a good location
- Partner with related stakeholders
- Hire only competent, hardworking, and trustworthy staff
- Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
- Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your event planning business
- Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your event planning business.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at an Event Planning Business?
- The business is open for the day’s work
- Marketing and fall-up calls are made
- Events are planned and executed
- Administrative duties
- The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build an Event Planning Business?
- Excellent event planning skills
- Good creative skills
- Good marketing and sales skills
- Customer services skills
- Interpersonal skill
- Business management skills
- Attention to details
- Work experience in the event planning and party planning industry
- Experience in managing people
- Experience in business administration