Wedding Anniversary party you planned for your in-laws couldn’t have gone better. You spent time with your mother-in-law to decide the theme, who’d be invited, what type of catering to go for and how it would all look.
After weeks of preparation, calling the florist again
, going back and forth with the pavilion hire company and getting the music right, it all came together. And it was perfect. The guests couldn’t have been more impressed and your in-laws were thrilled. You loved every minute of it.
But now it’s Monday morning and you’re sat at your desk wondering why you haven’t made a career from event planning. You clearly have a flair for it and you love the entire process of event planning.
If that’s a familiar situation, we’re here to help! Get your career in events management started with these simple tips!
Choose Your Niche
The events industry is fairly competitive, so to increase your chances of success, it’s worth giving some thought into how you specialise your career. Generally, it’s a good idea to find your niche: something that few people are doing, but where there’s a steady demand for your expertise.
First, it’s worth considering which type of events you enjoy planning most:
- Social – these include weddings, parties, anniversaries, baby showers, retirement parties and engagement parties. They involve people getting together for a social occasion, where there’s some sort of celebration. See what it takes to plan a wedding here.
- Corporate – these include conferences, networking events, large board meetings, trade shows and conventions. They are usually a formal event with a business-led purpose. See what it takes to organize a corporate event here
- Non-profit – these include charity events and fundraisers. The purpose of these events is usually to raise money or thank people for their support
Deciding on a niche can be difficult, but if you plan out what you’re passionate about, the people you like working with, what you’re interested in and where your experience lies, you should be able to narrow it down.
It’s worth undertaking some training to get the skills you need to get started in your new career. Becoming an event planner involves having a variety of skills that get you ready for employment in this field. You don’t need a degree in events management to forge a successful career – relevant courses in events management and planning will make this career path a reality.
There are lots of different ways to market your business. One thing that’s certain is that particularly during your first few months, you won’t be able to rest on your laurels. It’s unrealistic for you to set up your events business, sit back and think clients will come straight to you. Granted, once you’ve become better established this can happen but it’s not without a fair amount of ground work first!
To be a successful events planner in this competitive industry, you should strongly consider getting your own website built. It doesn’t need to be all singing and dancing, but having an online presence will place you amongst your competitors. Be sure to set up business pages on social networks like Facebook and Instagram (who doesn’t use social media these days?!)
Marketing your business can take various methods, including:
- Social media
- Email marketing
Knowing your target audience will help you advertise to them. If you’re specialising in corporate events, setting up a stand at an exhibition is a good place to start. If you’ve chosen wedding planning, heading to wedding shows will position you in front of the business you’re looking for. Equally, if you’re looking to support charities through your planning skills you might find traditional marketing via advertisements in relevant gazettes or magazines is useful.
Understand your audience, and your marketing will follow!
Once you’ve decided where you’d like to specialize your career, it’s worth getting the right type of experience under your belt. If you’re already qualified, it can be useful to start working with an agency or events company. That way you’ll quickly gain the practical experience that will prove essential to your career, particularly if you’re interested in working for yourself. You’ll also start to build a name for yourself within the industry – this is great advertisement, so be sure to portray the right attitude and work ethic. See what it takes to plan an event in 10 steps
What to Expect
Once you’ve qualified and are ready to start your new career in events management, what can you expect from it? When you’re first starting out, you can expect a baseline salary of around £18k p/a. Of course, if you’re working for yourself, you can always work more to top up your monthly take home. More established events planners can expect a salary from £28k p/a.
Events are typically held outside of normal working hours, i.e evenings and weekends. Although the planning stages can be completed during day time hours, as the planner, you’ll likely need to be present for at least part of the event. As your business grows however, you can delegate this task to an employee.
If you’re looking to take the step into your career in events management, get the experience and qualifications you need here:
become a qualified events planner