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How Much Does It Cost To Start an Event Planning Business?

How much does it cost to start an event planning business? Today, we’ll answer this very question! Starting your own event planning business can be an extremely lucrative and fulfilling endeavor – but it doesn’t come cheap. In order to start an event planning business, you’ll need to invest in a variety of equipment, supplies, software, office space, and marketing materials.

The good news is that we’ve done the research for you and have created an exhaustive list of all the estimated expenses associated with starting an event planning business from scratch. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how much money you need to save up and invest in your new venture!

PRO TIP: Before we get started, it’s worth knowing if YOU should start an event planning business in the first place… Check out this article to find out once and for all!

Event planning startup costs: how much does it cost to organize an event.

Now that we know you should start an event planning business, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – how much does it cost to organize an event ?

To get a better understanding of how much it costs to start your own event planning business, we’ve broken down all the estimated expenses into 8 categories:

  • Business formation expenses
  • Equipment + supply expenses
  • Software expenses
  • Office space expenses
  • Website costs
  • Advertising + marketing costs
  • Employee expenses
  • Freelancer expenses

Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of each category!

How much does it cost to start an event planning business in-post image 1

1. Event Planning Business Expenses

The first thing you’ll need to do when starting your event planning business is to choose the legal structure of your business. Will you operate as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation? The type of business entity you choose will affect how much money you’ll need to spend on formation expenses.

For example, if you decide to operate as an LLC, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with your state and pay a filing fee – which can range from $50-$500 depending on your state. You’ll also need to obtain the proper business licenses and permits, which will cost you an additional $200-$500. Finally, you’ll need to purchase insurance for your business, which can cost anywhere from $500-$5000 per year (depending on the type and amount of coverage you choose).

All in all, you should budget for at least $1000 in business formation expenses when starting your event planning business.

PRO TIP: You can save a lot of money on business formation expenses by forming your LLC or corporation online! Two common resources for this are Incfile and LegalZoom .

2. equipment + supply expenses.

In order to start planning events, you’ll need to have the proper equipment and supplies on hand. This includes items like a laptop or computer, printer, scanner, and digital camera. These can cost anywhere from $500-$2000, depending on the quality and brand of the products you choose.

You’ll also need to purchase office supplies like pens, paper, folders, and sticky notes – which will require an additional investment in the ballpark of $100-$200.

PRO TIP: You can save quite a bit of money on equipment and supply expenses by shopping for refurbished or used products online! Popular websites for this are Amazon Renewed and Best Buy Outlet .

3. software expenses.

To help you run your event planning business smoothly, it’s strongly recommended that you invest in various software programs. These can include project management software (like Asana or Trello ), accounting software (like QuickBooks or FreshBooks ), and email marketing software (like Mailchimp or Constant Contact ).

Closeup view of Male hand typing on laptop keyboard.Businessman working at office on modern notebook.Concept of digital diagram,graph interfaces,virtual screen,connections icon.Blurred

Prices for these types of software programs can range from $0-$100 per month, depending on the features and functionality you need. For example, here are the current fees associated with each of the above programs (as of May 21st, 2022):

Asana (Note: 30-day free trial offered):

  • Basic:  $0.00 USD/month
  • Premium:  $10.99 USD/month
  • Business:  $24.99 USD/month
  • Asana Enterprise:  Must contact Asana for full info and pricing

Trello (Note: Premium Plan offers free trial):

  • Free:  $0.00 USD/month
  • Standard:  $5.00 USD/month
  • Premium:  $10.00 USD/month
  • Enterprise:  $17.50 USD/month

QuickBooks (Note: All plans are currently on sale for 75% off + free 30-day trial offered):

For small business accounting:

  • EasyStart:  $5.50 CAD/month
  • Essentials:  $11.00 CAD/month
  • Plus:  $16.50 CAD/month
  • Advanced:  $35.00 CAD/month

For self-employed expenses:

  • Self-Employed:  $3.75 CAD/month

FreshBooks (Note: Currently offering 90% off for 3 months + free trial offered):

  • Lite:  $1.90 CAD/month (normally $19.00 CAD/month)
  • Plus:  $3.20 CAD/month (normally $32.00 CAD/month)
  • Premium:  $6.00 CAD/month (normally $60.00 CAD/month)
  • Select:  Custom pricing, to be determined by contacting FreshBooks

Mailchimp :

Marketing Platform:

  • Free:  $0.00/month
  • Essentials:  Starting at $11.00/month
  • Standard:  Starting at $17.00/month
  • Premium:  Starting at $299.00/month

Website & Commerce:

  • Core:  Starting at $10.00/month
  • Plus:  Starting at $29.00/month

Constant Contact (Note: All prices are based on number of contracts + free trial offered):

Digital Marketing Subscriptions:

  • Core:  $13.00 CAD/month
  • Plus:  $59.00 CAD/month

Sales Accelerator Subscription:

  • All-in-one CRM platform:  Starting at $449 USD/month

4. Office Space Expenses

Starting an event planning company in a commercial space.

If you plan on starting your event planning business in a commercial space (such as an office suite or retail store), then you’ll need to factor in the cost of rent, utilities, and internet service into your budget.

For example, the average cost of renting a small office space in the United States is currently $600-$700 per month. Moreover, depending on your location, utilities can add an additional $100-$200 per month to your expenses. Lastly, business-grade internet service can also cost you around $50-$100 per month.

In total, you should expect to spend at least $850-$1000 per month on commercial office space rental expenses in order to start an event planning business.

Starting an Event Planning Company from Home

On the other hand, maybe you’re looking to save some money on office space rental expenses. In that case, you might want to consider running your event planning business from home !

Of course, this option isn’t for everyone. After all, some people simply prefer the structure and discipline that comes with working in a commercial space. But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind a little bit of extra noise and commotion in your living space, then starting your event planning business from home could be a great way to save some cash each month.

Just keep in mind that even if you do decide to start an event planning business from home, you’ll still need to factor in other associated expenses like internet service (approx. $50-$100/month) and office supplies (approx. $50-$100/month).

In total, you should expect to spend at least $600-$800 per month on office space and associated expenses when starting your event planning business from home.

Want to learn more about running an event planning business from home? This article will help you get started in 3 easy steps!

How much does it cost to start an event planning business in-post image 3

5. Website Costs

If you want to be taken seriously as an event planning business, then you’ll need to have a professional website!

Of course, you could always try to build a website yourself using one of the many DIY website builder platforms out there (like Wix or Squarespace ). But unless you have some previous experience with web design, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this option.

Instead, we recommend working with a professional web designer to create a custom website for your specific event planning business. Depending on your needs and budget, this can cost anywhere from $500-$5000+.

Alternately, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution, you can always use a pre-made WordPress theme to build your event planning business website. This will still require some basic web design knowledge, but it’s a great way to get a professional-looking website up and running without spending a ton of money. Currently, WordPress offers a basic (free) plan, a $10.00/month plan, and a $29.00/month plan.

To learn more about what needs to go into creating your official business website, check out this article !

6. Advertising + Marketing Costs

As with any business, one of the key ingredients to success is advertising and marketing. After all, how else are you supposed to let people know about your event planning business and attract new clients?

There are a multitude of different ways that you can market your event planning business. However, some methods will obviously be more effective (and more expensive) than others. For example, TV commercials, print ads, and social media ads (such as on YouTube and TikTok) can be costly. However, they also reach a wide audience and can generate a lot of buzz for your business.

On the other hand, targeted online ads and social media campaigns tend to be much less expensive – but with a smaller budget will come a smaller audience reach. So, that’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Ultimately, it’s up to YOU to decide which marketing channels makes the most sense for your specific event planning business. But as a general rule of thumb, you should expect to spend at least $100-$1,000 per month on advertising and marketing expenses.

7. Employee Expenses

If you plan on growing your event planning business beyond a one-person operation, then you’ll eventually need to start hiring employees.

Of course, the number of employees that you’ll need to hire will depend on the size and scope of your specific business. But regardless of how many people you end up hiring, you should expect to spend a decent amount of money each month on employee-related expenses.

This includes things like salaries, payroll taxes, benefits, insurance, and other associated costs. Depending on the number of employees that you have and the type of benefits that you offer, these expenses can range anywhere from $500-$5000+ per month.

Happy group of successful company employees in office

8. Freelancer Expenses

In addition to (or instead of) hiring employees, you may also need to hire freelancers to help with specific tasks and projects.

Just like with employee expenses, the amount of money that you’ll need to spend on freelancers will vary depending on your specific business needs. However, you should generally expect to pay freelancers by the hour, and rates can range anywhere from $20-$100+ per hour.

So, How Much Does It Cost To Start an Event Planning Business?

Based on everything we’ve discussed, the total (estimated) amount that you should be saving up in order to start your event planning business is approx. $12,000+ . Of course, this number could be higher or lower, depending on a variety of factors – such as whether or not you already have some of the necessary equipment, how big/complex your website will be, etc.

At the end of the day, starting an event planning business is definitely not a cheap undertaking. However, if you’re passionate about event planning and are willing to put in the hard work, we believe it’s definitely worth it!

So, what are your thoughts? How much did YOU spend when starting your event planning business? Let us know in the comments below!

And as always, don’t forget to check out our other articles on event planning tips and advice. Thanks for reading! 😁

Become an internationally-certified event planner in just 3-6 months by enrolling in QC Event School’s self-paced, online certification training today !

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How Much Does It Cost To Start An Event Planning Business? (In 2023)

Please note that the data provided in this article are estimates and may vary depending on various factors, and should not be considered as perfect or definitive.

The cost of opening a an event planning business can vary based on several factors. However for a an event planning business you can expect to spend $62 to $28,347 with an average cost of $14,887.

  • The minimum startup costs for an event planning business: $62
  • The maximum startup costs for an event planning business: $28,347
  • The average startup costs for an event planning business: $14,887

Here's a detailed list of an event planning business startup costs:

Learn more about starting an event planning business :

Where to start?

-> Pros and cons of an event planning business

Need inspiration?

-> Other event planning business success stories -> Examples of established event planning business -> Marketing ideas for an event planning business -> Event planning business names -> Event planning business Instagram bios

Other resources

-> Event planning business tips -> Email templates for an event planning business -> Blog post ideas for an event planning business -> Event planning business quotes

Equipment & Supply Expenses

Starting an event planning business may require purchasing some equipment, whether that's for producing the product or packaging the goods, or equipment needed in the back office.

Business Formation Fees

There are a few key costs associated with forming your business entity, such as setting up an LLC and getting trademarks, copyrights, and patents sorted.

Software Expenses

Your event planning business needs software to run efficiently!

Why spend money on software? Because it can help you save time and automate certain parts of the business, so you can focus on the most important matters. Software and technology can help you grow your business, and save you from expensive personnel costs.

Office Space Expenses

It will be your call to determine if you need office space. It is not a requirement but may be necessary as your event planning business grows.

Employee & Freelancer Expenses

Website costs.

Every business should have a website, and it's worth spending a bit of money to set it up right.

Advertising & Marketing Costs

  • 42 Trending Event Planning Businesses [2023] 1 of 10
  • 73 Marketing Ideas For An Event Planning Business (2023) 2 of 10
  • 3 Tips For Starting A Successful Event Planning Business (2023) 3 of 10
  • 8 Functional Email Templates for Event Planners 4 of 10
  • 1,000+ Best Event Planning Business Names [2023] 5 of 10
  • 6 Event Planning Business Success Stories [2023] 6 of 10
  • 165+ Best Instagram Bios For Event Planners in 2023 [+Ultimate Guide] 7 of 10
  • 112+ Best Quotes For Your Event Planning Business [2023] 8 of 10
  • 150+ Event Blog Post Ideas & Topics [2023] 9 of 10
  • 31 Pros & Cons Of Starting An Event Planning Business (2023) 10 of 10

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How To Start An Event Planning Business

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how much to start party planning business

If you have a passion for logistics and organization, and the ability to network and promote yourself effectively, you may have a future in the event planning industry.

You don’t need any special training or education. Although if you have a degree in hospitality, event planning or tourism, it can add weight to your credentials. You can also get certified as a special events or meeting planner, as well as read books to get a handle on event planning basics.

It will help if you enjoy thinking creatively to create a desired ambiance or impression, liaise and negotiate with suppliers, solve problems and work with a budget. If you have the time management, marketing, and organizational skills for event planning, you can start up the business with relatively little capital and equipment.

How Big Is The Event Planning Industry?

how much to start party planning business

Entrepreneur reports that people around the globe spend $500 billion every year on special events.

Why Starting An Event Planning Business Now Is A Good Idea 

how much to start party planning business

There are no shortage of birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, weddings, graduations, parades, fairs, conferences, meetings, product launches, political rallies, fashion shows, memorials and civic events in need of a savvy planner to oversee the logistics, organization and myriad details that go into making an event run smoothly. More and more businesses are hiring outside services to plan their events. The profit margins for event planners have risen from 15 to around 40 percent in the last few years.

Event Planning Business Facts

how much to start party planning business

Here are some facts and figures about the event planning business you should consider:

Event Planning Business Startup Costs

Rent: $0 – $2,300

Equipment: $5,000 – $17,000

Inventory: $0 – $500

Licenses and Taxes: $250 – $350

Communications: $100 – $250

Payroll: $0 – $4,000

Advertising & Promotion: $500 – $2,000

Legal Fees & Accounting: $650 – $1,500

1 st Quarter Insurance: $800 – $1,500

Miscellaneous: $750 – $1,500

Total Startup Cost: $8,050 – $31,110

 how much do event planners make.

An event planning service can gross between $85,000 to $250,000 per year depending on the structure of the business.

How much do event planners charge?

The size and complexity of events vary widely, so generally event planners calculate the cost of all the materials and services for any given event and then tack on a 10 to 20 percent markup as a service fee.

How do event planners find customers?

Social media and networking in the community, yellow pages, and a professional business web page. Your target markets include hotels, resorts, non-profits, conventions, country clubs, theme parks as well as brides, Fortune 500 companies, universities, and colleges.

how much to start party planning business

What skills are required?

Creativity, communication, organizational and time management skills, passion for budgeting, planning and negotiating, ability to network and coordinate with suppliers and service providers for an event, a cool head under pressure, and ability to think and solve problems on the go.

What do I need to operate an event planning business?

Computer, printer, telephone, fax machine, business license, a basic stock of common party supplies, a truck or a van, social media accounts for the business, a professional website and a portfolio of your work.

Event Planning  Business Ideas

Effective promotion is the key to your success and social media is gold when it comes to promoting your event planning business and landing event contracts. Use it for more than promotion, though. If you leverage your social media presence as a way to make connections and build a solid following, people are more likely to think of you and give you a call when they have an event to plan.

When you first start out in event planning, specialize on one type of event and master it. Charity balls, proms, and corporate galas are the spectacular end of the spectrum while meetings and conventions fall on the comparatively simple and straightforward end of the spectrum. Don’t try to do it all at once. On the other hand, seasoned event planner Liz King says diversification of services is important to the success of a small company. Add services one at a time as you gain experience.

how much to start party planning business

Are catering services included?

Offering outdoor/indoor venue options.

Struggling with what to name your event planning business? Here are a few ideas:

Related Content

Event Planning by Judy Allen

Top Magazines and Publications for Event Planners

Special Events.com

Event Manager Blog

Top 15 Event Planning Blogs, Are You Following Them?

Entrepreneur: How to Start an Event Planning Service

Event Manager Blog: How to Start an Event Planning Business from Home

The Work at Home Woman: Event Planning

Small Biz Trends: How to Start an Event Planning Business

Small Biz Trends: 42 Tips For Producing A Memorable Small Business Event

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Event Planning Business

Back to All Business Ideas

How to Start an Event Planning Business

Written by: Carolyn Young

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by: David Lepeska

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Published on January 13, 2022 Updated on November 10, 2023

How to Start an Event Planning Business

Investment range

$2,050 - $7,100

Revenue potential

$100,000 - $400,000 p.a.

Time to build

0 – 3 months

Profit potential

$70,000 - $160,000 p.a.

Industry trend

​​Some people thrive on planning events such as wedding receptions, parties, or banquets, but others find it an arduous task. That’s where event planners come in. Event planning as an industry is valued at over $3 billion in the US If you’re one of those who enjoy planning events, an event planning business could be a lucrative opportunity for you. You can make 15% to 20% of the total cost of the event, so think about how much you’ll make for planning a $50,000 wedding reception!

Planning and launching your business, however, is in itself an arduous task. It will take preparation, just like an event, as well as knowledge. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right source, as this step-by-step guide has all the information you need to be on your way to entrepreneurship as an event planner.

Step by Step Business values real-life experience above all. Through our Entrepreneur Spotlight Series , we interview business leaders from diverse industries, providing readers with firsthand insights.

If you’re venturing into the world of event planning, this interview with Dominic Richards offers invaluable insights into pioneering sustainable practices.

Explore our interview with Michael Alexis for essential insights into organizing and planning successful team building events.

Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.

Form your business immediately using ZenBusiness LLC formation service or hire one of the Best LLC Services .

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons.

Starting an event planning business has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s the right path for you.

  • Never Be Bored! – Every event and every day will be different
  • Low Startup Costs – No inventory or equipment to buy
  • High-Profit Potential – Good revenue, low ongoing expenses
  • After Hours Work – Evenings and weekends will be busy
  • High Stress – Pressure from timing, budget constraints, difficult people

Event planning industry trends

Corporate event planning makes up a large part of the industry, so as corporate profits rise, the event planning industry thrives.

Industry size and growth

  • Industry size and past growth – The US party and event planners industry is valued at over $3 billion in 2022.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/market-size/party-event-planners-united-states/ ))   
  • Growth forecast – Corporate profit is expected to increase as the economy improves. With bigger earnings, businesses will have more money to spend on events, raising the demand for professional event planning services.
  • Number of businesses – There are more than 61,000 party and event planners in the US.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/number-of-businesses/party-event-planners-united-states/ )) 
  • Number of people employed – Nearly 67,000 people are employed in the party and event planners industry.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/employment/party-event-planners-united-states/ ))

event planning industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Trends in the event planning industry include:

  • Virtual and hybrid events, which emerged in 2020, are continuing to be a popular option. Safety precautions are also in demand such as socially distant seating, mask requirements, and ventilation.
  • Smaller but more frequent corporate events are becoming more common. This presents an opportunity for an event planner to plan a yearlong series of events rather than just an annual event.

Challenges in the event planning industry also exist which include:

  • Virtual and hybrid events are challenging, and event planners need to be more tech-savvy to ensure that attendees are still interacting and having fun.
  • The industry is more sensitive to economic fluctuations than other industries, so economic uncertainty is an issue for event planners. They need to be prepared for large decreases in volume and revenue during economic downturns.

event planning industry Trends and Challenges

What kind of people work in event planning?

  • Gender – More than 85% of event planners are female, and the rest are male.(( https://www.zippia.com/meeting-event-planner-jobs/demographics/#gender-statistics ))
  • Average level of education – Nearly 3 in 4 event planners hold a bachelor’s degree. They usually study business, hospitality management, or communication.(( https://www.zippia.com/meeting-event-planner-jobs/education/ ))
  • Average age – Event planners are usually under 40 years old.(( https://www.zippia.com/meeting-event-planner-jobs/demographics/#age-statistics ))

event planning industry demographics

How much does it cost to start an event planning business?

Startup costs for an event planning business range from $2,000 to $7,000. The high-end costs include a larger marketing budget and virtual event planning software. 

How much can you earn from an event planning business?

You can charge between 15% to 20% of the total cost of an event, or you can charge an hourly rate of between $100 to $150. These calculations will assume that average events cost $20,000 and that you’ll charge 20%. If you hire assistants to work with you at the events, your profit margin should be about 70%.

In your first year or two, you could work from home and do 25 events per year, bringing in $100,000 in annual revenue. This would mean $70,000 in profit, assuming that 70% margin. As your brand gains recognition, sales could climb to 100 events per year. At this stage, you would rent a commercial space and hire additional staff, reducing your profit margin to around 40%. With expected annual revenue of $400,000, you would make about $160,000.

Event Planning business earnings forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for an event planning business. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • You need to have excellent event planning skills
  • You’ll face competition from large companies including hotels

Related Business Ideas

How to Start an Event Planning Business

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Step 2: hone your idea.

Now that you know what’s involved in starting an event planning business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Research event planning businesses in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a virtual corporate event planning service.

how much to start party planning business

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry such as wedding receptions.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your products or services

You need to determine what kinds of services you want to offer during the course of your event planning. You can provide a full service in which you handle all the logistics of getting everything to the event and setting it up, or you can just do the planning and scheduling. You could also expand your business by adding additional services including:

  • Photography

Those might be things that you add later as your business grows.

How much should you charge for event planning services?

Generally, event planners charge 15% to 20% of the total cost of the event. For smaller events, it might be better to charge by the hour. Hourly rates can range from $100 to $150. If you work from home your costs will be limited to labor costs, fuel, and marketing. You should aim for a profit margin of about 70%.

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price point. Remember, the price you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Your target market will depend on the kind of events you want to do. If you do corporate events, your target will be corporate managers, most likely human resources managers. You can reach those people on LinkedIn or by making direct calls to corporations. If you do parties and wedding receptions your target will be broader, but generally, it will be more well-established people who you can also find on LinkedIn as well as Facebook.

Where? Choose your business premises

In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low, and you may want to continue to do business from home. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office. Find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist , Crexi , and Instant Offices .

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed

event planning business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm an Event Planning Business Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “event planning” or “event planner”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Divine Celebrations” over “Baby Shower Planners”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
  • Use online tools like the Step by Step Business Name Generator . Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Find a Domain

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Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create an Event Planning Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: Highlight the vision and strategy of your event planning business, focusing on providing comprehensive planning services for a variety of events, including corporate, social, and special occasions.
  • Business Overview: Describe your business’s specialization in event planning, including services like venue selection, vendor coordination, theme development, and day-of event management.
  • Product and Services: Detail the range of event planning services, from full-service planning to consultation and specific event components like catering or entertainment management.
  • Market Analysis: Assess the demand for event planning services, considering target markets like businesses, bridal couples, or non-profit organizations.
  • Competitive Analysis: Compare your business to other event planners, focusing on your unique selling points like niche event expertise, creative design approaches, or exceptional vendor relationships.
  • Sales and Marketing: Outline your strategy for attracting clients, including networking, social media marketing, or partnering with venues and vendors.
  • Management Team: Highlight the experience and qualifications of your team, particularly in areas like event coordination, design, and customer service.
  • Operations Plan: Describe the process of event planning, from client consultations and concept development to execution and post-event feedback.
  • Financial Plan: Provide an overview of financial aspects, including startup costs, pricing strategy, and anticipated revenue.
  • Appendix: Include supplementary documents such as portfolios of past events, client testimonials, or detailed market research to support your business plan.

what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan yourself before, it can be an intimidating task. Consider hiring an experienced business plan writer to create a professional business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to event planning businesses. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your event planning business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship   – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership  – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) –  Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corp  – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corp  – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC , which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization , and answer any questions you might have.

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

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how much to start party planning business

Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number , or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

how much to start party planning business

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist , and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan .
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Your best bet will be personal funding since you don’t need much cash to get started.

types of business financing

Step 8: Apply for Licenses/Permits

Starting an event planning business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments. Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as, health license and permit from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level licenses and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements. 

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

For peace of mind and to save time, we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package . They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state, and provide them to you to make sure you’re fully compliant.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account . Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your event planning business as a sole proprietorship. 

Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of any of the above insurance types.

types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks. 

You can use industry-specific software, such as Backstage , Cvent , or Planning Pod , to manage your planning tasks, scheduling, pricing, billing, and workflows.

  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks , Freshbooks , and Xero . 
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using services like  WordPress ,  Wix , or  Squarespace . This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.

Some of your business will come from the casual online visitors, but still, you should invest in digital marketing! Getting the word out is especially important for new businesses, as it’ll boost customer and brand awareness. 

Once your website is up and running, link it to your social media accounts and vice versa. Social media is a great tool for promoting your business because you can create engaging posts that advertise your products: 

  • Facebook: Great platform for paid advertising, allows you to target specific demographics, like men under age 50 in the Cleveland area. 
  • Instagram: Same benefits as Facebook but with different target audiences.
  • Website: SEO will help your website appear closer to the top in relevant search results, a crucial element for increasing sales. Make sure that you optimize calls to action on your website. Experiment with text, color, size, and position of calls to action such as “Schedule Now”. This can sharply increase purchases. 
  • Google and Yelp: For businesses that rely on local clientele, getting listed on Yelp and Google My Business can be crucial to generating awareness and customers. 

Kickstart Marketing

Take advantage of your website, social media presence and real-life activities to increase awareness of your offerings and build your brand. Some suggestions include: 

  • Flyering – Distribute flyers in your neighborhood and at industry events. 
  • In-Person Sales – Offer your services to corporate managers. 
  • Post a video – Post a video about your product. Try using humor and maybe it will go viral!
  • Email marketing/newsletter – Send regular emails to customers and prospects. Make them personal. 
  • Start a blog – Start a blog and post regularly. Change up your content and share on multiple sites.
  • Seek out referrals – Offer incentives to generate customer referrals to new clients. 
  • Paid ads on social media – Choose sites that will reach your target market and do targeted ads.
  • Pay–per-click marketing – Use Google AdWords to come up faster from searches. Research your keywords first.
  • Make a podcast – This allows you to make a personal connection with your customers.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your event planning business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your event planning business could be: 

  • Professional planning for your virtual corporate events
  • Party planning to make your event fun and safe
  • Start to finish planning – we handle every detail of your event

unique selling proposition

You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running an event planning business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in event planning for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in event planning. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for an event planning business would include:

  • Event Assistants – assist with planning, events
  • Delivery Drivers – deliver items to events
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media, other marketing

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed , Glassdoor , or ZipRecruiter . Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run an Event Planning Business – Start Making Money!

An event planning business can be a dynamic and rewarding way to make some money and have fun at the same time. It’s a $3 billion industry so clearly, your services will be in demand. All kinds of events need planning, from corporate events, to birthday bashes, to wedding receptions, and more. 

The possibilities are endless, as is the opportunity to make a comfortable living. Now that you’ve started your planning process by gathering information, you’re ready for the rest of your entrepreneurial event! 

  • Event Planning Business FAQs

Event planning can be very profitable. You can charge 15% to 20% of the total cost of an event, so if you, for example, do a corporate event that costs $50,000, you can make up to $10,000. Corporate event and wedding reception planning will tend to be your most profitable services.

Typically, you can charge 15% to 20% of the total cost of the event. For smaller events, you can charge by the hour. Rates should be between $100 to $150 as a general rule. 

To create event proposals and contracts for clients, you should start by conducting a thorough needs assessment with the client to understand their goals, preferences, and budget for the event. Based on this information, you can develop a detailed proposal that outlines the scope of services, event concept, budget breakdown, and timeline.

There are several strategies for getting clients for an event planning business, including networking with other professionals in the industry, establishing a strong online presence through social media and a website, offering specialized services or expertise in a specific niche, and attending industry events and conferences to build relationships and generate leads.

Yes, it is possible to start an event planning business on the side, although it may require significant time management and organization skills to balance the business with other commitments. It is important to carefully consider your available time, resources, and expertise, as well as the potential demand for your services and the competition in the market.

Some popular courses and certifications include the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) certification offered by the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification offered by the Events Industry Council, and courses offered by industry organizations and professional associations such as the National Association of Event Planners and Suppliers (NAEPS) and the Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA). 

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  • Decide if the Business Is Right for You
  • Hone Your Idea
  • Brainstorm an Event Planning Business Name
  • Create an Event Planning Business Plan
  • Register Your Business
  • Register for Taxes
  • Fund your Business
  • Apply for Licenses/Permits
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get Business Insurance
  • Prepare to Launch
  • Build Your Team
  • Run an Event Planning Business - Start Making Money!

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How Much Does It Cost To Start An Event Planning Business?


Starting your own event planning business can be a very rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand the cost involved in getting started. This article will explore the different expenses you can expect to encounter when starting your own event planning business. We will also offer tips on how to save money and how to budget for your new venture.

Costs of Starting an Event Planning Business

You need to consider a few different costs when starting an event planning business. The first cost is the initial investment, which can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the size and scope of your business. The second cost is the ongoing costs associated with running your business, such as marketing, advertising, office expenses, etc. The third cost is the cost of your time, which is important to consider if you plan on running your business full-time.

  • The estimated cost range is between $600 and $5,000.
  • The average cost of an event planning business is $3,500.

What to Expect When Starting an Event Planning Business

When starting an event planning business, you can expect to incur some initial costs, such as the cost of a website, business cards, and marketing materials. You will also need to factor in the cost of your time, as you will need to dedicate a significant amount of time to get your business off the ground. In addition, you may need to hire staff or outsource some services, which can add to your costs. However, there are ways to save money when starting an event planning business, which we will discuss later.

Ongoing Costs Associated with Running an Event Planning Business

There are a few ongoing costs associated with running an event planning business. The first is marketing and advertising. You will need to spend money to promote your business and attract new clients. In addition, you will need to budget for office expenses, such as rent, utilities, and supplies. You may also need to hire staff or outsource some services.

  • The estimated monthly cost of running an event planning business is between $200 and $2,000.
  • The average monthly cost of running an event planning business is $1,000.

How to Save Money When Starting an Event Planning Business

There are a few ways to save money when starting an event planning business. One way is to start your business part-time and gradually transition to full-time as your business grows. This will allow you to keep your costs low while you get your business off the ground. Another way to save money is to use low-cost or free marketing and advertising channels, such as social media, to promote your business. You can also save money by doing some of the work yourself or partnering with other businesses to share costs.

Starting an event planning business can be a very rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand the cost involved in getting started. This article has explored the different expenses you can expect to encounter when starting your own event planning business, as well as how to save money and how to budget for your new venture. The estimated cost range is between $600 and $5,000, with the average cost being $3,500. The estimated monthly cost of running an event planning business is between $200 and $2,000, with the average monthly cost being $1,000. There are a few ways to save money when starting an event planning business, such as starting your business part-time, using low-cost or free marketing and advertising channels, or doing some of the work yourself. With a little planning and preparation, you can be on your way to starting a successful event planning business.

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Starting an Event Planning Business? Budgeting Your Startup Costs!

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  • Financial Model
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  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan


As event planning has become increasingly popular, it requires more and more effort to stand out. A well-executed event can produce a buzz that creates incredible exposure and publicity for your business. However, throwing a successful event takes a lot of careful planning and a substantial budget, and with the rising cost of goods and services, creating a successful event can be an expensive endeavor.

According to a Statista report, the global event planning and management market size was estimated to be around $500 billion in 2018 and is projected to increase significantly in the future. Event planning and management is no longer regarded as an extravagance; it is a must-have for companies who take their business goals seriously.

If you are considering taking up event planning as a career and owning your own business, you need to understand exactly how much starting an event planner business will cost you. This blog post will discuss the essential expenses to consider when starting an event planning business.

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Startup Costs

When planning to open or launch an event planner business, there are certain startup costs that must be taken into account. Generally, the costs break down into the following categories:

Event Equipment

Business licensing, advertising, office supplies, travel expenses, professional services.

This range of startup costs for an event planner business will depend largely on the size and scope of your business and the number of events you wish to plan per year. It is important to obtain the necessary software and equipment, as well as to obtain the necessary licenses and insurance. Additionally, professional services such as accountants, lawyers, and marketing experts can be invaluable during the startup phase. Advertising is also essential to making your event planner business visible, while office supplies and travel expenses are necessary to keep the business running.

When it comes to running a successful event planning business, software is a vital component. Depending on the size of your business and the scope of services you offer, investing in the right software could be the difference between success and failure. Here is an overview of what you should consider when looking at software for running your business.

Costs: The cost of event planning software can range from free to tens of thousands of dollars. To get started with basic technology, free programs like Google Calendar and Trello can be enough. For more comprehensive software, pricing could start around $250 USD for basic event planning tools, and up to $20,000 USD per year for more advanced solutions for enterprise-level businesses.

Features: It depends on the type of software you choose, but typical features for event planning software include event page design, event registration and ticketing, budgeting and spending management tools, attendee data tracking, marketing tools for sharing and promotion, and analytics tracking for post-event analysis.

Integrations: It’s important to consider the various ways the software integrates with other services. For example, many software are integrated with ticketing services and accounting systems which enable users to set up automated notifications and payment processing. Look for programs that sync with email, project management, and marketing tools.

Community/Support: Most software companies offer documentation, online support, and a help center, so you always have access to answers and guidance. It’s also helpful if the software has a large community of users who can provide advice and share best practices, or a client list you can draw from for references and potential collaborations.

Starting an event planner business can be a surprisingly affordable endeavor. Depending on the size, scope and scope of services you offer, you could expect to need a few thousand dollars to set up and launch your business.

Fees traditionally associated with launching an event planner business include:

  • Business license - $50 to $500 depending on city, county, and state requirements.
  • Insurance – around $400 a year in premiums.
  • Website hosting – you could pay as low as $5 a month.
  • Website development – budget around $2,500 for a decent website.
  • Marketing – setting aside $1,000 for marketing materials is a safe bet.

You might want to add a few thousand extra to cover unforeseen costs or simply to cover you for the first few months until your event planning business takes off. All-in-all, a decent budget to get started is between $5,000 and $7,000.

You can also save on expenses by starting small and working as a freelancer. That option requires minimal investment and you can easily build your business up as time progresses. Having said that, if you plan to take on other employees and add other services to your portfolio, the costs could go up to $10,000 or more depending on the number of services, associated expenses, and team size.

Having the right legal structure for your business is important, so you could also account for legal services and overhead costs associated with running a business (accounting, secretary, etc.) from anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000.

When budgeting for an event, equipment costs should be among the first items to consider. Equipment is a necessity and it can also be a big expense. According to the Statista report in 2020, the average cost of equipment rental for events was around 10,000 US dollars per event. This ranges from small equipment such as screens, projectors, and speakers to larger items such as stage platforms, wiring, and other installations.

The biggest (and most expensive) line item you’ll need to consider is audiovisual equipment. This includes audio mixers, amplifiers, speakers and microphones, as well as video equipment such as monitors, projectors, and cameras. Depending on the size of your event, you may also need to rent or purchase additional add-ons, such as LED walls and staging. The costs of audiovisual equipment can vary greatly: for example, a small event may require only a single PA system and screen, while the cost of a larger event can easily exceed five figures.

When budgeting for equipment, you should also factor in associated costs such as installation, maintenance, and delivery. According to the Survey of Small Businesses, the average cost of event equipment rental and installation is around 3500 US dollars. Professional audio technicians and engineers can also be quite expensive, costing anywhere between 45-100 dollars per hour in labour costs.

In summary, equipment can play a major role in the overall budget of an event. The cost of equipment varies greatly depending on the size and scope of the event and can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. Be sure to budget for all associated costs and always work with a professional to ensure you get quality results.

When starting your event planning business, it is important to think about how you will protect yourself and your business. An important part of this process is getting proper commercial insurance. This insurance can help to protect your business from claims of liability as a result of accidents that might happen at your event. One of the most important types of insurance for event planners is general liability insurance. According to Insureon, the average annual cost for a $2M policy in 2019 was $485. However, the actual cost will vary based on the size of the events and the nature of the business.

In addition to general liability coverage, you will likely need professional liability insurance or errors and omissions insurance. This insurance covers negligence errors or accidents as a result of advice or services provided by your business. According to Insureon, the average annual cost for a $1M policy in 2019 was $475. The cost of this policy can vary based on the nature of your services.

You may also need additional insurance based on the specific events and services that your business provides. For instance, if you will be pushing and pulling heavy furniture or equipment, you may need inland marine insurance. This can help provide coverage if any property belonging to you, a client, or supplier is damaged. Depending on the size of your events, you may need other policies such as excess liquor liability. The cost of these policies can vary, so it is important to do research on the specific policies and the cost.

Opening an event planning business requires the right paperwork, filings and fees. Depending on your exact business, you may need various state and local licenses or permits. On the federal level, businesses may require licensing or authorization from the Small Business Administration (SBA) or the IRS.

Obtaining an event planner license could cost anywhere from $100 to $500. This cost could also vary from state to state, as such companies are generally managed at the local level. A business might need to register with the state, obtain a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and purchase a special license from the state.

Additionally, event planner businesses may need to attain local licenses or permits. These may include ordinances on zoning, building codes, public health and fire safety. Requirements for these permits may vary from city to city, so the cost could range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.

The average cost of obtaining business licenses in the U.S. is estimated at $70.80 in 2021. This is around 2.8% lower than in 2020, when the average cost of registering a business license was estimated to be $72.86 .

Business owners should research the fees they may need to pay before launching an event planner business. This could include filing incorporation paperwork with the Secretary of State's office, licensing fees and any applicable filing fees. All fees vary depending on the jurisdiction, so you should check with your local government enforcement agencies for specifics.

Advertising is an important part of launching an event planner. Without the right marketing budget to get your message out, it can be challenging to attract a wide enough audience to create a successful event. With the right advertising plan, however, you can make your event a must-see and engage a wide variety of potential attendees.

Recent statistics indicate that companies are spending a significant portion of their budget on digital advertising. According to Statista, in 2020, US companies are spending an estimated USD 128.32 billion on digital advertising, ranging from search engine optimization to programmatic display. Additionally, research from the eMarketer indicates that the US spending on digital advertising is estimated to reach USD 206.43 billion by 2023.

Advertising can take many forms, from TV and radio ads to sponsored content on social media. Working with a professional event planner to plan your event’s advertising strategy can help ensure your event reaches the correct target audience.

For example, if you’re advertising an event held in an unfamiliar location, you may want to focus on targeting potential attendees located in that area. Additionally, if you’re hosting a unique event or one that’s trying to attract a particular demographic, such as luxury events targeting high-end consumers, you’ll need to make sure to invest in the right channels and strategies to captivate your desired audience.

In addition to considering where you should advertise, you also need to think about the budget required. Advertising costs vary greatly, depending on the channels you plan to use. Digital ads tend to be less expensive than traditional television and radio advertising, but it’s important to remember that the cost of a service isn’t the only factor to consider.

Overall, launching your event planner requires careful planning and consideration of the marketing costs. With the right advertising mix, you can make your event a success and reach your target audience.

Opening a successful event planner requires the collection of various office supplies that help you and your staff keep organized. Purchasing the necessary office supplies to operate an event planning business can range from $50 - $150, depending on the types of supplies you need . Some of the basic office supplies for a small event planning business would include:

  • High-speed laser printer - $159.99
  • File cabinets - $54.99
  • Computer with dual monitor setup - $400
  • Desk chair - $90.99
  • Stapler and staples - $14.99
  • Desk - $99.99
  • White board - $35.99
  • Pens and paper - $8.99
  • Printer ink - $45.99
  • External hard drive - $79.99

In addition to office supplies, some event planning businesses will require additional hardware, software, or specialized equipment. For example, you might need to purchase a digital camera, video equipment, an audio system, or other specialized equipment depending on the types of event planning services you will be providing. Depending on the type of equipment, prices can range from as low as $150 up to several thousand dollars for high-end digital equipment.

Once your event planning business is up and running, you’ll need to invest in basic office supplies such as paper, writing utensils, and printer ink on an ongoing basis. This can range from $10 to $50 per month, depending on usage and the types of supplies needed . With the right office supplies and regular upkeep, you should have everything you need to run a successful event planning business.

When starting an event planning business, travel expenses are an important factor to consider and budget for in advance. The amount of travel you will need to do depends on the type of event and the location, as well as the size of the event. You will need to factor in airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, and other expenses related to attending industry events in order to both plan and promote your business.

Airfare: The cost of airfare will depend heavily on when and where you need to travel. On average, domestic flights within the United States can cost between $150 and $400. If you are travelling internationally, flights can cost as much as $1,000 or more.

Ground Transportation: After you arrive at your destination, you will need to have a way to get around. Depending on the city and the duration of the trip, renting a car may be necessary. The cost of car rentals vary by city, but typically range from $20 to $100 per day. Furthermore, ride-sharing services and public transportation are also options.

Accommodations: Staying in a hotel or Airbnb is typically necessary when traveling for business. Hotel costs also vary by city, but can range from $50 to $200 per night. Airbnb can be even less expensive, but it is important to look into all possible lodging options before booking.

Miscellaneous Expenses: Other expenses you might incur when travelling for event planning include meals, snacks, incidentals, tips, and materials like signage or banners. Typical meals can cost anywhere from $10 to $50, depending on the restaurant and the city. Incidentals, tips, and other materials might add another $20 to $50 to the total cost of the trip.

Starting an event planning business can come with a hefty price tag. In 2020, the average cost to launch an event planning business exceeded $14,000 . This cost can include professional services, such as website development, legal service fees, and a professional business plan. These services are required to ensure your event planning business is successful in the long-term and you’re set up to handle multiple engagements.

Website development, for example, is a key component of starting an event planning business. In 2020, the range for low to high cost was between $3,000 to $20,000 . This includes the purchase of a domain, logo design, and website graphics design. It’s important to pick a domain name that resonates with prospective clients and ensures that your website is attractive to encourage visitors to stay on your site.

Legal service fees are also another staple for starting an event planning business. Professional service fees for filing all paperwork, acquiring proper licensing, filing business entity forms and tax ID numbers, and other related processes can range from $800 to $3,000 . Depending on the scope of the services, costs may vary; however, it’s essential to have a legal professional to carry out these tasks.

Lastly, developing a professional business plan is fundamental to any business launch. If you’re not sure where to start, these services can range from $1,000 to $5,000 . The fee covers topics such as understanding the market, target audience, key accounts, and more. All of the information that is gathered during the development phase is used in crafting a successful business plan to launch your event planning business.

Opening an event planner business can be a lucrative endeavor with the right business model and strategy. The startup costs depend on the size and scale of the business, and can range from as low as $500 to more than $10,000. The most important factor to consider is that you have a good marketing strategy to bring in clients. Once you have established a successful event planning business, you can expect to generate a profit of at least $10,000 per month .

Running an event planner business requires great organizational and networking abilities, a creative eye, and most importantly, plenty of patience. A successful event planner is one that knows how to turn a vision into a reality, budget wisely, and remain calm even under pressure.

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1. Build a solid business plan

I can’t tell you how many small event planning businesses fail because the founder didn’t put together a business plan in advance.

Start by researching successful plans and businesses that are similar to your scope of work. Then reach out to others in the events industry who may be able to guide you! 

Reach out to others in the events industry that may be able to guide you. Click To Tweet

Even if you’ve never seen a business plan, there are plenty of resources and templates online that can get you started. Additionally, when you look to grow your business, an up-to-date business plan is vital to secure any kind of investment.

Start with the right event tools for your business

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2. Set a marketing budget and use a PR company when possible.

When starting your party planning business, your marketing budget may be 30% or more of your business expenses. Does that seem like a lot? Think about all the things you’ll need:

  • A website for your business
  • Business cards
  • Flyers and other printed info
  • Digital marketing and online ads
  • Expenses to travel to events for networking

Don’t leave anything out! You will need to spend money to make money, ultimately. The goal in the early months is to secure your base of customers as quickly as possible. If you deliver on the promise of creating memorable events, your clients will stick around and recommend you. As a result, your marketing costs will start to drop.

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Here’s How to Start an Event Planning Business Click To Tweet

3. Clearly define your scope of work, mission and goals for your event business.

Your event planning business may evolve over time, but even when you’re just starting out, it’s important to clearly outline what you are and aren’t willing to do. You can even put this on your website to attract the right type of clients.

When you’re still building your business, saying “no” to clients  is one of the hardest things to do. But it might save you from dealing with the kinds of customers that take up too much time and don’t offer enough value in return.

Guide: How to Create an Event Planning Checklist

4. Have your elevator speech ready.

After I set up my first events business, I had a hard time selling it to people because my 30-second pitch wasn’t refined. Make sure to spend time developing this ” it is the key to introducing everyone to your business.

Pro tip:  Don’t stress about the name of your event planning business. At the end of the day, the name of your business doesn’t matter ” as long as you produce truly memorable events. However, a catchy event business name idea might stick in someone’s brain better during an elevator pitch.

5. Do your market research

Before jumping, in I always tell people to understand their market and competitors. What is your unique value proposition? Are your fees similar to, better than or higher than others in your area? Understanding your competition and your clients will give you the leg up in this market. Don’t skip this step!

how much to start party planning business

6. Spend some time learning tax laws and business filing in your area.

No matter what kind of business you want to start, there are lots of legal pieces to understand. I spent time researching which type of business would be best for me (LLC made the most sense for my consulting business).

It’s also critical to understand the tax implications before you dive in. For example, when I moved my business from Virginia to California, I had to go through the process of dissolving the business. I should have taken more time to research other possibilities!

There’s a lot to navigate, but some great resources exist for building small businesses. Here are a few I recommend:

  • IRS.GOV “ Starting a Business
  • SBA.GOV “ 10 Steps to Starting a Business
  • Legalzoom.com

One of my favorite resources in Women In Events . New event planners can take advantage of our mentoring/coaching program after signing up.

Now You’re Ready to Start a Great Event Planning Business!

Have questions? We’ve got answers. Connect with @socialtables on Twitter.

Up next, here’s how to pick an event company name for your business . Or check out Social Tables free event planning tools to manage seating, meals, and so much more.

Try the event management software planners love

More tips for aspiring event planners.

  • The 6 Must-Have Event Planning Skills You Need for Career Success
  • The Top Event Planning Conferences This Year
  • 10 Event Planning Tips Every Budding Coordinator Needs to Know

Still searching for answers about starting an event planning business?

Do your research, make a plan, set a budget, define your scope of work, and throw amazing events!

You should plan to set aside at least $15,000 to $25,000 to start a small event planning business.

Event planning can be quite a profitable career choice. The best event planners will make a name for themselves and be able to charge high prices for their vision, creativity, execution, and results.

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How to start an event planning business in 8 steps

In 2020, the COVID-19 crisis changed everything for event planners. Whether the industry thinks of 2020 as a deviation or devastation strongly depends on how planning professionals adapt to uncertainty. One thing's for sure, virtual and hybrid meetings are here to stay, with the virtual market at $94 billion in 2020 and an expected compound annual growth rate of 23.7% between now and 2028 .

With all the change in the air, enterprising event entrepreneurs build social connections no matter the distance. So read on to avoid being amongst the 50% of all small businesses that fail in the first 5 years—and, more importantly, to give your new event planning venture the right start.

1) Evaluate your event planning skillset

It's common for event planning newbies to believe the business is all about showmanship, champagne, and shindigs. While that's the final product of your meticulous preparation, things behind the scenes are much less spectacular. There are a hundred to-dos that the planning professional must check off for every event to guarantee an enjoyable time for the client and guests.

Amongst other tasks, you may have to:

  • Create an event theme or design.
  • Find a venue.
  • Arrange entertainment.
  • Book vendors.
  • Send RSVPs and marketing info to attendees.
  • Balance the budget.
  • Coordinate with staff and subcontractors.
  • Decorate the space.
  • Oversee the caterers and bar staff.
  • Supervise the event.

If you want to start an event planning company, it might be smart to test out a job or three before making the dive. To begin, think about signing up as a personal assistant or apprentice for an experienced party planner. That way, you can evaluate whether the work is a suitable match before venturing out on your own.

Or you can look below for traits you already possess or ones you're willing to pick up as you go.

  • Attention to detail. Planning events requires diligence with finances, logistics, and time management.
  • Customer service. Event planners must contact their clients often. Thus, excellent customer service may help build the planner's reputation and improve client satisfaction.
  • Education or experience. Knowledge of best practices and prior event planning experience help. A party planner may have also attended college or earned a certification.
  • Interpersonal relationship skills. During a single event, an event planner will need to engage various people, many of whom will not be the planner's staff. Therefore, it's critical to form solid interpersonal connections and work effectively with a wide range of personalities. An event planner is the ultimate "people person."
  • Negotiation. Event planners negotiate with suppliers, entertainers, and contractors to reduce expenses while ensuring the client receives what they want.
  • Organization. Every event has many moving components that planning professionals must manage, and good organization is essential throughout the process to guarantee that nothing is missed or neglected.
  • Under-pressure performance. Even with the finest preparation, unforeseen problems will arise during an event. Event planners must create solutions to issues fast and always think on their festive feet.

Create your event planning business plan

"Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do."

Those words are from the man who has created more magical experiences than anyone else. Walt Disney's quote sounds like inviting people to your party, and his wisdom is perfect for those who make a living by bringing folks together. But before you can show the world how well you do what you do, consider the following questions when starting your business :

  • Executive Summary: How would you describe the business and your potential success?
  • Overview: What's the business's background, legal structure, and other key attributes?
  • Industry Analysis: What does market research reveal about the event planning industry in your area, including size, opportunity, and current trends?
  • Competitive Analysis: Who are your competitors, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Marketing: What is your marketing strategy to reach potential customers?
  • Management: What unique skills do you bring to the business?
  • Operations Plan: How will you manage the day-to-day tasks of the business?
  • Financials: What are your estimated revenues, expenses, and profits for each of your first 5 years?

2) Find your event planning niche

Finding a niche is as simple as picking a subset of the broader event planning industry to concentrate on or specialize in. A niche allows you to shine in an overcrowded marketplace and helps your target market track you down. Saying yes to the wrong client is saying no to Mr. or Mrs. Right. So, find the niche that matches your expertise and focus.

Take a look below for common niches and types of events.

Corporate Events

  • Award ceremonies
  • Charity and non-profit events (such as fundraising events)
  • Conferences
  • Corporate bonding retreats
  • Corporate meetings and seminars
  • Fashion shows
  • Golf events
  • Grand Openings
  • Experiential events (such as pop-ups and product or service launches)
  • Holiday parties
  • Networking events
  • Trade shows

Private/Social Events

  • Anniversaries
  • Baby showers
  • Bachelor/bachelorette parties
  • Bridal/wedding showers
  • Milestone birthday parties
  • Murder-mystery parties
  • Theme parties
  • Surprise parties
  • Wedding planning

3) Uncover your event planning unique selling proposition (USP)

Your unique selling proposition expresses what distinguishes you from every other event planner. According to top business thought leaders, in a world where clients are drowning in options and competition is fierce, 90% of a small pie is preferable to 10% of a large pie. So, for example, an enterprising event planner might create the USP, "Grand Opening Specialist for Luxury Retailers."

4) Pick your event planning business name

Are you ready for some fun? Business ideas move to the realm of reality as soon as a company has a name. Pick a name that blends your niche, USP, and expertise as an event planner. Perhaps it's as simple as Grand Openings Event Planning Company or as whimsical as Lux Influx Events. Try a business name generator , research competitors, or brainstorm with friends and family.

5) Figure out your financial plan

According to event planning tech company EventForte, profit margins in the industry can go as high as a healthy 40% . But don't rush off to the bank quite yet. To earn top dollar, you have to get those financial duckies in a row. So, if numbers are not your cup of event planning tea, you can always rely on a bookkeeper, software, or your favorite accountant. Then, when you're ready, you need to crunch your upfront costs and set up your pricing.

Calculate your startup costs

If you're starting as a side hustle, you'll need little more than a home office, computer, phone, website, some marketing materials, and event management software. It's common for people to get started for less than four or five thousand bucks. Furthermore, Entrepreneur.com estimates between $8,000 and $31,000, with the lower end for home-based business and the more expensive side for the type of business that launches with an office space and a few employees.

Structure your pricing strategy

How should you charge for your planning services? Your location, expertise, niche, and competition will help you set your fees. Below you'll find the five most prevalent ways of pricing event planning.

  • Hourly rate. A typical hourly fee for a novice event planner may be as low as $25 per hour and over $100 per hour for top event planners. Usually, a corporate event generates approximately 30% higher rates than social events.
  • Flat fee. A flat fee makes it straightforward for you and the client and is probably the most common arrangement. It is customary to charge a price for your services and a percentage of total vendor fees. A typical vendor commission runs from 10 to 15%. For instance, if a caterer's fee is $4,000 for an event, your cut for finding and arranging that specific vendor would be $400-$600.
  • Percentage of the event. Some event planners choose to charge a portion of the entire event budget, such as 15 to 20%.
  • Day-of coordination. At some point, a client will ask you for day-of coordination. This fee structure is most common for wedding planners, but it may also occur at other types of events.
  • Vendor commission. A small percentage of planners opt to either drastically reduce their fees or charge nothing for their services, earning all their money via commissions from the vendors they choose.

6) Get your paperwork in order

It's just a few hurdles to jump, and you're racing toward the finish line.

a) Register your business name with the state

Before you find your first clients, you need to register your business entity with state and local authorities. Also, you'll need to pick a type of business structure such as sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.

b) Apply for your EIN

Your employer identification number (EIN) identifies your business for taxes. Surprisingly, getting one is both free and easy. Get your EIN here .

c) Open a business bank account

Once you have your EIN, you can open a business checking account, apply for a loan, and separate your personal and business finances.

d) Obtain permits and licenses

This step separates the planners from the pretenders, but it's well worth the hustle to protect your reputation and potential clients. Your state will likely require several permits and licenses for your business and events. Standard ones include:

  • Building permit (tents). You need one for carnivals, political demonstrations, pop-up performing arts, races, and many other outdoor events that require tents.
  • Business license. Almost all businesses require licensing with the state to operate.
  • Event permit. The requirements vary by city, so contact the local government for relevant ordinances.
  • Fire/fireworks permit. You must check with your county if it's legal to display fireworks for your event.
  • Health permit. You can get this from your county's health department.
  • Liquor license , if applicable. You'll have to get this if you're planning to serve alcoholic beverages, and you can check the Alcoholic Beverage Control board for your state's specifics.
  • Noise permit. If your event's outside, you'll likely need one.
  • Seller's permit. You may need this as an event planner.
  • Temporary use/structure permit. There are two kinds of temporary use permits. One is for vacant land, and the other is for temporary space for parking, vendors, and loading areas.

e) Insure your event planning business

Some first-time event planners forget about insurance until it's too late. When you're dealing with the public, there's always the potential for the unexpected. Every event planner needs solid small business insurance —that's why it's essential to shop around to lock in the best deal. Check out this overview of important coverages you may need to insure your event planning business :

  • Workers' compensation : This coverage protects your employees if they get sick or injured while working in your event planning business. Every state requires workers' comp, and the consequences of skipping this coverage could cause the state to close your business. (You can get a quick estimate on what you'd pay for workers' comp with our 60-second workers' compensation calculator. )
  • General liability insurance : This policy protects your event planning business if you're sued for a property damage or injury claim. (Expensive lawsuits can quickly put an event planning service out of business.)
  • Property insurance : This policy protects your event planning equipment, such as your laptop or other devices you use in your business or home office from perils like fire or theft.
  • Business interruption : This coverage, also called business income insurance, provides financial support to your event planning business if you must close because of a covered reason.
  • Business Owner's Policy: This policy bundles general liability, business property, and business interruption insurance for your event planning business in one convenient package.

7) Hire your first employees

Many event planners launch as solopreneurs, but they soon look for a personal assistant. Or perhaps you want to hire a junior planner, salesperson, or office manager. Of course, you'll need workers' compensation insurance to operate legally whenever you add that first team member. After finishing your paperwork and legal requirements, head over to the Small Business Administration for a helpful checklist.

8) Spread the word about your new event planning business

Event planners are marketers at heart. After all, who's better at promotion than party planners? Now, you can parlay some of that creativity to advertise your new business. When building your marketing strategy to attract new clients, you could:

  • Build a website . Get the domain name for your business. A service with templates like Weebly or Squarespace can make this easy.
  • List your local business on Google and Yelp. Sign up for your Google My Business and Yelp profile.
  • Launch your social media profiles. Get your unique Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and other handles relevant to your niche.
  • Distribute brochures, flyers, and business cards. Call it old-fashioned, but it still works, and you might get your foot in the door with new clients.
  • Create word-of-mouth. Small Business owners know there's nothing better than word-of-mouth advertising, and the best way to get it is to please clients with a service they can rave about. Ask happy clients and customers for video testimonials that you can post on your website and social media accounts.
  • Partner with related businesses. Businesses such as caterers, florists, and photographers can be excellent referral sources.

Bonus: Check out these tips for running a successful event planning business

You're just about ready to start your own event planning business, so it's time to break out the bubbly. But before you pop the top, perhaps you're still thirsty for more best practices. Here are a few places with knowledge you can sip on:

  • Event Manager Blog : A great online library of articles, webinars, and videos covering every facet of the event planning industry.
  • Meeting Professional International (MPI): "Meeting Professionals International is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities, and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry."
  • #EventIcons Podcast : The hosts interview event-industry luminaries and up-and-comers, and the topics span from the everyday to the unexpected. The show has a friendly atmosphere and is a wealth of information for both beginners and seasoned experts. If you want to watch, #EventIcons is also accessible in recorded video format.

This article's been a lot to absorb. Maybe you're pondering just how to stay sane as an event planning entrepreneur .

If you're still crazy enough to start a party planning business, you can get insurance with Huckleberry in about the same time it takes to make your favorite caterer's samples disappear. (Getting a quote is free, easy, and 100% online.)

Buy business insurance online in less than 5 minutes.

No paperwork. Instant coverage. No-commitment quote.

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How to start a party and event planning business

how much to start party planning business

Our experts

Written and reviewed by:.

As the nation emerged from the COVID pandemic, desperate to reconnect in person, party and events planning became a multi-billion-pound industry with plenty of demand across the UK.

Now, amid a cost of living crisis, there are a few emerging issues that new business owners need to stay aware of. Rising inflation means corporate clients are working to stricter budgets, while consumers won't be as easily convinced to part with their hard-earned money. That means the most successful event planning firms will be the ones that can offer a truly incredible and unique experience that stands out from rivals.

Luckily, with a clear concept, effective marketing and a few key transferable skills, you’ll maximise your chances of beating out the competition and finding success. That's where our experts come in.

We have been helping businesses to set up across tons of sectors, and we understand the challenges and opportunities that are ahead in the events industry. So put the champagne on ice for now, and read on to learn more about the costs, considerations and benefits involved in becoming an event or party planner.

At Startups.co.uk, we're here to help small UK businesses to get started, grow and succeed. We have helpful resources for helping new businesses get off the ground – you can use the tool below to get started today.

What Does Your Business Need Help With?

This article will cover:

Case study: above & beyond solutions, define your event planning business idea, conduct market research, come up with an event company name, develop your business plan, come up with a pricing strategy, understand the requirements, start promoting your event planning start-up, find suppliers and build contacts.

What does the future of the industry look like?

In order to combat the banning of in-person meetings, the events industry had partly pivoted towards online. The new fashion for virtual events has forever changed the way organisations will host and engage with their audience.

That's not to say virtual events are here to stay. Given the option, most attendees will want to go to a physical event – as most of us have been ‘Zoomed' out by pandemic working.

But digital events are a growing new branch in the sector which you should keep an eye on to ensure you stay ahead of the market and your competition.

Flexible working is also accelerating the trend. Corporate events will need to consider their employees that are still isolating and working from home. This means your business will need to provide online, offline, and  hybrid events solutions.

What COVID-19 rules do event planning firms need to follow?

From August 2021, all COVID-19 safety rules and regulations were fully lifted, which means that you don't legally need to require any specific safety measures from customers or staff members if you're planning to host events.

However, cultural changes have still taken place, including a new understanding about the spread of germs that public places can influence.

There are still some basic safety requirements that help to make your event attendees feel safe, such as:

  • Spaced out seating for social distancing
  • Hand sanitiser stations
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting rota
  • Optional mask wearing

You could consider keeping these rules in place to help returning customers feel more at ease.

Sam Stockmans, founder of the newly found events services company Above & Beyond Solutions, has always had a passion for the industry.

“Everyones first nightclub experience is daunting, and I could feel that amongst my friends when we started going out. I wanted to put on parties and make it a more comfortable experience for everyone, so I started by organising 16+ nightclub events.

“I love the events planning industry, that ability to create moments for others through an event you are organising, there is no feeling like it.”

After dabbling in the nightclub events scene, Stockmans went on to organising exhibitions across Europe, before he decided to go it alone with his own venture, Above & Beyond Solutions.

In terms of the biggest challenges he's faced in his near 15 year career in the industry, Stockmans said:

“The biggest challenge is definitely standing out. There are so many competitors in the events industry space. You need to have a USP and you need to be able to sell it confidently.

“For us at Above, our USP is the level of service people receive. My team is made up of highly experienced professionals and creatives.”

And when asked about anything he wish he'd known before he started in the industry, Stockmans said:

“I wish I'd been less arrogant. I made mistakes in my younger years in the industry because I got ahead of myself.

Attitude is everything in this industry, and it will do any entrepreneur wonders to remember that, as the last thing you want is to burn bridges with other companies in the space that you will be frequently collaborating with.”

When it comes to starting an events company, you’ll first need to decide on the type of events services you want to offer.

Would you like to offer the full event planning service, organising every aspect of an event from inception to execution? Or would you rather focus on one or two particular skill sets? For example:

  • Event decorating
  • Corporate entertainment management
  • Event promotion
  • Catering (find out more in our guide about starting your own catering business )

It’s also key that you decide on the type of events you want to work on. In your early days, you’ll find it easier to market yourself clearly, attract customers and build the right skills and experience if you have a niche.

Events can be classified into four broad categories based on their purposes and objectives:

  • Personal events , such as weddings, birthday parties and family celebrations
  • Organisational events , such as commercial, political and charitable events, conferences and product launches
  • Leisure events , such as sports events and concerts
  • Cultural events , such as ceremonial, religious, art or heritage events

It’s advisable to pick a niche that you’re familiar with and already have a little experience in. If you come from a corporate background, for example, you may have a clearer understanding of what a successful conference looks like than a successful art festival. Remember, you can always take on more specialties as your business grows in size.

Tristan Johnson, founder of TYPE , which provides networking events “that enhance wellbeing and that millenials can afford”, believes drawing on your own experience of the events market as a consumer is a good idea, she says:

“As a young millennial entering the competitive job market fresh out of university, making valuable connections to progress my career was really difficult. Either I’d attend networking events that weren’t relevant for me or find myself spending far too much money. After chatting with a few friends who felt the same, our business model was created.”

NB: If you’d like to become a wedding planner, be sure to also check out our guide to starting a wedding planning business .

Bear in mind that, once you’ve come up with a concept, you should always test it to make sure it has a good chance of succeeding in the market. To do this, you’ll need to…

It’s really important that you understand both your target audience and your competition before you decide how to reach out to potential customers, settle on a pricing structure or – in short – do anything else.

Market research will help you to understand:

  • Who your competitors are
  • How you can differentiate yourself from them
  • How much demand there is for your particular event planning service
  • The type of people who are most likely to want/need your service
  • How much your target customers will be prepared to pay for your events, and whether you can make a healthy profit from this

To answer these questions, try:

Researching the competition online

Often a simple Google search will show you who the events businesses in your local area are, but the ONS, the FSB and the British Chambers of Commerce also hold more specific, publicly accessible information about different businesses.

Try to find out how your competitors operate, how big they are, who their customers are, how much they charge, and what their USPs are. Think about how you can bring something different to the table in order to compete.

Running an online survey

Online surveys are fairly cheap to set up, and you can also take to Facebook and LinkedIn to run questionnaires.

Ask people what they would expect from your events planning service, the budget they would have to spend on an event such as yours, how often they’d use you, what would make them want to use you, and anything else you want to know.

Holding focus groups

Essentially a face-to-face version of an online survey, a focus group gives you the opportunity to discuss your business with potential customers.

As well as asking the above questions, you can also talk more specifically about your own business, asking what they think of your concept and branding, and share ideas.

As fun a task as choosing a name for your party planning business may seem, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

Your name is the first thing most customers will hear about you, and so it’s important that it accurately represents what they can expect from your services. Plus, it needs to be something you’re proud to shout from the rooftops.

To come up with a name, try these tips:

  • Think of the type of events you want to plan and the style of service you’ll aim to deliver. Write down every word that springs to mind – no matter how obvious or abstract. The more, the better. Then single out your favourite words and explore them. Do they have synonyms that are better? How does it sound when you combine them in different ways?
  • Consider your own name. Can you name the business after yourself?
  • If you’d like your business to be one that doesn’t take itself too seriously, try thinking up event-related puns or phrases you might be able to use as a name. Just try not to be too cheesy!
  • Think about existing events planning businesses whose names you really like. Take inspiration from what makes them so great – but make sure you don’t simply copy them.

When it comes to coming up with a name, simplicity is key.

On the concept of coming up with a name, Stockmans says:

“Keep it simple, catchy, and memorable. Keep the name strong and simple, the strapline mission statement simple and the branding clear.”

If the name you choose doesn’t make it obvious that you’re an events planner – if you’ve picked a rather abstract word, for example, or are using your name – we’d advise adding a tagline. For example: Joe Bloggs – Party Planning.

Remember, your event planning business’ name should be:

  • Easy to spell and pronounce.
  • Original, and as unique as possible.
  • A good representation of the services you’re offering (don’t go for something jokey and fun if you’ll be planning serious corporate events, for instance).
  • Appealing to your audience. Ask target customers (whether through friends and family, an online survey or a focus group) for their honest opinion of your name.

Once you’ve settled on a name, you’ll need to check that it’s available – you can do this using the Companies House Register – and also check that it’s free to be used as a domain name for your website: for example, www.joebloggs.co.uk. It’s best to register your domain name as soon as possible.

If your chosen name is available, you’ll need to officially register it as your company’s name .

Your business' name will tie inextricably into your business’ branding as a whole. Its tone will be the starting point for how you design your logo, website, marketing materials and messages, social media posts and more – all together, this should convey the tone and purpose of your business.

Bourlet suggests that you create clear guidelines for targeting your specific target audience with your branding.

Getting professional help

Consulting a graphic designer may help when it comes to creating a logo and other visual assets. Finding yourself a graphic designer is a good creative opinion allows you to brainstorm with an expert third-party.

TYPE founder Johnston says:

“Once you have completed an in-depth persona analysis, ensure all of your work is aiming towards these individuals to gain the greatest results. Building out strong brand guidelines is critical, involving how you deliver your content, the tone of voice, the colour code used on the site and in all branding, and the persona you will be targeting with your marketing.

“Studies have shown our attention span is shortening so branding must be easily consumable, easy on the eye and fitting to your personal brand, be it premium, fun, colourful or sleek.”

A business plan is an important document that takes its reader through every aspect of a business – including how it will run, plans for how it will progress, and forecasts of what it will achieve in the future.

As well as something potential investors and banks will want to see, writing a business plan will give you the opportunity to break down and plan every aspect of your business step-by step – including details of your business model and pricing structure, a marketing strategy, plans for hiring staff in the future and those oft-daunting financial predictions.

Another great way to organise your business plan is to use a project management software. These sophisticated tools are aimed at delegation and multi-project management, and can help you stay on top of deadlines as you design your dream events business.

Check out our  free online comparison tool  to learn more about the providers available and their top deals and discounts.

A crucial part of your business model, to plan your pricing you’ll first need to decide whether you want to charge:

  • A flat fee for the whole service
  • An hourly rate for the time you spend working on the event
  • Commission-based prices

You should use what you’ve learnt from members of your target audience and your competitors to decide on which of these you’ll choose, along with the actual prices you’ll charge.

Remember, while your prices should be attractive to your target customer, they must also cover the operating expenses you spend on planning the event, while still leaving room for a healthy profit for you.

Work out how much it’ll cost you to put on an event based on your plans and ideal suppliers, and see whether you’d still get a decent margin based on what customers want to pay.

That being said, making sure you're giving your clients value for money is crucial.

Don't be afraid to adjust your offering if your pricing seems unreasonable. It may be that you need to re-evaluate how much you’re able to spend on pulling together the event or how many services you can offer as part of your package.


You certainly don’t need a formal education in events and party organising before becoming a party planner.

However, if you would like to study events management, you can:

  • Research your local colleges and universities, or online facilities like the Open University, to see whether they offer something that suits you.
  • Look into specialist event institutions. Event Academy , for example, offers four accredited event management courses which you can choose to undertake online or on a physical premises in London.

Or, as an alternative to studying, you can always build up your events experience (if you don't have any) by volunteering to help out at local events. This will give you a practical insight into the many cogs that form a single event, and you might be surprised at the level of graft involved!


Follow this checklist to make sure you’re operating your business legitimately and without fear of costly legal problems:

✓ Obtain licenses

The licenses you need to operate your business legally will be down to your local authority or council (get in touch with them to find out which licenses you need) and also the venues at which you'll be holding events.

✓ Register as a sole trader

Unless you want to set up a limited company (though most start-ups don’t begin life this way), you’ll need to register as a sole trader with HMRC, and understand the tax implications of this.

✓ Set up a business banking account

This, plus you’ll need to get an accounting and cashflow system in order so you can easily manage invoices and outgoings. It’s a good idea to hire an accountant to help you out in the early stages.

✓ Prepare to take payments

Alongside your business bank account you’ll also need a merchant account. After a client pays you, their money will be held in your merchant account until it is approved by the client’s bank, at which point it moves into your business account – so it’s crucial you have one.

✓ Get yourself insured

You’ll need public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance , plus employers’ liability insurance if you’re going to hire employees.

You might also need buildings and contents insurance if you keep expensive equipment at home or in an office, and vehicle insurance for any vans you use to transport materials to and from venues.

✓ Brush up on your health and safety

While the venues you hold events in will likely have their own set of generic health and safety regulations, it’s vital that you carry out your own risk assessments in advance of your events, detailing the hazards and controls for each.

So, learn how to write risk assessments and consider everything from trips, heavy loads and electric shocks to structural security and food hygiene.

Of course, it’s easy to blame the venue if something goes wrong – but it’ll still reflect very poorly on you if you’ve failed to recognise and manage a risk.

Now you’re ready to get going, it’s time to show your business to the public (and encourage them to use your stellar event-planning services). Alongside traditional techniques such as leaflet drops and putting advertisements in your local paper, you’ll want to try the following…

Set up a website

Having a website is vital for any small business. It’s a place to explain everything you offer, show off your previous projects, list your pricing packages and display your contact details.

It’s also an opportunity to prove that, even though your business is new, you’re a professional who knows exactly what they’re doing. So you’ll need to make sure your site is sleek and professionally-designed, with no spelling mistakes (an erroneous, dated website is a surefire way to turn off potential clients).

Unless you’re a web designer yourself, you’ll want to go with one of the two options:

  • Hire a freelance web designer to build your site for you. The benefit of this is that you’ll have an expert to discuss ideas with, but you may find that your designer charges for any changes you’d like them to make in the future.
  • Use a website building platform . These are often low-cost, and will likely give you more control over your site and a clearer understanding of how it works. Wix , GoDaddy and Weebly are popular options.

Your website should be in-keeping with your branding and appealing to your target customer, and you should adopt SEO best practice to make sure it ranks well when people search Google for a local events business.

If you need a hand setting up a website, be sure to check out our review of the top 5 web design companies in London .

Tom Bourlet of brands Fizzbox.com , which offers group activities and experiences for any event, and stag and hen party organisers The Stag Company and Hen Heaven, says:

“It is important to understand what terms you are targeting, the competition you are up against and what you can afford to spend on PPC (pay-per-click).

“When starting a new business, you can’t rely on organic or direct traffic, therefore PPC will be pivotal, and there will be a turning point where it goes from experimentation to profitable. For this reason, you need to ensure you have the funding to put into the ads, while working on the SEO and UX of the website.”

Websites are a great way to attract and retain customers, as they allow you to build a larger audience base from across the UK.

Read our guide to the  top 7 website builders for small businesses , to learn more about the benefits and methods to making your own online page.

Use social media

Social media is massive and if you’re not on board with the digital world then you will fall flat on your face. Get a good digital marketing plan in place with social media leading the charge.

With social media, you can get the word out about your business for free, sharing details of your services, special offers and – with your clients’ permission – images of your events to give potential customers an idea of what you can deliver.

In particular, Pinterest can be a goldmine for party and events planners. The image-based platform centering on inspiration and idea-sharing, Pinterest is the place to find people looking for ‘inspo' for their next big bash – and show them what you can do.

You might also find Facebook's groups valuable. Brides-to-be, for example, are increasingly joining locally-focused Facebook groups in which they can discuss and recommend local caterers, boutiques, planning services and more. Try joining up to relevant groups and sharing a tailored special offer with members.

Of course, there's no point in spending energy and resources maximising your Pinterest and Facebook profiles if your target market don't spend a lot of time on them.

Instagram is integral to many businesses success, be sure to check out our extensive how to use Instagram for business guide for everything you need to know.

Send emails

Sending engaging marketing emails to both customers and those who have expressed an interest in your services is an excellent way to communicate with the public, sharing updates and special offers, encouraging engagement with your business and keeping interest high.

A CRM (customer relationship management) system will help to streamline this process by personalising emails to make customers more inclined to read them, automating email sends, collating customer data and more.

Attend fairs and exhibitions

Some events, such as weddings, often have regular fairs and trade shows where small businesses like suppliers and party planners can host a stall and show off their products and services to visitors.

This is a great way to get your service in front of the people who need it. Furthermore, chatting face-to-face with potential customers will give you a unique opportunity to explain what you can offer to them specifically. Plus, they’re more likely to remember you if they’ve had a friendly and promising conversation with you.

Make sure, though, that you have professional business cards and leaflets printed so you can give them something to remember you by.

Try cross promotions

Seek out other small businesses in the events industry and see whether you can partner with them to create a promotional offer that you’ll both benefit from.

For example, a local independent caterers and offer a discount from both yours and the caterer’s prices to those who use your services and select that caterer.

As the old adage goes, it’s not what you know but who you know that counts. When it comes to events planning, what you know is obviously crucial – but you’ll also find having a portfolio of industry contacts very useful.

Of course, finding the right suppliers for each event will mean carefully considering your client’s wishes and budget. But building relationships with reliable suppliers will give you options right off the bat, saving you time – provided they fit the requirements.

If you’d like to plan weddings, for example, having contacts at catering companies, local venues, entertainment providers, et cetera will prove handy. If you’re specialising in corporate events, you may need to find contacts at banner printing companies, potential sponsors and more.

Here are a few ways to start building up that contacts book:

  • Visit online event supplier databases . Alive Network , for example, lists thousands of UK event entertainers and suppliers along with reviews and prices.
  • If your competitors run public events, see if you can attend them. Make a note of who they’ve used as a caterer, venue, equipment supplier etc. If any suppliers or sponsors are present, get talking to them and ask for their details.
  • Attend trade shows, seminars and exhibitions where suppliers will be showcasing their offerings. 
  • Join local events groups on social media , where professionals share details of the companies they’ve worked with. Be proactive, joining in with discussions and asking for opinions.
  • Use your personal network . Use LinkedIn to the full as well, make new connections daily and interact with them if only to simply introduce yourself.

As you build your network and liaise with suppliers and customers, you may want to consider getting a business mobile to separate your business dealings from personal calls (more information on our page on business mobile phone contracts .

What's next?

The party and events planning market is hugely competitive, but with the tips, tricks and tools in this guide, you’ll set yourself up with the best chance of success.

Want to get started on building your business now? The first step to opening any business is sourcing finance. O ur  free online comparison tool  can help you to compare the best business loan providers across the UK, and get refreshingly honest quotes for early-stage finance.

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Related articles.

a man writing on paper


Setting up an Event Planning Business

All you need to know about starting and running your business.

In this article

What is an Event Planning Business?

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the events industry in the UK was worth an impressive £42.3 billion. Although the industry took a huge hit during the pandemic, the revival of the industry and the huge increase in the number of events has resulted in a quick recovery, making now a great time to set up an event planning business.

An event planning business entails planning, coordinating and managing events such as:

  • Conventions and exhibitions.
  • Corporate events, such as seminars, workshops and tradeshows.
  • Religious ceremonies, such as christenings and bar mitzvahs.
  • Virtual events.
  • Fundraising and charity events.
  • Festivals, fairs and music events.
  • Sporting events.
  • Pop-up events.
  • Outdoor events.
  • Organised events, such as parades.
  • Social events.

You could choose to specialise in one type of event, such as weddings, focus on events set in a particular location (by partnering with a venue or venues) or organise a variety of event types, depending on your clients’ specifications.

Some event planning businesses are made up of multiple event planners. Alternatively, you could choose to be the sole event planner in your business.

As a professional event planner, you will be involved in planning events, usually from start to finish.

Your responsibilities can be extensive, and may include:

  • Meeting with clients.
  • Creating a budget.
  • Establishing a timeline.
  • Finding and reserving an appropriate venue.
  • Planning a menu.
  • Selecting or contacting attendees.
  • Arranging activities, entertainment or speakers.
  • Arranging transport and/or accommodation.
  • Making arrangements with contractors, such as for food, drinks and entertainment.
  • Communicating with on-site staff.
  • Acquiring the relevant permits and licences.
  • Arranging the programme and coordinating timings.
  • Arranging equipment, facilities and decorations.
  • Managing risks.
  • Handling payments and invoices.
  • Setting up on the day.

In order to plan the events as smoothly as possible, many event planning businesses partner with other businesses and contractors. This ensures you always use companies that you know provide a good service and are reliable.

To be a successful event planner, there are certain characteristics you will need to have. In particular, good organisational skills and good communication skills are key to the success of your business.

As events do not always go to plan, you will also need to be able to think on your feet, have creative problem-solving skills and not panic under pressure. A flair for business and a true passion for what you do is also necessary for the success of your business.

Types of Customers

Determining your typical customer base is an important step when starting up an event planning business.

Your typical customer base will depend on several factors:

The types of events you plan:

If you choose to specialise in a particular type of events, such as wedding planning or corporate events, this will significantly impact your typical customer base. Determining the type of event you plan to organise can help you to determine your typical customers, your branding, and your marketing and advertising strategies.

The services you offer:

Are you going to organise the entire event, meaning you will need to offer a variety of services, or will you specialise in specific services? Some of the most popular services offered by event planners include venue sourcing and hiring, organising catering, venue decoration and event promotion. The service you offer will appeal to specific customers.

Your pricing strategy:

Your pricing should reflect your services, the level of planning you do, and the types of events you will plan. Some customers will be looking for a budget-friendly event planner, whereas others will prefer a high-end more luxurious event planner. The types of events you plan and how long they will take will have a significant impact on your pricing strategy. For example, planning an annual music festival is likely to be much more time-consuming and have a significantly higher price point compared to planning an anniversary party.

Your location:

Many event planners focus on a particular area. For example, if you are based in London, you will likely primarily plan events within the city. This can impact the types of customers you are likely to attract.

Event Cartoon

Equipment You Will Need

Your equipment requirements can vary, depending on several factors:

  • The type of events you plan.
  • Whether you work with external contractors and companies.
  • Whether you choose to rent or buy the equipment.
  • Whether providing equipment is included in the services you offer.

Below is an extensive list of the equipment that may be required by an event planning business. Consult the list to help you determine what equipment your business requires.

A laptop is an essential piece of equipment for your event planning business. The portability allows you to transport your laptop to every event you attend. If you hire additional event planners or other staff, they will need their own laptops. Mid-range laptops usually begin at £500, up to £3,000 for a high specification laptop.

A desktop monitor

This can be plugged into your laptop for times when you need a bigger screen, such as when creating and viewing large spreadsheets, project plans and floor plans. It also gives you the option to work multi-screen, which can be beneficial if you are planning more than one event at the same time. Desktop monitors start at approximately £100.

Mobile phones

You will need a business mobile phone that can be used for contacting clients, replying to emails and accessing event information. Each member of staff will need their own mobile phone. Mobile phones usually range from £200 to £1,500.

A website is essential for an event planning business. Your website will be a key advertising tool. You can showcase your previous work and provide your contact information, business information and pricing. Your website can also act as your sales platform. You can set up your website yourself or pay to have it set up by a professional.

Backups and storage

Backing up all your data and previous work is recommended in case your computer is lost or broken. You can choose external hard drives or cloud storage. You may need to pay a one-off cost or a monthly or annual fee.

You may need to print off invoices, seating plans, permits, stage passes, schedules and other essential information. A printer can cost as little as £40, although you may opt for a more expensive, higher specification printer to ensure your items look professional.

Any personal information about your clients and other businesses needs to be disposed of correctly. This helps to protect sensitive data and ensures your business operates in line with data protection laws. A shredder can be purchased for as little as £20.

Some office furniture you may require includes desks, chairs and secure filing cabinets. The amount of furniture you will need will depend on whether you operate your business from an office or other workspace or whether your business is run from home.

Business cards

These can be used for advertising purposes. You can give them to potential clients and other businesses you partner with or leave them at locations and venues you host events at. Business cards are a fairly affordable marketing tool and can cost between £15 and £200 for 500. The price can vary depending on the material used, the quality of the finish, and the design.

Many event venues may be inaccessible by public transport. Even if a venue is accessible, having a vehicle will help to save you time on travel. If you need to transport any equipment to the events, your vehicle will need to be large enough to store it. The cost of a vehicle varies depending on the make and model and whether it is a new or used vehicle.

Extension cords and outlet cords

It’s recommended to always keep spare cords with you in case you ever arrive at a venue and find there aren’t enough cords, or the plugs aren’t where they need to be.

A first aid kit

Even though venues should have their own first aid kit, carrying a first aid kit with you is recommended in case any accidents or injuries occur. A fully stocked first aid kit can be purchased for as little as £10.

Event Planning

Typical Pricing

Being aware of the typical costs associated with setting up and running an event planning business can help you to better plan your business.

Your expected costs will vary depending on the size of your business and the types of events you plan.

Consult the list below for the approximate costs associated with an event planning business:

The cost of equipment can vary based on how much equipment you require. The bigger your event planning business is, the more equipment you will require. You may choose to purchase less equipment initially and expand your equipment as your business grows. Purchasing equipment could cost between £1,000 and £30,000.

Some event planners operate their businesses from an office or other premises. An office could be beneficial to your business if you hire other employees or need to conduct in-person meetings. If you choose to rent your premises, rental costs are usually calculated per square metre and can range significantly, from £500 to £15,000 per square metre annually, depending on your location.

Branding can help you to establish your business’s identity and set you apart from your competition. Branding could include creating your business’s visual identity, a logo, your business name, and creating your business’s website. You can hire a professional to help you with branding or do some of the work yourself. Branding can cost between £500 and £10,000, depending on the amount of branding you require.

Marketing and advertising

Marketing and advertising are essential ways to attract clients and grow your business. To ensure your event planning business attracts clients and earns an income, you must invest in marketing and advertising. It is recommended that you spend between 1% and 3% of your annual turnover on marketing. For example, if your annual turnover is £50,000, it is recommended you spend between £500 and £1,500 per year on marketing. You may need to invest more money in advertising and marketing when you first set up your business, in order to ensure your business is well-known and potential clients are aware of you.

Maintaining, repairing and replacing equipment

Repairs, maintenance and replacements are ongoing costs you will need to factor into your budget. Maintaining equipment and ensuring it is used correctly can extend its life, but repairs and replacements are still inevitable.

Running costs

The running costs associated with your event planning business could include electricity, gas, water and council tax. If you utilise a vehicle, you will also need to incorporate costs such as petrol, MOTs, services and insurance.

You may initially operate your business independently and then hire staff as your business grows. You could hire staff as permanent employees or as independent freelancers. If you hire staff permanently, you will need to pay them at least the national minimum wage of £9.50 per hour and account for other expenses such as holiday pay, sick pay and maternity/paternity pay.

Business insurance

Some of the insurance you may need for your event planning business includes:

  • Public Liability Insurance.
  • Property Insurance.
  • Event Cancellation Coverage.
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  • Employers’ Liability Insurance.
  • Equipment Cover.

Once you have calculated the typical costs associated with setting up and running your event planning business, you can then determine your pricing policy.

On average, event planners charge between 10% and 20% of an event’s total cost. This means your earnings will depend on the scale and budget of the events you plan. For example, if an event you plan has a budget of £50,000, your fees will be between £5,000 and £10,000.

When calculating your pricing policy, you must decide whether to:

  • Charge a percentage of the event’s budget.
  • Charge a flat fee for your services.
  • Charge an hourly rate.
  • Charge based on commission.

Safely Running an Event Planning Business

It can be more difficult to ensure that your events are run safely and safety procedures are implemented when your venue, contractors and staff change for every event.

Many safety considerations will be the responsibility of the venue. However, to protect your business and your clients, you should ensure that every venue and independent contractor is properly implementing safety measures.

Some safety procedures your event planning business should follow include:

Ensure events are properly staffed

Ensuring events you plan have the correct staffing levels is an important way of ensuring your clients’ and guests’ safety. Consider how many guests will be attending and the types of responsibilities your staff will have when calculating your necessary staffing levels.

Ensure cleaning procedures and policies are implemented

Every venue will have different cleaning policies and ensuring they are effective and followed properly before and during the event will be one of your responsibilities. Ask the venues to provide you with their cleaning policies and review them in advance.

Ensure staff have health and safety training

This can help to ensure safe practices at all times, even if you are not present. Every venue will have different training requirements for its staff, and if your hire outside contractors, their training may also differ. Using staff that have undergone training on Fire Safety, COSHH Awareness, Electrical Safety Awareness, and Covid-19 Awareness can help to ensure your events are run safely.

Planning Events

Pay attention to noise hazards

Noise levels can sometimes be high in an event planning business, especially if loud music is played. Manage noise hazards and make sure you are aware if noise levels are too high. If you or your staff regularly attend loud events, purchasing noise-cancelling headphones can help to protect you from harm.

Keep records

You should keep up-to-date records of any risk assessments, health and safety policies, staff training, and equipment maintenance. You should also record any accidents or injuries that take place.

Implement emergency procedures

Each venue should already have implemented emergency procedures. Familiarise yourself with the procedures, provide a copy of them to your clients and ensure they are correctly displayed for guests to see. Emergency procedures could apply to fires, floods, explosions, chemical spills and terrorist incidents.

Request a copy of any licences

Requesting licences from venues, contractors and companies can help to protect your business. Ensure you only partner with companies and individuals who are properly licensed and request a copy of these licences so you can determine their validity.

Legal Requirements

Ensuring you comply with all legal requirements can help to protect you, your business and your clients.

Some legal requirements will be the responsibility of the venue where you are holding the event. However, as the event planner, you should ensure you check that they are complying with legal requirements.

When setting up and running your event planning business, some of the legal requirements you should be aware of are:

Comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA)

You must comply with both pieces of legislation when storing or sharing personal information. You must also apply for a Notification to Process Personal Data Licence. You can apply for this licence with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) . If you use a CCTV system or process personal information such as payroll information or client accounts and records, you will need to apply for a licence with the ICO and renew your registration every year.

Ensure venues have a Premises Licence

Any venue that you use for an event must have a Premises Licence. This licence is a requirement for any venue that holds licensable activities. This licence covers selling and supplying alcohol, regulated entertainment and late-night food or drink. The venues must also have a Designated Premises Supervisor who has a Personal Licence.

Ensure all events challenge underage drinking

It is against the law to serve alcohol to those under 18 years old in the UK. Events you manage must request to see ID for any individuals you believe are underage. Adopting the Challenge 25 policy by requesting ID for any individual who looks younger than 25 can help to prevent your business from mistakenly serving alcohol to an underage person.

Carry out risk assessments

You should identify any potential hazards and risks and how these can be reduced or eliminated. You should consider hazards related to manual handling activities, electrical and gas safety, food, entertainment, fireworks and any temporary structures. You will need to do new risk assessments for every event you plan.

As part of your risk assessment, you should:

  • Identify hazards.
  • Determine who could be at risk.
  • Evaluate any potential risks.
  • Implement relevant safety measures.
  • Record the results of the risk assessment.
  • Review the risk assessment regularly.

Comply with the Equality Act 2010 and ensure you have disability provisions

The Equality Act promotes equality for people who are disabled and ensures they are protected from discrimination. You must comply with the Act and meet all legal requirements regarding disability provisions. Consider physical accessibility, such as wheelchair access and disabled toilets, and event accessibility, such as large print event programmes, hearing loops, captioning and the welcoming of guide dogs.

Comply with safety checks regarding temporary electrical equipment

If any of the events you manage require you to temporarily install any electrical equipment, such as lighting, speakers, stage constructions or generators, you may need to apply for a certificate of permission and ensure the person who is installing the equipment has the correct qualifications.

Ensure fire safety

Some of your fire safety requirements as an event planner include:

  • Conducting fire safety risk assessments.
  • Having a recorded evacuation plan.
  • Reviewing your risk assessment and evacuation plan regularly.
  • Conducting fire drills.
  • Ensuring escape routes are unobstructed.

Comply with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

Manual handling regulations can help to protect you, your employees, and any external workers or contractors from sustaining an injury or illness as a result of manual handling tasks. The regulations apply to the lifting or moving of any objects, bending down and reaching high and repetitive movements.

Comply with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013

RIDDOR states that you must report all injuries, diseases and dangerous events that occur when your business is operating. Reports must be made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) using an appropriate recording document.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

If you employ any staff as part of your business, you will need to comply with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. This Act lays out the duties of all employers in the UK in regard to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of everyone in your workplace. As you are the business owner, you will be responsible for protecting the health and safety of your employees and any clients or guests.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 2002

COSHH is the law that states that you (the business owner) must control any substances that could be potentially hazardous to health. You must assess, control and reduce any risks or potential hazards and protect individuals from harm.

Implement health and safety policies

Health and safety policies are legally required for all businesses in the UK. You should have policies in place that protect your clients, event guests and any employees or contractors. Your policies should also include fire safety procedures and emergency procedures.

Have the correct insurance

Although some types of insurance are only recommended for your business, other types are legally required. All event planners in the UK must have Public Liability Insurance and Employers’ Liability Insurance.

Register your business

You must register your business with HMRC before you begin operating. You can register as a sole trader or as a limited company. You will need to register your business name and any other relevant information.

Register for self-assessment tax

This allows you to calculate and pay your own taxes each year. You will need to track your finances every month and submit any expenses as part of your tax assessment.

Meeting Event

Positives of Owning an Event Planning Business

Starting up an event planning business can be extremely rewarding in many ways.

Some positives associated with owning this type of business include:

Varied work

An event planning business will never be boring. You can plan a variety of events and every event is likely to be different. You will be working with different clients at different venues and will be doing different tasks every day. Even if you are working on an event for a long period of time, you will still be working at a varied pace and involved in different organisational aspects, depending on what phase of planning you are at.

Meet interesting people

You will meet a huge variety of people, from clients to event guests, entertainers, speakers and other business owners. If you enjoy meeting new people, this can be a great positive.

Grow your network

You will have contact with many different venues, businesses, contractors and companies in your line of work. This allows you to grow your network and gain valuable industry insight. You could even choose to form connections and partnerships with businesses and contractors to help you grow your event planning business and coordinate events more smoothly.

It can be fun

As part of your role, you may be required to attend events, tour different venues, audition entertainers and plan catering. This can be enjoyable and fun.

Choose the events you plan

You will have the power to choose your own clients. You can specialise in specific events that you enjoy the most or are more profitable and only take on clients who you believe you will have a positive working relationship with.

Choose your working hours

As a self-employed business owner, you will be able to choose how little or often you work. You can operate as a full-time event planner or only work part time. If you plan a holiday or need some time off, you can decline any events that would overlap. Planning your own working hours is one of the biggest pros of being self-employed.

It’s a growing industry

Events are on the rise and event planners are becoming more and more popular. Now is a great time to set up an event planning business with lots of opportunities for your business to grow and become successful.

Low start-up costs

Compared to many other businesses, an event planning business has few start-up costs. This makes it easier to set up your business and will allow you to launch it more quickly. Low start-up costs also enable you to begin making a profit faster.

Rewarding work

Planning someone’s dream event and seeing events succeed can be extremely rewarding. Your clients are likely to be very grateful and may even recommend you to their friends and family or offer you repeat business. Not only can this be financially rewarding but knowing that you are doing your job well can be personally rewarding.

Unlimited income potential

Event planning businesses can be extremely lucrative. Depending on the size and complexity of the events you plan, you can charge your clients high prices and earn high profits. You could also expand your business by hiring additional event planners, allowing you to further maximise your profits.

Gain exposure and experience

Event planning is a great industry to gain exposure in. Planning a high profile or successful event can help your business to become well-known and open doors to other events. Other businesses who work within the industry may also recommend you, allowing you to expand your client base and your business.

Work within your local community

Many event planners operate within their local area, for convenience. Not only will this allow you to source local products and utilise local businesses, but it also allows you to make connections within your local community. This can benefit both your personal and professional life.

Baby Shower Event

Negatives of Owning an Event Planning Business

Setting up a business can be difficult and demanding. Not being aware of the potential cons or the difficulties you may face can make it more difficult for your business to succeed.

Some of the potential cons you may experience when setting up and running an event planning business are:

Unsociable hours

As an event planner, you will be expected to work long hours. Many of the events you plan will take place in the evening and at weekends. Many events are also more popular over Christmas and during the summer, meaning you may not be able to take time off or go on holiday during these times. Even if you don’t attend the events, you will need to be available in case there are any problems or issues.

It can be stressful

Event planners have a lot of responsibility and will have to coordinate with a lot of people at the same time. If a problem occurs, as the event coordinator, both the client and other professionals are likely to hold you responsible. This can have a negative impact on your business and create additional stress for you.

It can be tiring

Event planning can be both physically and mentally demanding. On the day of an event, you may be involved in physical activities such as lifting and carrying and may be on your feet for a lot of the day. You may also work long days if you are setting up and overseeing the event. Even in the lead up to the event, the number of responsibilities you have can be mentally demanding.

Some clients may be difficult

Some clients may have a lot of demands and expect too much from you. They may be demanding and difficult to deal with, and as the event planner you will be the one they expect to deal with their issues. Keeping your clients, the guests and staff and contractors happy can be difficult to manage.

The industry is heavily affected by the economy

In periods of recession, economic downturn or situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic, event planning is one of the hardest-hit industries. You may experience periods where you are unable to work or make enough profit to finance your business.

Work can be inconsistent

Certain times of the year, such as Christmas and the summer, are likely to be busier. This could mean you experience other times of the year when you have little or no work. This can make it very difficult to predict your income and plan your outgoings. If you hire staff, inconsistent work can be detrimental to your business, as you will still be expected to pay your staff, regardless of how little work you have.

Experience is usually required

Starting up an event planning business from scratch can be very difficult, especially if you have no previous experience. In order for your business to succeed, you may need to first work within the industry, volunteer at other businesses and make industry connections.

A lot of travel

Even if you work locally, your job will still require a lot of travel, especially if you are touring different venues and visiting different clients and contractors. This can be both time-consuming and expensive.

Planning Your Event Planning Business

A business plan is a great tool for ensuring your business’s success. A business plan can help you to plan each stage of your business, create an effective strategy for growth, calculate your finances and predict your profits.

Your business plan should include information such as:

  • Your company information.
  • Your company description.
  • The event planning services you will provide.
  • Your branding, marketing and advertising plan.
  • The structure of your business.
  • The operational plan for your business.
  • The financial plan for your business.

When planning your business, there are some important considerations you should make:

What type of events will you plan?

Will you specialise in one type of event or offer event planning for a variety of events. Making this distinction is the first step to setting up your business and can help you determine your target customer base and your pricing policy.

What services will you provide?

Event planners can be involved in a huge number of services, from finding the venue and entertainment, to handling the finances. Determine which services you are realistically able to provide and consider whether you can partner with other companies or contractors for the remaining services.

Who will your typical clientele be?

Once you have determined the types of events you will plan and the services you will offer, you can then determine your typical customer base. Knowing your typical clientele can help you to plan your advertising and marketing strategy and how to make your business most attractive to prospective customers.

Will you hire other staff?

You could hire other event planners, enabling you to plan multiple events at one time, or hire other staff, such as hospitality staff and photographers. You may choose to run your business without other staff initially and then hire employees as your business grows.

What are your equipment requirements?

Consult the list above to help you determine your equipment requirements. You will need to decide what equipment you require and research which equipment will be provided or hired by other sources. Consider the services you will provide, the types of events you will plan, your budget, and your clients’ needs when determining your equipment requirements.

Consider your local competition

Are there other event planning businesses in your local area or ones specialising in the same niche as you? If so, consider their pricing, the services they offer, their branding, marketing and advertising strategies and what they do well.

What are your start-up costs and running costs?

Consult the list above to help you calculate your start-up costs and running costs. Being aware of your approximate costs allows you to determine how you will finance your business and when you are likely to start making a profit. It can also help you to determine your pricing strategy.

What is your pricing strategy?

Once you have calculated your start-up costs and running costs, you can then calculate your pricing strategy. Consider your location, equipment, experience and the event you will plan when determining your pricing.

What are your business objectives?

Planning your event planning business and creating a one-year, three-year and five-year plan can be pivotal to the success and growth of your business. Having clear business objectives and a business plan can make your business more likely to succeed.

Your business objectives should be SMART:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Achievable
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Time-bound

Have you complied with all legal requirements?

Consult the list of legal requirements above to check you have complied with all requirements and regulations and that all your paperwork is accurate. Failure to comply with legal requirements could have a detrimental effect on your business or could result in a fine, the forced closure of your business or, in serious cases, prosecution.

Download our business plan

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