How to Start an Event Planning Business

Apr 20, 2023 · 6 minutes to read

A woman is decorating the tables of a party

Do you enjoy organizing parties and events? Are you outgoing, creative, and great with logistics? Starting an event and party planning business might be the perfect career move!

The meeting and event planning industry is growing. Almost 13,000 new jobs are expected to be created between 2021 and 2031. Though demand varies from place to place, there may be a need for a talented event planner in your area.

Let’s dive into what is needed to start an event planning business. We’ll discuss the types of businesses you could start, the legal requirements for event planning businesses, and event planning insurance to help protect yourself while you work.

What does an event planner do?

For event planners, the job description is already in the title: planning events! Event planning can be fun, but it’s also hard work. It’s your job to help clients plan their event and make sure it goes off without a hitch.

No two days are the same for a busy event planner. On any given day, you might:

  • Meet with clients
  • Create an event theme or design
  • Book venue space
  • Book entertainment, catering, or other vendors
  • Send invitations, RSVPs, and other information to those attending
  • Market and advertise public events
  • Decorate an event space
  • Supervise the event
  • Organize clean up and returning rented items

As you can see, event planning isn’t all glitz and glam. You’ll be on call before, during, and after an event, from the initial concept to packing up the venue.

Types of Event Planning Businesses

There are many types of businesses an event planner might start, such as:

  • Wedding planning
  • Corporate events
  • Non-profit and charity fundraisers
  • Conferences and conventions
  • Festivals and concerts

Finding a niche within the event planning industry could be a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. This can establish you as the local expert in a specific type of event. So, when people think about children’s birthday parties, for example, they think of your business first!

How to start your event planning business

There are steps you’ll need to take to help set your event planning business up for success and make sure it is operating legally. These may vary from state to state, so check your local government websites to understand the exact steps that are required in your area.

1. Writing a Business Plan

An event planning business plan helps guide your operations and decision-making. It helps you set goals and track your success. A business plan includes local market and competitor research, budgets, revenue forecasts, and other information about your business.

Event planning business plans are often required if you are taking out a small business loan or looking for investors. But even if you don’t need to write one, it may be well worth your time. A business plan could give you a leg up on the competition, especially if they haven’t written one for their business!

2. Licenses and Certifications

Event planners do not need a license to work in the United States. However, you will probably need a business license from your state or local government.

There are many optional event planning certifications that you might consider. These can help you attract clients by showing that you have professional knowledge and expertise in specific areas. Certifications are offered by a number of professional organizations, including the Events Industry Council and the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners.

3. Business Structure and Finances

Along with a business license, you will need to think about your business set-up and finances. There are several business structures to choose from, and each has pros and cons regarding your tax liability. An accountant or tax professional can help you choose the best structure for your small business.

You may also want to set up separate bank accounts for your business. Keeping your personal money separate from your business money can make it easier to track spending and file your taxes. You may also need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS.

4. Protecting yourself

Event planning insurance is a crucial way that event planners protect themselves. It can help cover unexpected costs that could threaten your small business, and in some cases, a policy might be required.

Common types of event planning insurance that you might consider:

Professional Liability protects your business against claims of negligence, misrepresentation or mistake, as well as document or paperwork errors. This coverage could protect your party planning business against claims or lawsuits brought by an unhappy client.

General Liability protects businesses against the risk of third-party injury and property damage. A party planning business may be required to have a policy to work with some clients, vendors, or venues. It might also be necessary to rent commercial office space.

A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) combines General Liability insurance with other types of coverage, such as business interruption and business property damage. It can help party planning businesses prepare for multiple risks they might face with one convenient and affordable policy.

5. Finding Clients

With your event planning business set up, you’re ready to take on clients! Finding customers can be tough when you’re first starting out. However, family, friends, and others in your network may be able to refer you to people who are looking for an event planner.

Advertising is another way to find clients. Online and social media ads can be very cost-effective for small businesses. Other advertising options may depend on the type of event planning you do. For example, a wedding planner may hire a booth at a wedding expo, and a corporate meeting planner might distribute flyers to businesses in an office park.

Get the party started!

Starting an event and party planning business can be an exciting step in your career. Understanding the legal requirements for event planning businesses is a good place to begin. From there, you may consider different certifications and event planning insurance to help set yourself up for professional success.

Looking for event planning insurance? Compare policies online and get instant coverage with BizInsure. It only takes about 10 minutes—no complicated paperwork necessary! Get quotes now and protect your event planning business today.

As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this guide is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.
The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
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