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How to make money as an event planner

Lucy Miller 31st May 2020 6 Comments

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ever considered making money as an event planner? Are you organised, high-energy, imaginative and calm under pressure? Enjoy seeing a vision come together, and knowing that you were integral in making it happen?

If the answer to all of the above is yes, it sounds like you’ve got skills that could be well-suited to a career in this area. Read on to find out why now could be a great time to consider the lucrative field of events planning… 

Why is this a good time to set up as an event planner? 

Make money as an event planner

There are lots of events that need reorganising for the coming months as people start to to think about setting up for their events and celebrations that were postponed during the lockdown. 

This could be a great time to focus and plan for the year ahead, so your business is ready to start taking on clients as soon as events like weddings, conferences and large-scale parties are given the go-ahead to start again. 

What kind of events could I focus on?

There is an almost unlimited number of events that you could organise if you launch a business as an event planner. Some of the events that you could think about specialising in include: 

  • Parties: think big birthday celebrations for every age range, eg 16, 21, 50, 60, etc 
  • Family events: christenings, bar and bat mitzvahs, confirmation celebrations, and so on 
  • Weddings: the big one, with event planners specialising on this area taking on a lot of responsibility and commanding large fees 
  • Hen and stag parties: taking the stress out of organisation for big group events, and ensuring that brides and grooms-to-be get a memorable send-off into married life  
  • Promotional events on behalf of brands: lots of brands want to access specific groups, e.g., students, young professionals in a certain geographic area, etc. If you are involved with a specific demographic in some way, or if you have access and influence amongst a specific group, this could be a great time to leverage these contacts 
  • Business events: if you’ve got a background in business, you could bring your skills to organising conferences, large-scale meetings, or running logistics for staff training days

The important thing, if you are going to become an event planner, is to think about where your skills lie, and focus on how you can translate them into relevant events.  

Don’t worry about your area of interest being too niche, either. If you’ve got a great idea for an event planning business that you’ve never seen anyone else doing, you could become very in demand very quickly. You might be the only one offering the service in your area, after all! 

Becoming an online event planner   

Aside from the more traditional events mentioned above, there is also the option to think about organising purely online events. 

Lots of people will have used video calling software like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype during the lockdown. Not many will have the skills to organise virtual events using these platforms, though. Now that businesses know their conferences, meetings and so on don’t need to happen in person, it’s likely that they’ll be relying on virtual meet-ups more than they ever have before. 

This is where you come in. If you’re imaginative, have creative ideas, know what businesses need, have a high level of professionalism and are tech savvy, you could make good money as an event planner in online or virtual events. 

These events might include staff webinars or training sessions for businesses, meetings and conferences, public events such as author Q&As for publishers, or any number of other events that people can access from their homes. The world is truly your oyster in this area. If you can come up with ideas to take to businesses yourself you could end up going places very quickly. 

Where to train as an event planner 

Train as an event planner

You don’t HAVE to have formal qualifications to become an event planner – but you’ll snag better clients if you do. Courses cover everything from budget management for events to handling difficult clients, so it’s worth spending time learning about running an events business before you get started.

One way to learn more about running events is to get a summer job with a catering firm or events company. This gives you real-life experience to build upon (and pays at the same time!). While you’re learning about running events, consider training online as an event planner. This is probably the best way to go about training at the moment, whilst colleges are closed. Some of the courses you might want to consider include: 

How to advertise an an event planner 

Digital channels are going to be your greatest asset if you’re setting up as an event planner. This is true even if you’re only planning on hosting events on a local scale. As a start, you need to consider the following platforms: 

Your website

It goes without saying that you need to have a slick website. Your site should display your offering, your contact details, and your price range. This applies whatever area of events you’re involved in, whether it’s weddings or business conferences. Make sure your site displays what you do in the correct way, e.g. with a corporate feel if you’re targeting businesses. Add testimonials and images or video from your previous events when you have them.

Community Groups

These might be community Facebook pages, WhatsApp groups, or apps like Nextdoor. These work best on a local scale, so make sure you’re only using them if your events are focused locally. They won’t be much help if you live in a village but are targeting businesses in the nearest city. You could, however, join groups based in your wider area (such as in your county) to get started.

Local press

Again, this works on a local scale, which is great for event planners. Your customers are likely to be in your area, as they want a planner who knows the best venues, suppliers, and who can meet them easily. Place adverts in local newspapers or community magazines. Try to get in any local newsletters that exist in your area. Remember than local press usually has a digital offering too – so talk to them about how they can help you with advertising online 

Social Media

Events are perfect for advertising on social media, as they’re so visual. Make sure you take photos (with permission!) at events to post regularly. Create social media channels for your events business. Think of these channels as a means to “soft sell” and communicate with your customers rather than get lots of bookings immediately. Use lots of imagery, and make sure it’s clear how and when potential clients and customers can get in contact with you 

More ways to make money

Have you set up an events planning business? We’d love to hear from you – let us know over on our forums.

If you’re still looking for other ways to make money, check out these articles for inspiration!

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Rose Alvina
Rose Alvina
1 year ago

Thanks for sahring this. As a wedding planner Tuscany I really like this because it is helpful for me in earning money as a wedding planner.

3 years ago

Sounds stressful but great!

4 years ago

Sounds stressful.

4 years ago

Can you imagine the stress you would get from the client if the event was not 100% perfect? “You ruined my wedding day”. or “Our company lost the contract because the buyer was allergic to egg sandwiches”. Think of the insurance you’d have to pay for, and the post-event arguments. It’s just not worth it.

4 years ago
Reply to  Ruth

I think there’s a risk of that kind of thing in any client-facing job. Think about how many customer service people you’ve spoken to in your lifetime! Alas, there will be some people who will try to blame you for things going wrong – but for those who enjoy event planning, they’re often people-focused and great at diffusing friction. Every independent contractor is insured – so if you ever want to run any type of business, insurance is something you need to pay for.

4 years ago

Some good information. Thank you.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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