Summary: If it seems like events, conferences, and meetings are the backbone of how things get done professionally these days—it's only because it's the truth!
Through the communication benefits, networking opportunities, and educational components of regular corporate events and conventions, it becomes quite evident that businesses and organizations rely on their regular events. Hosting and attending meetings and conventions is ingrained in our culture. It's just the way we do things.
So, how can you benefit from this as an event planner?
It's very evident that a great deal of organized planning must go into each and every event—no matter if it's large or even just a gathering of a few. The opportunity today is prime for those thinking about starting their own event planning businesses.
Consider the facts for a minute:
• Even in today's constricted economy, businesses and other organizations are still holding just as many meetings and conventions. The scale might be slightly toned-down, but the events are still taking place.
• So many conventions, dinners, banquets, and other events revolve around profits. There should be little surprise in the fact that businesses continue to host events of all scale for this very reason. Conventions make them money, hosting that dinner for clients increases customer loyalty—regardless of the concept, so often it's a profitable arrangement for those holding the event. They want to get it right and need someone to make it happen without a hitch!
• As so many corporations and organizations have downsized their roster of employees—and very often those in charge of organizing and planning events—they are now obliged to outsource their event planning needs.
• If you happen to be a recent victim of the layoffs or downsizing mentioned above, it's definitely worth considering all of the options available to you now. Things might seem discouraging at the present moment, but for those thinking about starting a small business—like an event planning business, for example—the time is actually pretty good to do so. After all, some of the most successful businesses of recent times have been launched during economic downturns.
How do you actually start an event planning business?
If you're the go-getter type—someone who is organized with great people skills—then launching a new event planning career could very well be right up your alley. The other really bright side of the road here is that there are practically no start up costs involved with starting an event planning business. As long as you have a phone, computer, transportation, and plenty of ambitious spirit, the barriers to entry are slim to none.
Where to begin? First and foremost, you'll need to learn the ropes about starting a business in your unique locality. Spend a weekend at the local library or bookstore doing a little background research on the requirements. Order some basic business cards online. Pick up an accounting ledger from your local office supply store. Just remember, keep it simple; it definitely doesn't have to be complicated.
There's no need to spend a fortune on fancy business software or make any other high ticket business expenditures right away. This is because the more time and energy you spend on actually making the phone calls, following up with leads, and actually making sales for your new event planning service, the less need you'll find for all of the extra stuff that just eats up your budget and time.
All you really need to drive a successful event planning business right now is yourself and the bare essentials. The extras (like expensive event planning software) can definitely come later after you've landed a few deals and covered a few inaugural events. You'll certainly appreciate having waited until you've had the opportunity to hash out exactly what you'll need.
Speaking of clients—what better place to start your business development than with your previous or existing colleagues and clients. If the time is right to do so, then by all means, get the good work out there that you are an event planning expert and that you are in business. Make some phone calls and spread the word. Your existing professional friends and contacts will likely be the catalyst that helps you drive your first few event planning gigs. And from there, it only gets easier.
What types of events should you specialize in?
The scope of events you can specialize in is practically unlimited. There's no need to stick exclusively with professional event opportunities. For example, these are all different occasions that could benefit from your event planning expertise:
• Birthday Parties
• Educational Conferences
• Civic Events
• Anniversary Celebrations
• Trade Shows
• Retirement Parties
• Political Rallies
• Social Mixers
• Theme Parties
• Fundraising Events
• The sky is the limit!
In today's overstressed world, for so many, the thought of trying to put together, plan, and host that next big event that's coming up is simply more than they can possibly take on right now. Fortunately, the help is out there—it's you! Starting an event planning business might just be your opportunity of a lifetime.
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