The events industry is growing which is fantastic news, but there are a lot of people getting started out calling themselves event planners without totally understanding what events entail. I’ve outlined 4 event planning myths to help clarify what getting started in event planning really entails.
1. I did a great job planning that anniversary BBQ (or birthday party or baby shower) last month. I could TOTALLY start my own Event Planning company.
Awwww…that’s cute. The event planning myth that being good at home parties means you’re ready to be an event planner is a common one. There’s so much more to being an event planner than just doing the events. There are legal docs that need to be filed, business licenses, taxes, contracts, and all kinds of other stuff to get your business started.
If you’re serious about doing events, I suggest chatting with other event professionals in the industry to get advice on how to get started. You can even offer your time to get hands-on experience, which is extremely valuable in learning what it really takes.
Once you’re ready to start a company, I suggest you get a website, seek legal assistance in getting your business set up correctly to protect you and your assets, and do some research about getting started in event planning. There are some great online courses too that can walk you through some of the basics.
2. Event planning is easy–you just find a venue and have food and drinks, right?
This Event Planning Myth is one that’s very common but there’s so much more that goes into planning an event! Finding a venue may seem easy but there are lots of questions to ask the venue to ensure it’s the right place for your event. You’ll want to ask about things like capacity, staffing fees, janitorial fees, trash removal fees, do you need to bring in a company to manage additional power, when and how is payment due, is security needs, does the fire marshal need to approve a layout, and so on and so forth. And those are just a few questions to ask for the venue. For every vendor, there’s a whole other set of questions you’ll need to ask.
Depending on the type of event, you’ll have other areas that need attention as well. For example, for a conference, you’ll need to manage areas like speakers, sponsors, registration management, signage, transportation, volunteers, deliveries, catering, entertainment, and other areas specific to your event. And if your event is doing a secondary event like a VIP reception or After Party at a different location, you’ll have that venue and vendors to work with as well.
3. I can do this event on my own and keep all the money for myself!
No one should EVER do an event by themselves…ever! This includes leading up to the event as well as onsite at an event. We’ve had numerous clients come to us after working with a solo planner because the event was just too much for one person. We even had a client tell us their planner yelled at their staff onsite the year before. Say what?!?
Events are stressful and you need others there to lean on. It doesn’t matter how small your event is, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to be in two places at once during the event which means you need help. And what happens if there’s a problem that comes up that needs to be dealt with? That means that if you’re flying solo, your attention either goes to the problem or managing the actual schedule for the event.
We always have at least 3 people on an event to ensure that there’s a tag-team system set up so everything runs smoothly at the event. This also allows for extra hands for any last minute things the client may need to be done.
4. Event planning is glamorous! I’ll meet famous people and wear fancy dresses.
I think all event planners started out thinking this way but I’d bet just about every single planner has a story of them doing something gross for an event. Maybe it’s being on their hands and knees counting linens for the return to the rental company, or maybe it’s rolling up astroturf that has been outside in the rain for 3 days to get it out of the space.
Event planning is about managing the details so others can enjoy the event. You’re usually behind the scenes or running around with a clipboard and a headset. You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be on your feet for hours and hours, clothes you can move around in…and something preferably that has pockets of some sort to carry your phone, pen, radio and headset, and anything else you may need to keep with you during the event.
While event planning can be fun, there’s still a LOT of hard work involved to produce a great event. Are you ready to jump in with both feet and get your event planning business started? Then you’ll want to download this checklist for things to consider when getting started with your event planning business. It will walk you through the items you need to consider as you’re getting your company up and running.
What are you waiting for? Download “The Easy Checklist for Starting an Event Planning Business” now!
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