Event Planning Business Step By Step Startup Guide
Date : Jul 08, 2020
Author : Isaac Addo
The event industry in the UK is worth £42.3 billion. Top ten event planning companies UK-wide have an annual turnover of more than £3.5 billion. There is a vast potential for growth in this field. So, if you love meeting new people, thrive under pressure, and the idea of managing events excites you, then starting an event planning business in the UK is the right career choice for you!
As with any new business, becoming an event planner can also appear daunting at first. Read our comprehensive guide to get started.
What Does a Corporate or a Freelance Event Planner UK-wide Do?
Event managers are responsible for delivering events, right from inception to conclusion. While the exact roles and responsibilities vary with every event, the following are some common tasks that an event planner oversees:
1. Building the foundation of an event from creative briefs;
2. Liaising with clients to understand their requirements;
3. Keep clients up to date with ongoing activities;
4. Budgeting and negotiating with vendors, suppliers, and caterers;
5. Applying for and acquiring legal licences;
6. Collaborating with contractors to set up event spaces; and,
7. Being the point of contact during the event itself.
What Are Some Vital Event Planning Skills For Event Planning Companies UK-wide?
The 2017 Shortlist Survey of the Most Stressful Jobs in the UK listed out event coordinator at the fifth place – only after jobs that present a threat to physical safety. It’s obvious to see why: being an event planner is demanding, fast-paced, and risky. Only those with a specific skill-set succeed as event planners.
This skill-set includes:
A knack for project management – whether single-handedly or through a team;
Ability to be a multi-tasker – juggling several projects simultaneously;
An eye for detail – the skill to keep the bigger picture in sight while micromanaging smaller tasks;
Being a problem solver – a resourceful attitude is a valuable asset in this field;
Ability to stay composed – no matter what may come;
Relationship-building skills – people skills are as critical in the events industry as breathing; and,
The art of negotiation – haggling with suppliers, researching for options, and hunting down the best in the cheapest lot are few of the many nitty-gritty to name.
Scared? Don’t be. Most of these skills can be developed with experience and under the able guidance of expert event planners.
Not scared? Great! Let’s know how to go about setting up a brand-new events business.
5 Steps To Starting An Event Planning Business UK-wide
Step 1: Define Your Business Plan
The events industry is a diverse field. You have corporate event planners UK–wide, kids party planners UK-wide, and freelance event planner UK–wide. Also, would you like to offer all services, right from conception to execution? Would you instead focus on a few skill-sets only? For instance:
• Venue rentals, event marketing, catering and decoration.
Another aspect to consider is to set a niche. You will find it easy to market yourself, attract customers, and build a robust portfolio with a defined area of expertise. There are four broad categories that events are classified into:
1. Personal events such as weddings, parties, and celebrations;
2. Organisational events such as conferences, exhibitions, charitable events, and political events;
3. Leisure events such as concerts and events; and,
4. Cultural events such as heritage, religious, or ceremonial events.
Pick a niche that you’re already familiar with. If you have a wealth of corporate experience, you will thrive as a conference manager rather than as a music concert planner. As your business grows, you can pick up more specialities along the way.
Step 2: Complete the Legal Formalities
Just like any other business, starting an event planning business UK-wide comes with its own set of legal requirements.
1. Industry regulations – You might want to apply for and obtain a license from your local authority: the type depending on your county or state requirements and on the venues where you will organise your events.
2. Business registration – Starting as a freelance event planner in the UK is the most common. However, if you want to start a limited company, you’ll need to register as a sole trader with the HMRC.
3. Getting insured – As an event planner, you will need public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. If you’re going to hire employees, you will need employers’ liability insurance. A building and contents insurance is required if you keep expensive equipment. Vehicle insurance is a must for vehicles used for transportation.
A good insurance broker is highly recommended to understand the intricacies and finer points in your insurance documents.
Step 3: Develop Your Business Plan
A business plan takes its reader through all aspects of a business – right from how it will run, to how it will progress, and achievement forecasts for the future. Having a business plan in place is critical for potential investors and banks too.
With a business plan, you can break down and plan every milestone with clear deliverable deadlines. You can set up pricing and business model, marketing strategy, and make financial predictions.
Step 4: Promoting And Branding Your Business
With most grunt work done and dusted, its time to show off your business publicly. Traditional techniques such as referrals, word of mouth, and leaflets are highly effective, but you might also want to leverage the digital potential of the internet.
Set up a website and create social media accounts with the name of your company.
A website is going to be your one-stop solution where you can explain everything that you do. You can show off your portfolio, list your pricing, and offer means to get in touch with you. A website is like the holy grail for your business – sooner or later, every business has to come up with one. This is why it is better to have one from the beginning itself.
Social media is the fuel you need to keep your business engine humming. You can get the word out about your business, attract the right audience, and even stand a chance of going viral – without expensive business campaigns.
Step 5: Build Relationships With Suppliers And Vendors
Suppliers are vital cogs in the events ecosystem. Event planning companies UK-wide cannot function without caterers, venue designers, printers, and decorators.
…which is why it is essential to be in their good books.
As a budding business, it might be difficult for you to cultivate new relationships. But over time, if you forge secure connections, conducting a successful event will be a child’s play with great suppliers and efficient vendors.
Starting An Event Planning Business UK-wide: What’s next?
Well, the only thing left to do is landing your first client!
But before you do that, clap for yourself for having come so far. Give yourself credit for becoming a self-sustaining freelance event planner UK-wide or becoming one of the top-rated corporate planners UK-wide. You deserve it.
Good luck – cheers to the eventful (pun intended) future ahead!