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EVENT ORGANISERCashzilla’s ‘Turn Your Hobby into a Business’ Series Image by Pink Sherbet
SO YOU WANT TO PLAN EVENTS?You’re the one all of your friends turn to whensomething has to be organised. Be it a birthday party, aholiday or even just a Friday night down the pub,you’re there behind the scenes, making sure thateverything goes down without a hitch.If this sounds like you, then why don’t you put yourorganisational skills to good use and turn your hand toevent planning?This guide will talk you through all you need to knowto get started in the exciting world of eventmanagement…
WHAT DOES THE ROLE INVOLVE?If you think event It can be an excitingplanning is all glamorous career, however stay awayparties and champagne from event organising ifreceptions, think again. you like your 9 to 5,The work of an event because planners workplanner is widely diverse very long and sometimes– you could be organising unsociable hours.a corporate party one day,and getting your handsdirty setting up anexhibition the next. Image by Garry Knight
MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:Some of the day-to-day tasks that an event planner isresponsible for include: Conducting research Creating an event design Finding an event location Arranging for food, decor and entertainment Planning transportation to and from the event Sending invitations to attendees Arranging any necessary accommodation for attendees Coordinating the activities of event personnel Supervising at the event Conducting evaluations of the event
TYPES OF EVENT MANAGEMENTMost people automatically There is always a steady stream ofthink of wedding planners domestic events for event planners to work on. These could includewhen they think of what an surprise parties, important birthdayevent organiser does. However, parties (like an 18th, 21st, 60th etc.),parties and events have become children’s parties, weddings,a big part of modern life, and retirement parties, or engagementwhat’s more, people’s parties.expectations of events are But there is also a lot of money toincreasing. This puts pressure be made from commercial events. Companies need product launcheson individuals to bring in a and shops need opening nights,professional event planner to plus don’t forget about political‘wow’ their guests. events, charity events, and town/city celebrations. There are loads of opportunities out there.
SO HOW DO I GET STARTED?The best asset you can have But there are also lots ofin the events industry is educational courses you can take to learn the trade and prepare yourselfexperience, so if you have for becoming a freelance eventpreviously worked for an planner. Most colleges (and someevents company or in a universities) run event planningrelated industry, like PR or courses which will give you an event planning qualification to addmarketing, then you will be to your CV and impress potentialat an advantage. clients. One of the organisations you will find by searching online is The UK Academy of Wedding and Event Planning, which offers certificates in wedding planning, event planning, and event design.
C L I E N T C O N T R AC T SIf you choose to specialise in It is essential that you discuss thecommercial event management way you charge for your workit is important to create a legal before any work is carried out.contract with your clients. This One method you could use tois to protect your business and charge for your work is a fixed-help deal with problems, should price. This means that you chargethere be any. The contract with a fixed price for a set event projectyour client should set out all the which is agreed with the clientterms and conditions of the job ahead of time, and is irrespectiveand the event details, plus it of how long it takes to completeshould state how and when you the work. However, this could be difficult to determine when youwill be paid. first set up your business and have little experience of working out the overall cost of certain events.
C L I E N T C O N T R AC T SYou could also charge your clientsper hour. This method means it ismuch harder to be under or overpaidfor a project. Charging by the hour If you will be specialising inalso requires you to fill out domestic event management,timesheets, so there needs to be a then your clients will probablyfast and reliable way to transfer prefer to pay you a fixedtimesheets back and forth between amount - perhaps a percentageyourself and the client. One way of of the overall event cost. Youdoing this is by using small business could also create a muchaccounting software which allows shorter and less informalyou to track the time you spend on contract-type document wheneach project and generate flexible working for domestic eventtimesheet reports to pass on to the clients.client.
IN SUMMARY…Don’t be scared to take the plunge into the world ofevent organisation. It’s a fast moving and exciting careerthat is ideal for anyone with strong organisational andnegotiation skills.With careful planning and a strong execution, there isno reason why you can’t become a successful eventplanner, even in this difficult economic climate. Goodluck!