Event Planning Business 101 Guide: All You Need To Know Before Starting Your Event Planning Business

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Event Planning Business

Do you find yourself happy amid beautiful gatherings, parties, events, and banquets? If yes, you can start your business as an event planner. Currently, it’s a $6.9 billion industry that employs more than 114K people in the USA alone. In fact, there are 90000+ event planners working to arrange different types of parties and events.  

Although it’s an interesting task when you look at the amusement side of things, planning events isn’t easy. Management itself is a difficult task, and you need experience in the field before you start anything similar. But, with our helpful guides on Small Business Journal, the hefts should be a lot less than you might think of. Here’s a complete event planning industry guide to help you understand whether this is the right business for you to start. So, let’s continue.  

Pros & cons 

Pros & cons
ProsCons 
It’s an exciting business idea. Event planners arrange different types of events every time. Every event is a new experience.  The startup cost is really low. There’s a potential for generating a high profit business.  After work hours – you’ll have busy weekends.  The market is volatile and is related to several external factors.  It’s a high stress business with the pressure from clients, problems managing people, and budget constraints.  

Industry_ Event Planning Industry Size & Trends

To start, when you pronounce the word event planning, know there are different types of events for you to plan. The type of events that you plan decides the part of the event planning market you are working under. For example, there are corporate events, events launched by the government, and private events. The planning industry thrives in all these vast buckets.  

You can find yourself arranging corporate events like conferences, annual ceremonies, product launch events, etc. Or you can also work to plan weddings, birthday parties, etc.; here, let’s take a look at the industry and its size – 

Industry Overview: Event Planning In Recent Times 

Event planning is a fairly rewarding business idea unless interrupted by unforeseeable events like the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic put a straight ‘no’ to all the couples willing to get married during the span. It was a moment of economic volatility, and the event planners were just ‘Surviving,’ to say the least. 

Industry Overview_ Event Planning in Recent Times

But, as the quarantines were eased up a little bit, and the social distancing paid some amount of relief, couples who postponed their marriage were ready to tie the knot. Also, the past few years helped U.S. citizens gather some disposable money. So, private gatherings like marriage and big birthday parties weren’t difficult to spend on. As a result, the U.S. event planners did see some spike in their business.  

Since there are frequent headwinds like the pandemic, parties, and event planning, businesses see limited growth. But it’s a sustainable business since parties, weddings, and birthdays aren’t going out of fashion. Also, metropolitan areas will always have an abundant number of corporate events.  

Industry Size And Growth 

Industry Size and Growth

Size: The current size of the event planning industry is $6.9 billion, according to trusted sources like IBISWorld. It was a 0.84% decrease from 2023. However, the market size is projected to have significant growth over the next five years.  

Growth: corporate events have a large share in the event planning market. The current forecast of corporate profit in the USA suggests that businesses will see a revenue surge and will have more money to spend on events. This growth forecast justifies why this is a good business idea for many solopreneurs in the USA. 

Number of Businesses: Event planning as a business has been popular for years. In fact, there are 94293 businesses that plan different types of events in the USA. Yes, these businesses are fragmented in nature, and the revenue potential isn’t the same for every state. The income ranges of the customers and the demand for event planners vary across states, both playing crucial roles in shaping the number of businesses that succeeded.  

Employment: the event planning industry employs 114000 people in the USA.  

Trends & Challenges

Some common trends in the industry currently include the growing need for virtual events. This started around 2020 and has been popular ever since. Even in-person events also added social distance seating, use of masks, and ventilation to the mix.  

Event planners are finding themselves planning smaller events throughout the year instead of only working on the annual events. This is quite new in the corporate sector, and corporate event planners are busy yearlong.  

Event Planning Challenges: 

With virtual events, event planners have to be quite tech-savvy. They have to ensure that the participants aren’t getting bored with the entire arrangement.  

Compared to other industries, the event planning industry has a fluctuating nature. Economic uncertainty is an issue to be kept in mind. But here are some common challenges novice event planners face in – 

  1. Most new event planners are understaffed. It requires a clear understanding of the nature of the event one is organizing to get the right number of staff ready at the right time. Also, event planners should have specific roles for staff who work through different planning steps.  
  2. Big events come with the challenges of overspending. This way, planners tend to lose their profit margin by a massive percentage.  
  3. Every event gives the planner the opportunity to find their next big gig. However, new planners often miss the opportunity to network and don’t get the correct event planning. 
  4. New event planners lack real-world experience. Without proper experience, it’s impossible to provide the best services to clients. This can result in a decrease in the number of new clients. 
  5. Planners must have a structured event management process to manage an event properly. Lack of this can cause huge challenges for planners.  

          Who Is Working In This Industry? 

          Who is Working in this Industry

          Event planners are usually female entrepreneurs in the USA. Studies suggest that 85% of event planners are women, and the rest are men. Also, three event planners among 4 have a bachelor’s degree in business, management, or communication. Also, these individuals are around 40 years old.  

          Startup Cost: How Much Does It Cost To Start An Event Planning Business? 

          Part of the reason that the event planning business is a lucrative opportunity is the low start-up cost it requires. You can start an event planning business within a budget of $2000 to $7000. The majority of your budget is spent on website setup and virtual and hybrid event management software. Also, the initial budget for marketing your business is also a seemingly sizable investment.  

          Startup Cost_ How much does it Cost to Start an Event Planning Business_
          Start up cost Ballpark range 
          Naming & Incorporation $150 to $200 
          Licences & Permits $100 to $300 
          Insurance $100 to $300 
          Business Cards & Brochures  $200 to $300 
          Website Setup  $1000 to $3000 
          Event Software $0 to $2000 
          Initial Marketing Budget $500 to $1000 
          Total  $2050 to $7100 

          Earning Potential: How Much Can You Earn From An Event Planning Business? 

          Now, coming to the main part of the business. You are starting a business, and one of the most important motives behind it is to earn a decent amount. So, what is the earning potential of this business? 

          Event planners charge their clients based on different parameters. They can charge their clients on a percentage basis, where the clients pay 15% to 20% of the total cost of the event. They also charge their clients based on hours, where each hour of the event might cost them around $100 to $150.  

          Earning Potential_ How much can You Earn from an Event Planning Business_

          An average event usually costs around $20000, and you can charge your client 20% of the cost. Also, if you are hiring assistants to work on the project, you can have a profit margin of around 70%. 

          So, what will a career in event planning look like for you? Here’s something – you can expect to arrange close to 25 events every year. If you manage to work on two events every month, then it’s a possibility. This way, you’ll earn close to  $100,000 in revenue every year. If your profit margin is 70%, it will make your entire profit $70000 in a year.  

          Now, that’s no place to stop. Your income as an event planner can also go up. Once you work on different projects, your business starts to get recognized. Better branding can even help you gain close to 100 hundred events every year. But, with more events, you’ll have to handle more staff. Additional staff will take a substantial amount of your earnings, reducing your profit margin down to 40%. So, this means if your annual revenue is close to  $400,000, you’ll earn  $160,000. It’s a decent earning for a small business.  

          Entry Barrier: What Barriers To Entry Are There?  

          There are some entry barriers if you are thinking of starting an event planning business. The first one is benign heavy competition from over 90000 event planners already actively working in the USA. Some of them are also large companies, including big hotels.

          This is where you have to think of a specific type of target customer in the market and slowly take your share in the market. Whichever part of the market you choose, you’ll need efficient skills to compete with the established businesses. 

          Event Planning Opportunities: Who Are Your Potential Customers? 

          Event Planning Opportunities_ Who are your Potential Customers_

          As an event planner, you can expect to work with different types of customers. You can work with corporations and families arranging weddings, birthdays, and nonprofit organizations. Your services will include handling the logistics, carrying all the equipment to the designated place, and setting up the event. Some event planners also only do the planning and the scheduling for an event. If you are living in a metropolitan area with a good network of corporations and business professionals, you can set your business as a corporate event planning business. Here are some common event-planning businesses you can get into – 

          • Corporate event planning 
          • Wedding planning 
          • Bachelor party planning 
          • Festival, concert planning 
          • Social event planning 
          • Seminar & concert planning 
          • Nonprofit event planning 
          • Destination event planning 
          • Virtual event planning 
          • Exhibition and trade show planning 

          Frequently Asked Questions 

          Here are some common queries regarding event planning business –  

          1. What are the 5 Ps of Event Planning?

          Event planners follow the method of the 5 Ps of planning for a successful event plan. Here are the 5 Ps. Plan, Partner, Place, Practice, and Permission.

          2. What is an Event Budget? 

          An event budget is an estimate of the cost involved in arranging and functioning an event. Budgeting is a way of determining the economic viability of an event. It’s important to have an event budget to ensure that the event is happening within proper financial constraints. 

          3. What is the Maximum Salary for an Event Planner?

          Event planners usually earn around $ 40 K to $ 168 K while running their event planning business in the USA. The earning potential can vary across different states. It’s based on the type of clients a planner is working with and their budget for an event.  

          Conclusion 

          It can be an exhilarating experience to start, build, and grow your event planning business. However, you must ensure that this is the right business idea for you to choose a new long-term earning opportunity. It’s important to run thorough and minute market research before you are sure about an opportunity in this industry. Also, initially, you are likely to be understaffed, and you’ll need your own skills to grow the business. Consider both your passion and the data you have at hand after thorough research before starting a business as an event planner.  

          Hopefully, this article was of value. Do share your insight with us through the comment section below. Thank you for reading.

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