Nothing beats a good party. A well-planned party can be unforgettable for all the right reasons. If you love trying to throw the perfect party, becoming a party planner could be the career you never realized you always wanted. Party planning is a job that is accessible to almost anyone interested in pursuing it.
One of the great things about party planning is that unlike many other jobs that most people can do, there is a very high opportunity to turn this job into a rewarding career that you’ll love. Depending on how comfortable you feel in your abilities when starting out, the financial situation you are in, and the opportunities available to you, you can either start working for a party planning company or start a company that is all your own.
Practice Makes Perfect
There are many options for how you can dip your feet into the water of event planning to see if it is right for you. One great option that you can do on your own schedule as you work around other obligations that you may have, is to practice throwing parties for your friends and family. When you have a free weekend, plan a party but view it like you would if you were being paid to throw it.
It doesn’t matter what kind of party you are planning. It can be a dinner party, a game night, or a rager. Generally, all of these parties can be thrown with careful planning or slapped together.
However, you will want to take the carefully planned approach when practicing to become a party planner. Carefully think out the menu and focus on the presentation. Send out invitations even if everyone already knows they are invited. Make sure that activities are planned in a way that makes the party roll smoothly from one portion of the evening to another. Create a theme for your party and decorate accordingly.
Remember to consider the type of party you are planning. How rigidly or loosely you will want to structure the evening will depend on the vibe you are trying to cultivate. You can even have your friends fill out comment cards to rate the evening and provide you with constructive criticism.
Volunteering can be another great way to get the practice you need. You can volunteer to throw an event yourself or volunteer to help with an organization. Your friends and family will likely be very grateful to have someone throw their kids birthday parties, so they don’t have to worry about it. Many organizations accept voluntary help for events. Festivals are often looking for volunteers, and you usually get to enjoy the festival for free when not working.
Take a Course
You can also take a more structured approach, to learn how to plan an event by signing up for party planning classes. There is a wide range of classes available, from single-session crash courses to long in-depth study and training. These classes can help anyone looking to get into party planning, whether you are hoping to plan festivals, weddings, corporate events, or bachelor/bachelorette parties.
Some in-depth classes will take you beyond the pure planning of events to the business side of things. They will go over things like how to deal with the billing of clients, how to negotiate with vendors, and the necessity of things like wedding insurance.
Figure Out What Type of Events Are Right for You
While it is possible to be in the business of all-purpose event planning, unless your company is quite large, you will most likely want to focus on a specific type of event as you build your personal brand. If you are starting your own business, you may take any sort of party that people are willing to hire you for at first. However, the earlier you can start focusing on a specific party type, the better.
By developing expertise in a specific area, you can start focusing your advertising in that direction and become one of the top choices for that event type in your area. Being an all-purpose event planner as a small company is going to leave you far down the list for any specific event. However, by focusing on one event type, you can be one of the top choices in the field.
When determining what to specialize in, you will want to primarily look at two things.
The first thing is the types of events you are best suited to throw. This is a combination of your personal skillset and what types of events you enjoy. If you are more structure-oriented, then corporate events might be your thing. If you are more fluid and flexible, you might be more suited to birthday parties.
The other thing is to figure out where there is a hole in the market. You don’t want to try to squeeze into an area that is already overserviced in your area. You want to find where the supply is not meeting the demand and focus your attention there.
Create a Website
If you are building your own event planning business, one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of success is to create a professional-looking, well-functioning website. Word of mouth can really help a party planning company get work and grow. However, if potential customers are unable to find you online, they are likely to turn to another provider of party planning services.