An Article by contributor Victoria Hill.
Being a freelance party or event planner may seem like the perfect job. You get to set your own hours, plan exciting events and you aren’t trapped in an office all day long. It has a lot of perks. However, like every job, it also has its drawbacks. What follows is a guide for how to become a party planner while achieving success and staying sane at the same time.
Education Requirements for Becoming a Freelance Party Planner
There are some party planner qualifications. For example, you will likely need to have a bachelor’s degree. Few schools offer programs specifically in event management, which means many event planners have degrees in communications, business or hospitality.
Required Skills for Becoming a Freelance Party Planner
You also need skill and experience in organizing events and parties as well as an outgoing nature. Much of your job will revolve around interacting with other people, including your clients, vendors, entertainers and others who play important roles in the successful execution of a party. This job requires excellent communication and organizational skills. You will also need to learn basic business skills to keep your service running, including accounting and administration.
Setting Up Your Business
As a freelance party planner, you will be essentially running your own business. This requires you to take several considerations into account. Will you need to hire employees now or in the future? Will you need a loan to set up your business? What kind of parties and events will you specialize in? What kind of business plan will you draft? You want to be sure this is the type of business you want to run and that you have sufficient passion for working hard to make your party planning business a success.
Tips for a Freelance Party Planner
The life of a freelance party planner can be incredibly stressful, and as such, some survival tips will be undoubtedly useful.
1. Offer Good Customer Service
Event entertainment relies entirely on good customer service. You want your clients to be happy with the party you throw for them. Happy clients are more likely to recommend you to others and return when they need a party planner for their next event. If something has gone wrong and a client is not happy, do everything in your power to fix the problem. Without learning and practicing good customer service techniques, your freelance party planning business is unlikely to survive, so ensure you and your employees are well-versed in this important skill.
2. Leverage Your Contacts
Although possible, it is unwise to try and start a freelance party planning business without having established contacts or experience working as an event planner first. You will need to leverage contacts in order to get business from clients as well as find qualified contractors, such as florists and entertainers, to do work for your events. You want to gain new contacts at every opportunity, such as at professional networking events. Be sure to tell everyone you know that you now run a party planning business as well so they can spread the word.
3. Have A Niche
The most successful freelancers understand the importance of occupying a niche. For example, you could specialize in planning wedding or birthday parties. Your niche will help you stand out from other party planners and help you build a strong brand that clients will be drawn to. Be sure to choose a niche you are truly interested in as well, or you aren’t likely to feel much passion for your work. Passion is key for putting in the work necessary to survive as a freelance party planner.
4. Understand The Competition
No matter your niche, you will have competitors. Researching the competition can help you set your rates and see what kinds of services they offer, which can help you improve your own business. If you know what your competitors are offering, you can offer something better. Avoid competing on price, however. This strategy tends to backfire because it can make you look inexperienced and keep your income low. Instead, work on creating your added value as a service provider, such as going the extra mile for clients and having additional knowledge your competitors don’t have.
4. Practice Stress Relief Techniques
You will undoubtedly feel stressed at certain times while becoming a party planner full-time. There may be many nights where you work late because of impending deadlines, as well as last minute changes you must deal with. This could be due to a cancellation, an unexpected change in weather and any number of other factors. Bringing in enough work to keep your business afloat and managing it well are also sources of stress. Be sure to practice stress relief techniques such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises that can benefit your physical health and your sanity.
Once you know how to be a party planner, you can make a go of it and work for yourself. With a lot of preparation, hard work and determination, you can become a successful freelance party planner and actually survive. These tips will hopefully help you set up your own party planning business and start bringing in customers.
Victoria Hill has been writing as a ghostwriter ever since she was in college. Her favourite topics are human development, business communication, modern and pop art, minimalism, and self-development. This time, she writes for PeachE, an online platform connecting reputable customers and freelance party planners and entertainers. You can direct message Victoria via her Twitter account.