Party Planning 101

Put your party experience to good use by planning, designing and throwing events for private and corporate clients.

What Type of Experience do you need to become a Party Planner?

Get as much experience as you can, in any and all event forms, from floristry, catering, awards, celebrations and everything in-between. Learn about the available party venues and locations in your town. If this means you need to volunteer your time at no fee, do so as this is the best investment you will ever make. If fortune favours you, work for a credible and experienced event planner or agencies. In the beginning I took a position at a venue conglomerate, half way through my career I took work at a caterer and then a global agency and recently at a well known hospitality chain. In short, how much you know and can action with confidence will get you more clients #FACT. This is a strict case of More is More. The more you know in every facet of events, the more you can do, manage and charge for your services.

Broadly speaking, there are two markets for event planning services: corporate and social. The term “corporate” includes not only companies but also charities and nonprofit organizations. Charities and nonprofit organizations host gala fundraisers, receptions and athletic competitions, among other events, to expand their public support base and raise funds. Thousands of these events occur each year, and although the large ones require specialized event planning experience, you may find smaller local events to start out with.

How do you find clients?

This question has a simple answer: Individuals often find they lack the expertise and time to plan events themselves. Independent planners can step in and give these special events the attention they deserve.

In party planning it is both what you know (see above) AND who you know. Some important acronyms I live by and swear by:

ABN = Always Be Networking.
You are a Party Planning squirrel and every contact number, name and email address is a nut that you will need later.

AFU = Always Follow Up.
It is easy to collect cards and drop them in your drawer or add them to your phone contacts but it’s best to follow up as soon as possible.

When you send the follow up make sure all your services are included in your email signature, however try and remember the Japanese and always give something before asking. Be of use and then others will find a use for you, has been my experience. I also then link in with them on LinkedIn and again mention where we met, what I do, and offer to be of some use in the future. My secret is: I mean it. I am not soliciting here, I am honestly hoping to help.

Also get a good group of suppliers, vendors and staff who trust you and are loyal to you as they will often recommend party planners to their clients. Most big name clients want to work with a group who get on, so this makes the decision making a lot easier.






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