If you’ve ever wanted to break into the event planning industry, it may be easier than you think.
Liz King, the entrepreneur behind Liz King Events, shared some insights about the event planning business in a phone interview with Small Business Trends:
“The great thing about the industry, and I guess the bad thing for some people, is that there’s not a whole lot you have to do to get into it. It’s actually pretty easy. You just have to have a passion for it and put yourself out there.”
What she means by that is that there aren’t any strict education or training requirements to become an event planner. There are a few grad school or online programs available for those who want to learn about the business. But their hardly requirements.
King, in fact, didn’t even realize that event planning was a viable career before she got involved. She was working in an administrative role at Columbia University when she got involved with the school’s events department. She eventually got promoted to a role where she only worked on the school’s events.
Then, three years later, she decided to start her own company. Liz King Events mainly works with startup clients to host and sponsor events.
But she said that it’s important for small event planning companies to diversify. Liz King Events also puts on its own events like its annual event tech conference and showcase, techsytalk LIVE. In addition, the company has sponsors on its website and King takes part in speaking engagements.
Currently, the company has three full time employees including King. But they also employ part-time help for specific events or smaller projects like graphic design.
King said the most difficult aspect about starting her own event planning business has been promoting her services. She does place a lot of emphasis on social media though. In fact, she estimates that about 80% of her clients have come from Twitter or from referrals from people she connects with on Twitter.
She thinks that the reason her company has found success on social media is because they don’t just use it to promote. When she first started using Twitter, King says she didn’t have a company. So she simply connected with others and built a following.
It’s definitely a gradual process. But she says that if you have fun with it and really make connections with people, success will follow. And that’s quite similar to the advice she had for potential event planners in general:
“You have to love it. You can have a lot of fun in this industry if you have a passion for it and good organizational skills. You have to just jump in.”
If you’d like more specific tips either about what goes into event planning in general or simply how to plan and promote an event for your own business or industry, resources are available. See advice from King and others in our article “42 Tips For Producing A Memorable Small Business Event.”