There is no time like the present to start your event management business.
Your passion for event planning may have started in high school when you planned out the snacks for everyone’s role for study sessions. Or maybe it started in college when you organized an annual day party.
But all you know is you have the itch to start an event management business.
How would you go from only thinking about it to running a business?
There are several steps that you would need to take to start your business. Before you start getting your customers, you need to do some preparation work.
But, first, let’s take a look at why you need to start your event planning business from social media platforms.
Social Media Matters!
There is always so much happening with social media. As these platforms rapidly grow and evolve, it has become increasingly difficult for an average individual to wrap their head around social media (1).
The event industry has always been social by nature, establishing personal connections at live events, understanding a client’s objective, or negotiating business deals. It is an innate part of the business.
However, channels via which these social interactions take place are fundamentally changing.
It has become a perfect social media platform for people who like to attend conferences. It offers networking opportunities and educational content, two primary components that lure people to events and make them successful (2).
Most attendees use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Starting and promoting your events and company on social media is an excellent way to drive traffic.
One of the most favorable elements of a social media-based event management company is that users self-select their interests. They can do it via LinkedIn group discussions, become fans of brands and pages on Facebook, tweet about topics, and share content that they find interesting.
Your presence across social media can shape the reputation and success of your business (3).
Social media is not a future trend that is months out; it impacts the industry in important ways right now!
Why You Should Start an Event Management Business from Social Media Platforms
Starting your business from social media platforms allows you to work from your home or anywhere. Here are some perks (4).
An event manager can work from almost anywhere if you have an internet connection, a laptop, and a mobile phone. The most essential is your personality and event planning skills.
You can start by working from home to keep your costs low as office space can be a huge outgoing for a new business. Moreover, you may not want to be tied into a long-term rental contract.
Starting from home also allows a new company the best possible start during those critical early months.
Say Goodbye to Work Commute!
Shuttling to work each day can be stressful in terms of both travel expenses and time. It is a part of the day that can give you dread. However, by working from home, you can not only save on your monthly travel outlay, but you can also remove the big city temptations such as coffee on the go that can easily fritter away your money. More importantly, it allows you to be more time rich.
If your daily rush-hour commute was an hour each, it offers you the chance to extend your working day productivity by two whole hours, if you wish to, in a blink of an eye!
One of the most notable bonuses of having a social media business is the productivity element. As event deadlines get close, hours often get long for an event manager. It is prized to feel safe in your working area and keep working as long as you need.
How to Start Your Event Management Business
Establish your expertise
If you wish that your potential clients trust you with their events, you will need to show them that you know what you are doing (5).
Apart from an undergraduate hospitality degree, you can enroll in several certification programs that would help you bulk up your expertise and let people know that they are in knowledgeable hands.
Writing an effective business plan
Your business plan will essentially establish your business goals and your strategies moving forward.
Having a business plan would not only help you organize and layout the success of your business, but it can also be a robust tool to present to the outside world like potential investors who would be curious about your strategies (6).
Here is what you can include in your business plan:
- An executive summary
- The overview of your company
- Industry analysis
- Customer analysis
- Breakdown of your competitors
- Marketing plan
- Operation plan
- Finance and management plan
You will also need to create an appendix for all your supporting documents, contracts, resumes, leases, trademarks, marketing materials, etc.
In your company overview, you will need to firmly establish what type of events you are focusing on planning. While you won’t need to stick with that event type forever, it is important to start with a single effort. You can dedicate yourself to the full extent of your expertise and resources to work towards your goal and slowly expand from there.
Focusing on a niche event will also offer you a much clearer idea of your target customers, which can help you in several sections of your business plan (7).
Starting an event management business via social media only takes about 2k to 3k USD to get it off the ground. After that, there will be recurring charges that you would need to factor in your budget since you will not be profitable right away.
There are some ways you can secure startup capital.
- Bank loans
- Friends and family
You can also use a crowdfunding platform to secure that money.
Software investment to effectively run your business
There are a baffling number of softwares that you can use to run your business (8).
Below is a list of core software types and why you may want to invest in them.
- To manage projects, workflow, and tasks.
- To interact with your clients; lead Management, email marketing, customer relationship management, social media marketing, and marketing automation software
- To keep your information secure; cloud security, network security, and email security.
- To keep your operation smooth, billing and invoicing, budgeting, and collaboration software.
- To improve attendee experience at your events; mobile event apps, venue management, and conference – be sure to enable it with registration capabilities.
Legal and tax requirements
You will need to put an effort at the beginning to make sure that your event management business is legally running to reduce the amount of paperwork and potential legal fees later.
The initial big step is registering your business with the local government. You will also need to figure out which permits and licenses you need to run your business smoothly.
Lastly, you will also need to ensure that you are secured with necessary insurance in case of an accident to you, your business, or your team.
Establishing Your Marketing Campaign
You will need customers and business partners for your business to be truly successful.
Market Your Business to Customers
While researching your business plan, you will also figure out who your target customers are. And after setting up everything, it is time to reach out to them. Use multiple social media platforms, and email marketing campaigns.
Make sure you mainly focus on those platforms which are highly impactful for your target customer group. You can achieve it via testing out a wide group of channels and witnessing which gets the most engagement. You can also use social media segmentation to streamline the process.
For example, if you plan to pop up food experiences, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram would be excellent channels. On the other hand, if you plan for software showcases, email marketing and LinkedIn can be a better play.
Try to adapt to the most impactful marketing strategy possible, and you will start getting leads in no time.
Marketing Business to Potential Partners
While you may base your entire business on social media, you need to build your network of venues, vendors, and other industry experts whose services you may need.
After establishing the type of even you want your business to focus on, think of every facet of a possible event. Then, look at a list of local vendors that can cater to those categories. Whether it is A/V equipment, security, or catering, you need to know who you can turn to for your events.
Why are Social Media Event Planners in Excellent Position?
Aside from the general presence boost, a social media-based event management business have several benefits:
- You can market events themselves to a huge audience
- If when your events are not active, you can still market your products and services
- Allows you to establish your business as an industry leader
- Allow you to keep a constant communication channel between you and your clients
- A visibly active and large following makes you an attractive partnership option for major venues and brands
Moreover, it also allows you to leverage each social media platform’s strengths.
Whether it is LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter, each of these platforms is powerhouses for event companies in their specific strengths and particular audience preferences (9).
Now, let’s see how you can get the most out of each (10).
Even though several new social media platforms have popped up in recent years, Facebook is still a behemoth. Facebook business pages, contests, and professional groups can be powerful extensions for your event management business (11).
Use your Facebook Page to make inquiries and bookings.
Instead of merely offering your phone number, Facebook allows businesses to add Learn More and Book Now buttons. It also displays their profile. It makes it easy and removes extra steps for busy potential clients, and positions your business conveniently.
While people love to get their answers fast, they also hate reading through long texts to get the info they are looking for.
Instead of offering the same queries over and over, you can set up a chatbot assistant to answer your most frequently asked questions such as rates, opening hours, and availability.
Show off your glowing testimonials
Testimonials are the most robust form of social proof, and Facebook knows it well. It displays them prominently on your business page, making it easy for your users to rate your business and leave comments. Companies that offer great service can expect a glowing return on their review page.
Even though LinkedIn has come a long way from its days as a job-seeking platform, it is still the most suit and tie of all social media platforms.
The excellent way to get the momentum of your posts here is not by straightforwardly promoting your products or even high-quality and aesthetically appealing images. Rather, people here are discussing their issues at work and how they affect them.
We can consider LinkedIn as a relaxed networking place at a conference (12).
Instead, talk about how your events can help level up their professional career, what you can do to help them further their work-life, talk about your struggles at promoting your business, getting clients, or how others can do better their business.
Instagram is hot these days, and for good reasons! It is a highly visual platform and increasingly becoming more robust for business with its tools and more business and people using it to interact with each other. The platform has quickly emerged as an extension of any online business presence (13).
Post live streams, updates, and behind-the-scenes photos
It is common for customers to covet a little virtue from their businesses (14). A peek at life behind the business doors adds charm and personality and draws customers you may get along with personally!
The most incredible thing about live streams is that their low cost and mobile phone look can become a part of the appeal. For most videos, you may need an expensive camera. However, with a live stream, the authenticity allows you to snap it from your phone camera.
However, if you are live streaming your conference, it is good to invest in a high-quality phone camera, a camera stand, and some good lighting.
For instance, check out the District Event Planning post, where they share a little love for their vendors. In short, burst with positivity and make your clients feel like they have seen a bit of what may go into making an event if they ever work with you.
How-to Content Posts
The best way to show your potential client you can do something is by showing them you can do it!
Post mini-tutorials on your social media platforms to foster goodwill in your professional community and build your credibility. Moreover, posting them will also show that you know your business inside out.
For instance, Calla Creations dedicated a full month to posting advice about the details of planning a successful event, which included everything from the vendors to the guestlist on Instagram.
While each social media platform has some unique features and needs, some things work across all of them.
Here are things you can do, regardless of the medium.
Promote Your Creativity and Events
Such posts let your clients and attendees know how great your events are, showing off photos, guest testimonials, decor images, live-action shots, and offering potential clients an idea of your creativity, style, range, and inspiration for their events.
Host Giveaways and Contents
One of the most effective ways and most varied social media contests are ways to your clients’ hearts. And a business can have a variety of options for the kind of contest they feel best suits their personality and goals. On Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, caption contests, vote-to-win, sweepstakes, tag-a-friend, number of likes (15).
The effort and time you spend on running a successful social media contest can pay back in several ways:
- It can increase your number of leads and followers
- Offer user-generated content
- Drive traffic to your website
- Elevate your brand’s profile
Social media platforms can be a powerful tool to start your event management business. Hee is some tips for each platform:
- Get a chatbot assistant
- Use your page to make inquiries and bookings
- Post live streams, updates, and behind-the-scenes photos
- Show glowing testimonials
- Post-How-to content
- Host giveaways and contests