Event management has good scope today because larger numbers of people prefer to outsource the job of arranging their events. From marriages and birthday parties to musical nights, product launches, fashion shows and corporate gatherings, professional event managers are being hired to ensure that the event happens without any problems. The good news for entrepreneurs is that one can start an event management business on a low investment. However, the job is demanding and needs thorough commitment.
The set up An event management business can go great guns once you obtain a solid reputation. You need to get the initial set up right.
Event management requires multiple skills. The most important skill you need is creativity. You need to ensure that you handle every event uniquely. This builds a good reputation for your business. Moreover, creativity helps you reduce costs because you can come up with innovative ways of optimising on available resources.
You need to be a good communicator and negotiator so that you can convince prospective clients to hire you. You also need excellent communication skills to negotiate with seasoned vendors.
An eye for detail is extremely crucial in event management since everything needs to be perfect. Anything less than meticulous can hamper the image of your business and you could lose clients. You need to have a drive for perfection and precision.
When you are in a business such as event management, your troubleshooting skills are tested repeatedly. Numerous things can go wrong before, during or after an event. In times of emergency, you need to act quickly and find a solution so as to prevent disasters at the time of the event. So, problem solving skills are imperative when you set up an event management business.
You need to have very strong mathematical, observational and analytical skills. Mathematical skills are necessary because you need to draw up estimates for every event. Linear programming skills can be extremely useful. Linear programming is the process of determining how to maximise or minimise use of resources so as to bring out the best output.
You need to have sharp analytical abilities because market research and analysis is an important part of event management business. You need to analyse the market and identify leading trends so that you can incorporate them into the events you manage. Since the industry is highly competitive, you cannot afford not to explore and understand the market conditions.
You also need strong analytical abilities for SWOT analysis. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You need a very clear idea on these aspects to reinforce the success of your business.
As a business owner, you need strong skills in management, leadership, coordination, planning and execution.
Finally, you need to understand that event management is an extremely demanding business and requires physical as well as mental effort. You need to be on your toes all the time getting things done meticulously.
Decide your niche:
There are different kinds of events such as weddings, corporate functions, meetings, sports meets, birthdays and anniversaries and cultural shows. You can either choose to be a generic provider who handles any kind of event or a specialised business who handles events of specific genres.
Some kinds of events are more demanding than others and require a lot of experience for meticulous management. If you are on a limited budget, begin handling small parties. You can scale the scope of your business gradually.
You cannot do without a portfolio. Since you are starting out, your experience is fairly low, especially if you have not interned under an established event management company.
To negate speculations that arise due to lack of experience, you need to build a folder containing different themes, ideas and execution strategies. Spend time on the web browsing websites of different event management companies from around the world. Do not copy their ideas, but use them as inspirations.
Develop your own themes and create a portfolio.To establish your professionalism, hire an affordable graphic designer and digitise your portfolio. When you meet prospective clients, you can give a live demo of your expertise.
Build a team:
Event management includes numerous arrangements such as lighting, stage decoration, flower, security and several others. So, you need a team. Initially, since you will not have a continuous flow of assignments, you can hire part time workers and pay them per project. This will save you money while ensuring that you have workforce when you need it.
You need to pay a lot of attention to hiring creative talent. In a business such as event management, creativity decides your success or failure. So, you need creative people on your team. You will have to work out legal details, terms and conditions when you hire people. Consult a lawyer for more details about legal aspects as well as other requirements such as minimum wage limits, employee insurance and other benefits that you need to provide the people you hire.
Build a network of vendors and suppliers:
You need to work out contracts with different vendors and suppliers. Chalk out a list of different vendors and suppliers you need. Your list should include suppliers of flowers, sound systems, decoration material, food, beverages and lighting arrangements.
You might also need LCD screens, projectors, 3D displays, interactive whiteboards, holographic displays and other electronic equipment depending on the kind of event you organise. Security is another very important thing that you might have to arrange.
After you register your business, meet different vendors and security agencies. The benefit of meeting them after registration is that they take you more seriously. You can work out terms such as costs and commissions more professionally.
Additionally, find a few other vendors and keep them for contingency situations. This can be a business saver if your main vendor defaults at the last moment. In such situations, you should not be forced to search for an alternate vendor. You should know who to contact. You don’t have to sign any sort of prior contracts with these vendors. Just make sure that you keep track of their work regularly.
A simple online presence:
Set up a simple website. Platforms like Wordpress are cost effective and offer numerous features for customisation. Upload your ideas on to the site. Once your site has some strong content, you can market it online targeting local audience in your city.
These days, more and more people have begun looking for service providers online. A website can reinforce your professionalism. If you are hard pressed for money, you could begin with a simple blog.
Learn about permits:
Before you enter the event organisation arena, you need to know about permits. When you organise and manage an event, you need permissions for numerous things from the municipal department of your city. For example, you need to obtain permissions for arranging high power sound systems. If you organise an event in a public park or playground, you need to obtain the necessary permits.
Spend a lot of time setting your initial budget. This includes cost of setting up premises, hiring staff, transportation, licensing costs and other operational expenses such as stationery (eg: visiting cards and brochures), monthly bills and advertising.
You can apply for business loans or find investors for funding your business. Make sure that you understand all terms and conditions thoroughly before taking the loan.
Decide your fees:
The fees you charge should cover your operational expenses and give you a profit margin. You can adopt different ways of charging fees – hourly rates, flat fees or a percentage of the total expense incurred during the event. Besides, you also receive income from commissions from vendors. Check how your competitors charge fees.
You need professional liability insurance and employees insurance to cover any damage that you might cause to your clients or injuries that your workers sustain while managing the event.
Draw up your business terms: Visit a legal expert to prepare a document outlining the terms and conditions of your business.
Promote your business without much investment The easiest and the most cost effective way of promoting your business is through word of mouth. The first few events you handle make a lot of difference. Use your personal contacts initially because it is very unlikely that you’ll get an order from an unknown party.
You first need to build a reputation and portfolio. So, find events within your circle of friends and family and give it your best. Advertise your business at these events and increase awareness.
You should also allot some money for distributing pamphlets, putting up posters and banners. To save money, select potential areas in your city and advertise at the right time. For instance, kick start your advertising campaign a few weeks before the wedding season begins.
You can also work out a commission deal with vendors and supplies and use them as your brand ambassadors.
Online advertising is an excellent way to promote your business. Set up a Facebook page and Twitter account. Identify communities of people in your area and advertise your business in these places.
Register on Google Places and optimise your presence on it so that your business shows up when target customers look for event management companies in your city. Choose geo-targeted keywords and other optimisation means to boost sales.
Offer attractive discounts and special offers to attract clientele.
Registering your business You can register your business as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company or partnership firm. If you are going into business on your own, you can register as a sole proprietorship. This means that you are the single owner of the event management business and are solely responsible for profits, losses and liabilities.
If two or more people start the business together, you need to register as a partnership firm. Indian Partnership Act 1932 governs registration of a business as a partnership. In these businesses, all partners are responsible for profits, losses and liabilities depending on the percentage of their partnership.
Registering as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is more complicated. You need to make an initial payment of Rs. 35000 to register as a LLP. Your firm is registered within two to four weeks. Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008 governs registration of LLPs in India. Indian Partnership Act 1932 is not applicable. The advantage of registering as a LLP is that you receive some protection against business liabilities as well as some tax benefits.
Whatever the kind of business, you need to register under Registrar of Companies. You need to apply for a DIN (Director Identification Number), which is an identification number for the company’s director.
Additionally, you need to get the name of your event management business approved. If there are other businesses already registered under the name you choose, you need to select a different name. On approval of the name, you need to submit an incorporation form, after which, your business is registered.
Before you begin a business, you need to obtain PAN (Permanent Account Number), VAT (Value Added Tax) number and TAN (Tax Deductible and Collection Account Number). These are issued by the income tax department.
Obtain some experience before launching your ventureEvent management is a complicated business. To learn the ropes work as an intern with a good event management company for at least six months to one year. The experience can teach you priceless details about event organisation and instil self confidence in you.
Things to keep in mind •Your reputation drives your business
•Logistics take up a lot of costs and time. So, make sure you plan well
•Put in a lot of effort into understanding the character of each event because each of them is different and require special arrangements
•Note down all client requirements in order to avoid missing out on details
•Discuss budgets before you begin organising an event
•Make sure to obtain all licenses
•Do not compromise on the quality of work because it can affect your reputation
Event management business is very lucrative. Just make sure that you get the beginning right and maintain your reputation.
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