How to Start an Event Planning Business in Nigeria

If you’re going to make a business out of creating orderly and memorable events for other people, this article will serve as a guide on how to start.

What is Event Planning?

Event management is the application of project management to the creation and development of small and/or large-scale personal or corporate events such as festivals, conferences, ceremonies, weddings, formal parties, concerts, or conventions. It involves studying the brand, identifying its target audience, devising the event concept, and coordinating the technical aspects before actually launching the event.

The events industry now includes events of all sizes from the marriages, birthdays, celebration of lives down to business breakfast meetings. Many industries, celebrities, charitable organizations, and interest groups hold events in order to market their label, build business relationships, raise money, or celebrate achievement.

Event planning isn’t entirely a thankless business, but it does require an appreciation of the beauty of proper organization and aesthetic brilliance for their own sake.

How to Start an Event Planning Business in Nigeria

The ideal business planner should be able to do these things:

Organize

Being able to see the big picture and fix it by attending to details.

Manage time

Events are time bound, as is the period between your being hired to make them happen and when they do happen. Event planners should be able to recognize the worth if scarce time and work with it effectively.

Communicate

Verbal and written communication skills are important too. You’ll need this to pass on information in ways that make your messages clearly understood by everyone involved in the event planning process.

Manage people

Your relational skills will have to extend beyond knowing how to speak or write to understanding people as individuals. Humans aren’t just logical beings; they’re also about sentiments and preconceived ideas. Take this into account, and make it clear in your communication with them that you appreciate their aims and preference.

Steps to consider when starting an event planning business

Get Experience

Work for a reputable event planning business. You can take 6 months to one year to learn the intricacies of the business. Because as an event manager, you ought to have a good knowledge in everything related to event management; event decoration; sound management; catering; security,e.t.c. Getting certified and learning an additional skill like event decoration is a plus for you.

Set-up Service Supply Partnerships

Forge partnerships with all service providers in the event industry. These service providers include decorators, DJs, caterers, MCs, furniture /car rentals, event places /hotels, photographers, escort/ushering services etc. Enter into long term business partnerships with these service providers so that in exchange for regular business you bring to them, they will give you price discounts, thereby helping you keep expenses low because without them, you have no event services business, unless you plan to incorporate all these services as you start your event planning business.

Determine Your Event Planning Niche

As there are various kinds of events (e.g. carnivals, weddings, shows, corporate events, seminars, fairs, exhibitions, birthdays, festivals, burials etc) decide on the kind of events your business will handle for a start. Do not think you will be able to organize all types of events because their planning and execution differ immensely. Start with handling one or two types of events and grow from there.

Hire and Train Staff

At the early stages of your event planning business you can multi task. As business grows you can employ key people with relevant job descriptions. You can employ another experienced event manager, an accountant and marketing personnel. Then as business keeps expanding, you employ more hands. Always employ people when there is a real need for them. And also make sure employees receive proper training.

Start- up Finance

With the exception of the cost of registering your event business with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria you will need relatively low capital to run your business. This is because at the early stages you can start your event services from your home. This will help you save money on additional office rent and other bills.

If you properly negotiate with your employees and key service providers, you can pay them as your client pays you.  You can even get your clients pay some percentage upfront and then use the money to do the job. When the client pays the balance, you pay up everyone.

The best way to promote your new business is by “word of mouth” publicity. Get your clients to refer their friends to you. Also encourage your event service provider partners to recommend you to their clients. However, this will happen only when your work is good. You can also advertise by sharing flyers and business cards. You can also put an ad in your local newspaper, radio and TV. Try social networks too.

Conclusion

The event planning business is probably not for the faint of heart. This business requires the ability to perform well under stress, to balance multiple demands, to be creative and flexible in stressful situations, and to network extensively. Event planning will also likely involve long and irregular hours. However, event planning can be a profitable and fun home-based business for the right person.

Fisayo James
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