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Guide to become Children’s Event Organizer with little investment for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Plan and manage personal events such as a child’s birthday party, a special
occasion such as an anniversary, graduation celebration, adult’s birthday,
retirement party, or reunion.
• Plan and manage business events such as cocktail parties, product introductions,
fund-raisers, open houses, retirement parties, and holiday parties.
• Design an event that meets your client’s needs, wishes, and budget.
• Develop a network of reliable and professional service providers such as
caterers, servers, bartenders, entertainers, and setup and cleanup crews
• Stay abreast of appropriate locations for events that will be held outside of
your client’s residence or place of business.
• Write an inclusive contract for your services that properly spells out all that
you will provide.
• Budget accurately and maintain records for proper billing.
The Need
A truly successful social event doesn’t happen by accident. We’re not talking
about inviting a few of your best friends over for pizza and beer to watch the Red
Sox break the curse of the Bambino. A party planner has the creativity, the sense
of organization, and the contacts to put together dozens of details, from location
to theme to food and drink to entertainment . . . and even the morning after the
night before.
Here are just three of many reasons party planners are needed:
1. Putting on a good party requires creativity, and many people are willing
to pay for good help.
2. Planning and putting on a party requires a great deal of time and effort,
and individuals and companies may not be able to do it themselves.
3. Many people are not comfortable with all of the details that may go into
mounting a successful event.
You’ll probably know that this is the job for you if you’ve put on more than a
few successful parties of your own, but remember that as a professional party
planner you’ll have to deal with someone else’s expectations, needs, budget,
friends, and business associates.
The biggest difference between a party or event you set up for yourself and
one that you do for a client is this:You are not the host and not a guest. It is your
job to exceed your client’s expectations and spare your client from all of the
headaches.
Challenges
This is not your party, and you can’t cry if you want to. The headaches are all
yours. The client is always right, even when he or she is wrong.
You are there to interpret and suggest, but not to impose your sense of style
on an event if the client disagrees. Don’t take on a job that you can’t do well. If
the job is too complex or too large or not possible, walk away from the contract.
It’s much worse to have a failure—and a bad reference—than to forgo a job.
Expect to be asked to put on a champagne-and-caviar reception on a beerand-
pizza budget; you’ll need to know costs and be able to steer your clients to
realistic expectations.
If a caterer delivers a bad meal, the entertainer fails to show, or the tent company
provides a leaky covering, it’s your headache.
Spend the time to learn about available caterers, locations, entertainers, setup
crews, furniture and equipment rentals, and other services you may need.
Read your local newspaper carefully to learn about social events and parties
in your area. Consider the newspaper coverage as part of your research about
what kind of events are put on and how they are set up.
Visit the locations for events you might manage. Tour facilities when they are
empty and ask if you can return during—or just before—scheduled events they
may be putting on. Obtain price lists and advance calendars that let you know
when facilities may already be booked.
Ask for references from any service provider you may want to make part of
your team. Talk to more than one company in each of the categories you will be
working with.
Gather a database of prices for all of the available services from service
providers. Collect menus from caterers and restaurants you will be working with.
Establish and maintain a list of names, phone numbers, cell phone numbers,
e-mail addresses, and other information for all of the service providers you may
need to work with. Your black book will become the heart of your operation.
Get to know some of the other party planners in your area; you may find it
valuable to partner with them on a particularly large or complex event, and they
may do the same with you someday.
How to Get Started
Start spreading the news. Let your friends and acquaintances know you are in the
business. For parties for individuals, post flyers on bulletin boards in markets, at
sports clubs, and in schools to let people know your availability. Include your
phone number and web page address.
For parties for businesses, start by asking your friends and acquaintances
about the sorts of events they see at work, and ask for the names of the people in
charge. Create a professional letter, including your qualifications, and send it out.
Advertise in shopping guides and newspapers. Set up a web page to advertise
your availability. Ask clients for permission to list them as references or to
include pictures or descriptions from events you’ve staged for them.
Maintain a portfolio of photos and details of all of your parties and events to
show to prospective clients.
Carefully prepare a questionnaire and checklist for your client. Send it on
ahead of your first planning meeting, or go over it line by line with the client.
This will help you determine exactly what the client wants to have at the party
and will be the basis of your bid for the job. Make a professional appearance
when you consult with your client. Wear business clothing; bring business cards
and supporting material.
Follow up after your initial contact. Some people take a long time to make
a decision, and your continued expression of interest may get you the job. If
you are not selected for the job, be polite and ask the reason. Was it price? Was
it a service you did not offer? Ask the client to keep you in mind for a future
event.
Don’t go out of your way to lose money, but you might want to take on a job
or two on a break-even basis or at a minimal profit when you’re getting started to
help you build a reputation and some references.
Up-front Expenses
Initial expenses include advertising and promotion. You may also have to bear
the costs of research trips to visit locations and service providers.
 How Much to Charge
There are three ways to set your prices for this sort of business: (1) Charge a flat
fee for your services; (2) offer a cost-plus contract in which the client agrees to
pay all agreed-upon expenses plus a specified percentage; or (3) provide an allinclusive
contract in which the client sees only the bottom line.
Whichever way you choose to establish your rates, it should be based on an
estimation of how much time you will need to devote to the job. If an event is
going to require 40 hours of work by you, and you determine that you need to
receive $25 per hour to pay the costs of running your business and generating a
profit, then your contract should either (in this example) consist of a flat fee of
$1,000, a cost-plus figure that produces about $1,000 for you, or an all-inclusive
amount that is marked up by $1,000.
Make certain your contract is properly drawn. If the client makes a change to
the requirements that results in a higher cost, the contract should be written in a
way that allows you to increase your charge accordingly. Similarly, you should
seek written contracts or bids from your suppliers with full details about their
responsibilities and products.
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: Consult your insurance agent about specialized insurance to protect
you once you begin putting on large events. You’ll want to especially watch
for liability issues. In addition, your client might want to know about insurance
that protects against such things as cancellations and unanticipated expenses
because of rain, snow, extremes of temperature, or other acts of God.
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