? Due to the constraints of time, energy and resources faced by individuals and organizations, there has been an increase in the hiring of Event Planners to organize special events. Be it a social event or a corporate event, event planners are sought to take care of every aspect of organizing. The responsibility of the event planner ranges from the creation of the theme to the personal supervision of the event itself. The following checklist outlines the course of action to be followed, to start your own event planning venture. 1. Required Skills and Qualifications You should be an active and outgoing person with great organizational skills. Also you should have good people skills. Being an event planner would require you to organize all the aspects of the event as well as communicate with the client and the suppliers to ensure that everything works out well. Since there is a lot of hard work and stress involved you should be able to think on your feet and have the strength to face any circumstance. It would be more beneficial for your venture if you could obtain a degree or a certificate in this area since some people may tend to look for qualifications. Also having some past experience in organizing events for your office or your neighborhood would come in handy. 2. Essential Equipment & Supplies As an event planner you should be accessible at all times. So it is essential that you obtain a mobile phone, fax machine and internet connection to maintain a steady steam of communication with your clients as well as your suppliers. In addition you should also invest in a high speed computer and a color printer. Since you are required to visit your clients, suppliers and the event site it is essential that you have your own transportation. A vehicle with a lot of space would be ideal since you may have to transport equipments and supplies as well. 3. Target Market Events can be categorized under two main market segments. The social segment would include informal events such as birthdays, weddings, baby showers, reunions, anniversaries, etc. Under the corporate segment would fall events which are held by private organizations, corporations, businesses, charities, non-profit organizations and political parties. These could include company parties, meetings, product launches, trade shows, fundraisers, political rallies and so on. It is up to you to decide to which segment you would be catering your services to. Also you can decide whether you would cater to all events under a given segment or only to one or two of them. For example if you have selected the corporate segment you can select to specialize in only company parties and trips. 4. Research After selecting your target market it is important that you research and find out about the type of events that you would be handling. You should familiarize yourself with customs, etiquettes, etc which should be followed. Also you would need to study suppliers/vendors and select the ones who would suit your venture best. In addition you should also research about your competition in order to have a competitive edge above others. Also you can join an association related to this field or subscribe for newsletters/magazines in this field which would ensure that you are up to date with evolving trends. 5. Start Up Costs The start up cost will mainly depend on the area in which your business is situated and also the market segment to which you are catering. You would have to make investments for the above specified equipments and also for business license/taxes, advertising material, legal advice etc. 6. Setting up of Functions As an event planner- Researching, Organizing, Coordinating and Evaluating are the main functions which you would have to carry out. Once you have been entrusted to organize a specific event the best way to reduce risks and to have a successful event is to research and find out what the hosts expectations are for the event. The next steps would be to organize and coordinate the event. Lastly you should carry out an evaluation in order to find out whether the event was a success and how you can improve on your services. 7. Fixing the Correct Price It is vital that the price you charge would cover all the costs you have endured and leave an acceptable profit for you. Your fee will depend on factors such as the market segment to which you are catering, locality, the demand for services, your qualifications and experience. Your pricing could be charged, by the hour - where an hourly rate is set for your service, by percentage - where a percentage is selected out of the total budget, by fee for services - where each specific task would have a set rate or by commissionable rates/ add on's - where a handling fee will be charged to all the services provided. It is up to you to decide on the best pricing method which fits you. 8. Marketing Your Service Networking and word of mouth would be the best marketing methods in this profession. In addition you can also use business cards, brochures, ads, a website, etc. to spread the word regarding your services. Building a portfolio of the events which you have organized would also be very useful when meeting up with potential clients. Bizymoms.com has been helping women start work at home business for over 10 years. Their Event Planner Career Kit includes everything you need to start your Event Planning Business including a basic business start up guide and an easy start program, which provides step-by-step guidance on how to build up your Event Planning business within 29 days!