Event planning involves taking care of everything from finding the perfect venue to taking care of event logistics. When you start working as a freelance event planner, you can find a lot of independence in your life. As a freelance event planner, you get to choose your schedule. You can also fix your pay rates and work on multiple events at the same time.
Working as a freelance event planner can be a rewarding experience. However, it can also be quite challenging, significantly earlier on in your career.
Who is an event planner?
An event planner is someone who takes care of managing and coordinating events. These events can range from weddings to corporate events, local fairs, to entertainment events. Event planners can even be hired to plan and manage parties and private events.
Event planning is fast becoming a competitive industry. With more and more people wanting to become event planners, how can you succeed as a freelance event planner?
Here are ten tips that can help you find great success as a freelance event planner:
- Gain experience before you freelance
To become a successful event planner, you’ll need to know your industry, as well as contacts. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to succeed as an event planner.
When you’re just getting into the industry, it’s a good idea to work with an event management agency first. This will give you valuable industry-related experience and help you build your network circle. Just one or two years’ worth of knowledge is all you need to find your footing as a freelance event planner.
- Sign up to work with recruitment agencies
When you’re starting your journey as a freelance event planner, consider signing up with recruitment agencies. These agencies often play a crucial role in helping freelance event planners find work. They can provide you with both short, as well as mid-term contracts related to event planning.
Should you ever feel like working full-time again, you’ll be able to secure full-time work faster through a recruitment agency as well.
- Use the contacts you have
Every contact you have is valuable. If you were working for an event planning agency, then consider staying in touch with your employers. Later on, when you’re looking for freelance work, you can ask your old employers if they have any work for you.
Event planning agencies often use freelancers as support during events. If they’ve already worked with you, they’re more likely to hire you as well. In the world of event planning, who you know matters. So, consider developing the work relationships you have and letting them know that you’re looking for freelance work.
- Expanding your network
Your network circle is essential. It would be best if you always looked for any valuable contacts to add to your process. This especially applies to vendors. The stronger your relationship with vendors, the more likely they will help you when you need them at a moment’s notice.
This is very important as event-related decisions are often finalized at the last moment. Having solid relationships with vendors and venue owners, and managers can help you get ahead as a freelance event planner. You can also ask them to refer work to you should they come across any.
- You may have to do anything.
While event planning may look like a glamorous job, the truth is, sometimes you’re just going to have to work on less-glamorous events. You never know which event will pop up next, so if work comes your way, don’t turn it away.
Working as a freelance event planner can make you feel insecure. This is as you’ll have more work sometimes, and there will be periods where you hardly come across the piece. It’s essential to keep in mind that the more work you do, the more experience you get, and the money you make as well. Consider taking up various kinds of events to ensure that you have financial stability.
- Be dynamic and proactive.
As a freelance event planner, you’re expected to take the lead when it comes to planning and managing events. However, it would be best if you also took care not to step on any toes. This means taking care to treat the client well and listening carefully to their requests. Try to stick as close to their request as possible, and be diplomatic about things that you need to change.
If you’re working with a recruitment agency or an event planning company, remember to be tactful towards your project manager. It would be best if you showcased your creativity but also knew when to back down.
- Plan for the future
Event planning can be stressful. This is as things can be decided upon at a moment’s notice. There may be months when you have more work than others. Keeping a plan for the future that considers your workflow and break-even point can help you through the slow months.
- Create a contingency fund
Aside from planning for the future, you should also create a fund that’s dedicated to emergencies. This fund should only be used when you need the money, such as during a lull at work.
Try adding a little bit to your contingency fund every month so that you have a decent amount saved up for when you need it.
- Be prepared to cancel holiday plans.
Having long-term plans as an event planner isn’t always a good idea, as an event can come up at a moment’s notice. Be prepared to cancel personal plans, even holidays, at the last minute. This is as you never know when a lucrative new opportunity to plan an event can crop up.
- There’s no way to get rich quick.
Being a freelance event planner can be hard work. You’ll have odd hours, need to handle event logistics, and ensure that the event proceeds smoothly. There’s also no way to get rich quickly as an event planner.
But with time and patience, you’ll find that life as a freelance event planner is a rewarding and profitable one.
If you want to become a freelance event planner, then consider gaining some industry experience first. You can do this by working with an event planning agency for a year or two before you freelance.
As an event planner, your contacts are your most valuable resources. You’ll need to create and develop relationships with vendors, suppliers, venue owners, and managers, as well as your clients. With time, you’ll find that freelance event planning can give you financial stability, as well as a rewarding career experience.
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