How much does it cost to start an event planning business?

So you have a great idea for an event planning business and are wondering what the cost is to get started! Let me give you some guiding ideas on what it may cost to start out!

Fixed costs, no matter what type of event you are planning:

  1. Venue: The rental cost of a venue can vary greatly, depending on the event and your city. You may pay as little as $200 to as much as $10,000K or more depending on the venue. Do check out my my article on event ambiance as there are many details and features that may be worth paying a little more for (catoring and tables on site, for example). These factors will help with your decision.
  2. Insurance: No matter what industry or types of events you wish to run, you will not be able to avoid the cost of insurance! This can vary greatly. Here in Canada we find our best price from Duo. I believe they may be the best option in the USA and beyond as well. I have another article all about my experience with and without insurance that you may wish to check out!
  3. Staff: When I started out, I had no staff at all and managed with a small team of volunteers. Can you get by with this as well? Or do you need to hire staff to run a marketing campaign and liase with potential vendors and other stakeholders? How about a day of event coordinator?
  4. Marketing materials: Signage can add up very quick for an event. Sites like vistaprint and staples are great ways to print larger documents with a quick turn around time. Do you need a banner? Or can you get by with minimal signage? This will greatly depend on the budget and nature of your event.
  5. Advertising: This is what you WANT to spend money on. You want your vendors and other steakholders to see that you put in maximum effort towards a great turn out. My article on SEO marketing give you a clear idea on how to do this as inexpensive as possible, to yield maximum return while closely honing in on your target audience!

Other costs:

Some ideas of other costs are:

Decor-are you using an intown rental company or ordering and paying for your own decor? The cheapest way to do this is with balloons in colours that tie into your marketing message. However if this is a larger event that is relying on a cohesive theme (lets say tropical, for example) then you will want to spend the money to make your guests feel as though they have been swept into hawaii or the south seas!

These are the ladies of heritage productions, educating the relationship of culture and history on garments through the decades. Ask yourself: What is my event theme and who can I make a fun and lucrative partnership with?!

Now don’t forget audio visual, catoring, guest speakers, set up and clean up staff, table rentals, any other extras that you can think of!

If all these costs are starting to sound overwhelming, ask yourself if there is a sponsorship element that you can utilize that aligns with your brand and values? See my other article on sponsorship!

To summerize, to start an event business, you can start with as little as $500 to pay for insurance and a deposit on an inexpensive venue to thousands of dollars. No which way is better than the other. It greatly depends on the nature of your event (is this a pubic trade show or a company party). Check out my event budget cheat sheet for more helpful ideas!

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