My wife has told me that she is thinking of doing some research and possibly starting her own party planning business.
I can without a doubt get her an online prescence but does anyone have any advice or any good suggestions where to look for good advice on her to learn to do this properly.
Feel free to give me all the advice you want and if you want feel free to send me any relevent links.
I am not but know quite a few event planners and of course the skills are the same whether you are doing it for commercial businesses/conferences or private parties.
I would suggest your wife check out Meeting Professionals Internationl and see what their site offers. Also a good idea to attend their local chapter meetings.
She might find an event planning company to "apprentice" with to build her skills.
Planning meetings, festivals, conventions, etc. on a large scale is excellent training for smaller party planning.
There may be a parallel org of wedding planners she could look into.
Good luck to her!
Hey Dale, I've had to plan a couple events over the last couple of years and I got a lot of help from this book. I also had some real help from real people, but the book gave me a lot of good suggestions. I can tell you that a good way for your wife to get business after she is established is to start attending every single public function that your town hosts and get her name passed around as an event planner. I know you said she's looking to be a party planner, but it's nearly the same unless she's just thinking of weddings and such.
The events I planned were fundraisers, one for a community theater and one for a private social club in Chicago.
I did this my senior year of high school. I partnered with a local party supply shop (I'd use their supplies in exchange for them giving out my fliers at the store). I made a bit, but my market area wasn't that broad. It's a high income area, but a lot of moms are stay-at-home so they like to do it themselves. I only did kid's birthday parties.
I offered flat rate packages. I designed 10 or so themes (Pirate, Princess, Cat, Dog, etc.) and charged a flat rate for each (Basic & Deluxe). If they wanted something custom (I once did a carnival party, which I wrote a hub on) I charged a lot more.
Also - have her check the laws in your state. In mine, I was unable to legally transport the birthday cake from a bakery without a food handlers license. That was an annoyance!
My original concept was to purchase all the supplies (including food) and to facilitate the event by setting it up, doing the activities (face painting, games) and clean-up. The only thing that I didn't like was that I couldn't transport the food.
At the end of the day, a business like this is fun. But it needs a LOT of word of mouth. I would ask the client if it was ok and put my contact info on the bottom of all the party favor bags as well as stick in one of my business cards. That was a good way to generate sales. Plus, in my area, everyone knows everyone.
Again - word of mouth is KEY for any party planning business.
Paula Deen offers up some sage advice on starting a business in her book It ain't all about the cooking. Just small tidbits of advice from a seasoned pro but the biggest thing is treat your guest like family. If you wouldn't serve it to your family don't try and serve it to a guest.
Also there are hundreds of sites that give advice on this and some community colleges offer classes for the beginner.
Good luck to her!
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