Party planning is a great way to earn a living working from home.
Whether it's a wedding or a kids birthday party, everyone loves to celebrate a big event, but planning these things can be scary and often the cause of many sleepless nights and brings about worries about how to ensure the event is a big success or big failure.
One solution is to let someone else to do the planning for them, which is why event planners and party planners are finding their services increasingly in demand. For those with good communication skills, an eye for style, and a flair for organisation, event planning can be a rewarding business that lends itself to being run from home.
The trend is up as a lot of people have left their roles as former weddings and events managers to set up their own home-based business. As well as excellent organisational skills, one of the most important qualities for business success is personality.
As far as wedding and event planners goes, many clients buy into the person as much as the service they are offering and place their trust to organize that highly important special event. As a party planner, you need to make your clients feel at ease with you and this stems from having a very personable character which is the key ingredient in this line of work.
Bear in mind that event planning can be a seasonal business as demand for Christmas parties creates a festive peak season, while enquiries about wedding planning services frequently follow prime engagement periods of Christmas, New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day.
If you are open to the idea of organizing a broader range of events then you are more likely to stay busy all year round. That might include providing planning services for non-seasonal events such as staff training, conferences, corporate dinners, and celebration parties.
Anyone who is thinking about turning their talents to becoming a freelance party planner needs to be aware of how time consuming the work can be. It's said to take an average of 100 hours to plan a party.
Once you meet with the people the party is for, you need to put together a proposal and a fee based on their requirements and how you can help them.
Running your home-based business quite flexible to run and you are able to fit it around family life in general.
Finding new business is a constant challenge as the events industry is a very crowded market to be in Australia. However, you can do a lot of social media; Facebook and Twitter, blogs and listings to win business, and I also take part in cross promotions with other small businesses in the events and party industry.
How To Start A Party Planning Business
- Decide on what type of party planning to do and what areas to specialize in. Corporate event planning and social party planning are the two major fields. Within those are even more specialties such as parties for children and adults or parties for specific occasions (like birthday parties). Some planners specialize in a specific function–like decorations, food or entertainment–while others may do general planning.
- Consider taking classes, getting event planning certification, or getting a degree in event planning. Event planning certification is offered from Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and International Special Events Society (ISES). Courses in event planning are available at many universities and colleges.
- Gather information, and do research on resources and Start networking. Get a list of contacts and prices, such as spaces to hold parties, entertainment, food, and party supplies. It’s never too early to begin meeting people who may need your services or can refer you to those who do. It’s also a great way to start getting to know potential suppliers. Attend local business events and join local and professional organizations.
- Get the business started. Choose a name for the business. Make sure it is a name that is available to register. Write a business plan. There are many samples and tutorials online from sites like the Small Business Administration. Even a short plan will help to define your market and business goals. Set up office space that includes room for storage of party items, files, and any other items that are needed for the business. Find online and local advice on how to start a party planning business. The Small Business Association, local business owners, and professional groups offer resources and publications. Register the business. Check with your municipality and state to see what type of licenses and permits are needed.
- Get information about competitors in your area, and determine how to make your business different from theirs. Find a niche or specialty that similar local companies do not offer.
- Volunteer to help with community events, events and parties at your current company, and private parties. People who attend will remember you in the future, especially if you have a unique service or experience to offer.
How To Plan Kids Parties
Planning a kids party does not have to be difficult. In order to keep track of your progress make sure you print off a checklist to ensure that you complete all the steps.
Select the party date & time:
- Check the kids calendar and take note of holidays and school vacations.
- Party times should be determined by the kids schedule; it's best to catch kids at his or her peak energy level. The recommended length of a party should be 90 minutes as that is the maximum attention span of a kid.
Select a party location:
Preschoolers feel the most secure in familiar environments. Consider selecting a location outside but near their home or consider their favorite restaurant that also has a private room. In addition, you can also look at local zoos in Australia, or any other place that means something special to that child.
If planning a party in their home, understand the party area and know where to keep toys to share out of site for the party
Planning an outdoor party? Ensure to have a rainy day alternative.
Creating a guest list:
The number of guests should be pre-determined and RSVP by party-space limitations. Keep in mind that kids parties often include an accompanying adult in order to supervise. Therefore you will need more than enough room.
Consider inviting either all girls or all boys if it is necessary to cut down on school friends in order to accommodate the venue capacity.
The adults shouldn't necessarily invite their friends and their children unless they are certain your child and their children are also good friends.
Choosing a theme:
Themed balloons, and favors are readily available for many of the characters from books, games, TV shows, and movies on Amazon or local party stores. It's a good idea to buy party supplies in the theme you've selected now to insure that you will get the quantity you need for your party.
Plan activities & booking Entertainment:
Guests typically arrive within the first 15 minutes, so make sure you have a planed welcoming activity that is s easy for kids to join in at different times. Consider having kids help decorate a birthday banner with crayons and stickers.
Next, you must plan 45 minutes of organized entertainment, games, or other activities. Save the last 30 minutes for refreshments, cutting the birthday cake, and handing out party favors.
Note that preschoolers' attention spans are limited, so ensure you have entertainment that is very interactive. Movement activities and music such as a guitar sing-a-long and gymnastics are great choices for this age.
When working with an entertainer, request them to make the child be made to feel special. Also, ensure that you check their references before booking!
Large costumed characters (such as monstors) and clowns can sometimes scare preschool children. Ensure to have the clowns put on make-up as part of their act and position large costumed characters in a special place so that they will seem less intimidating. When hesitant children view the other children having fun with the character, they will begin to approach it and join in.
Become A Birthday Party Planner
Does the thought of a birthday party at home send you into a panicked frenzy? As a birthday party planner, you can have a plan so that it will take the stress off your shoulders. Here is a guide that will help you de-stress:
2 weeks before the birthday party:
- Plan who is coming. If they birthday party is for a lot of friends and family with kids, you may want to slim down on the invites by having a boys or girls only party.
- Decide on a time – Kids under the age of seven years are better off with a morning party so they can recover in the afternoon from the sugar frenzies. Furthermore, the parents will also have some hope of getting them to bed that night. A morning party also means you can have it all cleaned up by 2pm at the latest. Afternoon parties are good for older kids with more stamina. The later time also gives mommies a few more hours in the morning to get ready.
- If you have a theme, decide on it – but make it realistic. A colour party is easy (see pink party), and all little girls have princess dress up clothes that are made for a princess tea party. Boys will love a sport party and will already have the get up from the team they play for on weekends or after school. Check out more party theme ideas here.
- Plan what’s going to happen. Plan the party games you’d like and any theme-related activities etc. Have a wet weather alternative if you’ve planned an outdoor party.
- If you’re having an entertainer or a jumping castle – book it sooner rather than later and get recommendations from friends or browse the kidspot birthday party directory.
10 days before the birthday party:
- Send out the invitations – whether you e-invite guests via email or or send out handwritten invitations, it’s time to get them out. Also, remember to set your RSVP date for four days prior to the party, that way, three days prior you can chase up any of the people who haven’t responded.
1 week before to the birthday party:
- Arrange the party games – Consider delegating this to an adult in attendance. It’ll make the day so much easier for you!
- Organise the food menu and create a shopping list. Remember that the two favourite party staples: chocolate and bread! Think savoury as well as sweet foods like homemade sausage rolls, mini hotdogs, and chicken strips. Include a few gimmicky party foods like clown cupcakes, cupcake ice creams, jelly pool cups, honey popcorn, flower biscuits or funny face shaped biscuits.
- Think what has to be made on on the day and what you can make ahead and store in the fridge or pantry. Only do what you feel comfortable with – if that means picking up from a local café the morning of the party – do it! This will save valuable time the day of the kids birthday party!
4 days before to the kids birthday party:
- Do all your shopping. Food, drink, party games and decorations AND, presents for the kids.
- Chase RSVP’s for those who haven’t RSVP’d and make sure you have an accurate head count.
- Arrange music for the kids – for party games or just atmosphere (see below for home party must-haves) and have a prizes ‘bag’ with your pass the parcel and other party game prizes
- Confirm entertainers, bouncy castles as well as any outside catering.
The day before the birthday party:
- Get the cake ready for the kids and store the cake at the venue so that you are not bringing it in when all the guests are at the party.
- If you are at the venue, tidy up and get run down where and when the entertainers are going to perform. If you are using a microphone make sure you test it out with the speaker system.
Day of birthday party:
- Arrange food for the entertaining adults – they can serve themselves, set up a station with bottled water would be ideal
- Decorate the venue before guests arrive. Set up the balloons and if dad or an uncle is around, this is a great job for them!
- Make and serve food and drinks – if serving fruit punch, serve them in a large bowl and have it in a station. Put the ice in 15 minutes before the start of the kids birthday party.
- A good party CD for kids – ABC has one ‘Best of ABC kids’ which is a bit of everything – older kids will like the latest ‘Now’ CD. These set the mood for a party and are great for games.
Once planned correctly, the kids will have lots of fun including the adults. Getting the kid engaged in the birthday party and understanding the kid is key!
Party Planner Checklist
|2 weeks before||Guest List|
|Date and time decided|
|Have a wet weather alternative decided|
|Make list of games and activities|
|Book entertainment if required (entertainer, jumping castle)|
|10 days before||Send Invites|
|7 days before||Arrange party games/activities|
|Make shopping list|
|Order or bake your cake|
|Organise any costumes if necessary|
|4 days pbeforerior||Chase RSVP’s|
|Food, drink and party games shopping (birthday present too!)|
|Make lolly bags|
|Arrange music and party game prizes|
|Confirm outsourcing: Catering, entertainers etc.|
|1 day before||Ice/pick up birthday cake|
|Tidy house/party area|
|Prepare any ‘ahead food’ you may want to make|
|Party Day||Decorate and Set up|
|Arrange for ice if required|
|Serve food and drinks|
There are many other checklists you can find online that will assist you with your party planning. Check out these free 11 party planning checklists here.