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Meeting Planner

I am now retired from my 20+ government job as Executive Administrative Assistant, and am thinking about establishing my own business as a professional meeting / event planner. Any suggestions?

Submitted by: Karen Indelicato


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Take community college courses on event planning (most have two--small event and corporate event) as well as starting up a business, or research writing business plans (you'll be going off on tangents, but you'll be learning so much along the way.) Remember, detailed plans are more effective than generic ones but as an event planner, you already knew that. The internet is a gold mine for business information. Find a "Project Management for Dummies" -type book and get a good handle on project management. PM is a profession in itself and very technical. You just need to understand the bare bones nine functions and how to apply them to event planning and execution. Study your competition. Attend both small and large events analyzing each as a planner rather than as an attendee. Visit the planning or operations office of the local convention center (oh how many events! and lots of freebies, too!) and make friends with somebody who can tell you the ins and outs of the business, contracts (all good venues require contracts), and pricing details. If you will be using subcontractors for equipment and supporting services, research several of each to again get a feel for pricing. So many people are getting into event planning that you have to set yourself apart. If you are not an energetic, extroverted, bubbly kind of person, find one and make her a partner--she's gonna be your PR! Make lots of friends and good luck! Anonymous on 4/11/2011 2:56:18 PM
Karen, I think that you have definitely earned the knowledge to be able to run your own business; however, it never hurts to know all the ins and outs of doing so. I would check into grants that are available for new businesses and I would also check your local colleges for classes on beginning your new business. Sometimes they offer a one-night class to point you in the right direction. Good luck with your new endeavors! Connie Connie Melching on 3/22/2011 1:37:27 PM
Karen: Last year, I took an online course given by Cindy Brock, the editor of our own Executary. It was an 8-week class on how to set up your own business, website and all. It was wonderful and gave me a great start! Maybe you can email Cindy to find out if she's going to be offering the class again. Here's her email address: Best of luck! Marianne Scheiler on 3/22/2011 1:23:34 PM

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