How to start an event planning business in Kenya

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Are you thinking of starting an event planning business in Kenya? Here’s a starter guide on how and what you need to do before taking on this venture.

Event planning businesses have good income potential, especially if you have a large network of suppliers.

With an event planning business, you can expect to get various projects from large-scale concerts with huge production values, product launches, to humble and simple weddings.

First things first, you need to decide on what kind of events you will service. If you determine what events you want to major in, then you can definitely take off with the business.

Also, read about booming businesses in Kenya 2019

You do not necessarily need to have a background on events planning to start your own event planning business in Kenya.

However, you do need to know the basics of running this kind of business, also effective marketing and a few transferable skills are necessary before you embark on this kind of business.

With the basic skill set and proper motivation, you’ll maximise your chances of beating the competition and finding success.

How to start an event planning business in Kenya

Before starting an event planning business in Kenya, there are a few steps you need to follow and lessons you must learn to make your new business thrive.

1. Define your event planning business idea

Before embarking on this kind of business, you will first need to zero in on the specific kind of events you will want to service.

You will have to decide if you want to focus on a full event planning service, organising every aspect of an event from inception to execution? Or would you rather focus on one or two particular skill sets? For example:

  1. Event decorating
  2. Corporate entertainment management
  3. Venue hire
  4. Event promotion
  5. Catering

Events can also be classified into four broad categories based on their purposes and objectives:

  1. Personal events, such as weddings, birthday parties and family celebrations
  2. Organisational events, such as commercial, political and charitable events, conferences and product launches
  3. Leisure events, such as sports events and concerts
  4. Cultural events, such as ceremonial, religious, art or heritage events

2. Register your business

Think of a business name that’s relevant to the planning industry as well as one that is not taken, duplicating is a no, no in this industry.

You have a choice to register your business as a sole proprietorship or a limited company.

Once registered, you then need to acquire relevant licences in the location you plan to operate from.

3. Identify your market

Before you pick on the niche you want to focus on, you can try out what best appeals to you and then zero in and perfect it.

After you have zeroed in on a particular area you want to focus on, you need to proceed to study your demographics, their specific needs, and what the different types of suppliers and kind of logistics that you need to cover for their events.

You need to do a survey that will give you an opportunity to discuss your business with potential customers. This can either be an online survey or face to face survey.

Also, identify if you either want to cater for the:

i. Corporate Market: trade shows, team building activities, stockholders’ meetings, conventions
ii. Private Market: weddings, debuts, family parties, reunion parties
Once you decide on the market, proceed with studying your demographics, their specific needs, and what the different types of suppliers and kind of logistics that you need to cover for their events.

Often a simple Google search will show you who the events businesses in your local area are.

Try to find out how your competitors operate, how big they are, who their customers are and how much they charge.

Think about how you can bring something different to the table in order to compete.

Also, read about asset financing in Kenya

4. Partner with reliable suppliers

If you are entering into the event planning business in Kenya, attend exhibits to locate the good suppliers.

If you are however on a limited budget, you will need to negotiate with freelance suppliers whose services are more affordable and less expensive.

Having suppliers in mind during this planning stage is key because they determine the overall budget of the whole operation.

Make sure that you are partnering with reliable businesses or individuals who are reliable.

It makes good business sense to ask for their previous clients to get feedback on their reliability.

Also, read about  how to get a small business loan

5. Possess good work ethic.

Event planning in Kenya is mostly a referral kind of business, what this means is that you will need to please your clients to tap on more clientele.

You will need to have good organisational skills, this means that you need to take charge of the business by having good time management skills, having good work ethic and must be particularly good at organization.

You also need to have a very flexible attitude, most clients have their own opinion and you need to work around that.

Adapt to situations as they come, be optimistic as you solve the curve balls thrown at you. With that, you will maintain a good client relationship as you deliver.

Leadership skills are very crucial in event planning in Kenya, this is because you will get to work with many partners in this business thus the need to effectively direct on what to do.

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