How to Use Your Event Planning Career as a Second Income
You may have come across some of our articles on becoming an event planner or breaking into the industry. Many planners didn’t start out in this career. For some, boredom with their first careers caused them to pursue a more exciting role like event planning. It’s not always possible to dive right in and change careers completely. This is especially true if you have personal responsibilities.
What you can do is use your event planning career as a second income. This is ideal for anyone looking for a slower transition into the industry or a rewarding side hustle.
Continue reading to learn how you can use your event planning career to score yourself a second income!
The event and wedding industries both have a seasonal component. Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere hot and tropical all year long, winter weather tends to discourage event planning. There are, of course, exceptions—we’ve seen some gorgeous winter weddings. But, it isn’t for everyone. That’s why the industry slows down in the winter months.
For those looking at event planning as a second career, this is an awesome opportunity. Have you considered working as an event and wedding planner seasonally? This is a great option because it allows you to take advantage of the busy season without worrying about your income during the winter. We know, this means that you will be doubling-down on work in the warmer months. But, if you’re interested in wedding planning, you probably have the drive to handle it!
If you are going to pursue a seasonal wedding and event planning career, there are a few things to consider. The first is whether or not it’s possible for your schedule. How demanding is your current job? Is management willing to be flexible? A lot of event planning can be done after hours and on the weekend, but occasionally, you may need to take some time off. We recommend approaching the subject with your boss before you take on clients. Trust us, its way better to keep them in the loop!
You’ll also need to consider how to market your services as an event planner. Just because you’re only planning events seasonally, doesn’t mean you’re not promoting your business during the winter! Make sure potential clients know about you! It’s a lot of work, but it’s necessary for a thriving summer business.
Clients start seeking planners well in advance. Don’t be surprised if you are contacted during the off-season. You will need to politely tell clients that you will be available for consultations in the spring. Make sure you give yourself enough lead time. If someone wants a June wedding, don’t start the planning in May! Essentially, a seasonal approach will be more like 8 months on and 4 months off. You can expect to work from February to September.
The second approach is to work part-time. You’ll divide your time between event planning and your current career. This is how a lot of planners start out. It can be nerve-racking to leave your career behind completely and start a new one. For some, this approach offers a more comfortable transition.
If you like the sound of having a hand in multiple jobs, this is the perfect option for you. It’s what most planners opt for at the start of their careers since it’s the most practical. Do you have a full time job? If so, you’ll need to do some re-jigging. Unlike seasonal planning, working as an event planner year round won’t give you much of a break.
Most events happen during the evenings and on weekends. Coordinating events on the day of won’t be your biggest challenge. The hard part will be finding balance during the week to plan the event step-by-step. Event planners are constantly busy, and you’ll need to have enough flexibility to meet clients and vendors. Take advantage of your mornings. Early starts will be your best friend! The more you can fit into a day, the better.
We also recommend starting off slowly. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Try planning one event at a time. Balancing two separate work schedules will be an adjustment at first. Once you’re comfortable you can start taking on more contracts.
You can also use your specific event planning skills to build a second income. Did you specialize in any event planning classes? If so, you probably have a niche area to capitalize on. Specializing in a certain type of event planning is a great way to filter your work.
For example, if you’re interested in wedding planning, you could focus on themed or luxury weddings. That way you’ll attract specific clientele. You may have less clients coming your way since these weddings generally cost a little more, but you’ll become really good at what you do! Fewer clients are more manageable when you’re using event planning as a second income. Just don’t get too good – or you’ll wind up with more clients than you can turn away. We’re just kidding, of course! If this does happen to you, maybe you’re ready to move into event planning full time.
Whichever route you follow, be wary that event planning is a busy career on its own. Don’t be surprised if you can’t keep up with demand. Using event planning as a second career requires discipline. We know that every new event that comes your way will feel exciting, but seriously, pace yourself. You don’t want to burn out and let down your clients. Having two careers is a balancing act in any industry.
The approaches we’ve outlined are great ways to achieve that balance. A lot of event and wedding planners start out by having two careers. If you’re interested in planning full time, it’s a great starting point. During this time you’ll gain valuable experience and build your portfolio. Once you’re established, you can make a permanent switch to event planning full-time!