Samantha wanted to start a party planning business in Las Vegas. Actually, she told everyone she was starting an event planning business. “It sounded so much classier,” she told me.
Well, classy or not, it didn’t work. A party planner is not an event planner. Samantha was getting calls from people who wanted her to arrange corporate getaways, group cruises and month long grand opening events. Those are all very legitimate business niches, but not for a party planner. Those belong to an event planner.
Let’s look at this way. An event planner like Jenny O’Neil will plan a large convention in Las Vegas. She will manage the hotel connection, plan the kick off bash, arrange for VIP treatment, ensure that all permits are in place, that all electrical wiring works, and keep the whole kit and caboodle running smoothly. Samantha, the party planner, will plan some of the individual parties going on all over the place, making each and every one of them a unique success.
So the event planner made more money, right? Not necessarily. Jenny has probably been working on this event for many months, perhaps a year or more. She has hired a staff to handle a lot of the detail work. She has set up a whole computer system to track expenses and billing for this event, making sure that the right people are billed, and that they pay on time. She actually lives in New York, and has had to make several trips to Las Vegas herself, as well as transport and house her staff.
The party planner was probably brought a month or two ago to plan the individual parties. Samantha is local to Las Vegas, and knows the caterers and party supply places and staffing companies to use. She may have brought in a contractor or two to handle some of the work, especially if she is doing a number of parties at the same time. But basically it is a one woman show.
The event planner’s bill was a lot higher. But so were her expenses. The party planner sent out smaller invoices to a lot more companies, and had much lower overhead.
So it is probably a toss up on which one made more money. It is probably safe to say that the better negotiator did better. More importantly, they both enjoyed what they did.
Samantha didn’t travel. She stayed near home, and operates her business from home – many party planners do just that. Taking on shorter term assignments gives her a lot more flexibility in her personal life, and still allows her to stretch her creative side.
Our event planner enjoys the international travel, and the opportunity to meet some very high profile people, so that really is the job for her. She is incredibly detail oriented and works well as a ring master to all that is going on.
Whether you plan to start a party planning business or an event planning business, focus on what aspects interest you. What works for your way of life? Neither is better or “classier” than the other. Both fields are dynamic, creative careers, with tremendous profit potential.