They might be setting up gala product introductions or orchestrating theme-oriented extravaganzas in wildlife parks. Whatever their surroundings, professional event planners are busy helping a wide array of clients cut through the clutter of traditional advertising.
“It’s another opportunity for my clients to sell in a nonthreatening way,” says Layne Kaplan, a San Francisco-based event planner for high-tech companies. “You can target a group of people, bring them together, and give them the full message. Instead of selling, it’s more like bringing them into your fold.”
Planning and pulling off an event, however, can be an overwhelming ordeal for the inexperienced. That fact, combined with the increasing recognition of the effectiveness of events-oriented marketing, means a potentially lucrative opportunity for creative entrepreneurs with a good mind for detail. Successful, full-time planners make more than $100,000 a year.
The field of event-oriented marketing has grown tremendously in the last decade, according to Lisa Vested, publisher of Special Events magazine. Though the recent downturn in the economy has hurt some smaller event planners, the magazine estimates that roughly $35 billion is spent on corporate marketing events in the United States each year.
The event planner’s job is to create something that will capture the imagination, then coordinate the endless array of details involved in making it happen. For pulling off an event, planners earn anywhere from $1,800 to $30,000 in fees, according to Kaplan. The client pays expenses on top of that. For simple Continue reading