How has business been given the current economic situation?
PS: It’s been OK. I usually participate in 20-25 events at City College. I work two bi-monthly events for Eric Silvey Productions. Eventually, my goal is to work 6 days a week, which means I will do 6 events a week.
SB: It’s hasn’t been too bad. People are still getting married, babies are still being born and organizations are still celebrating something…so business is not too bad even in this economy. I always say that there is money out there to be made, you just have to know where to go and how to acquire it. People are willing to hire a company who will give them quality and a unique concept.
What was your startup cost?
PS: It was minimal, about $1000 for business cards primarily. Since I’m new, branching off on my own, I’m still working on getting my website up. Right now I’m on Facebook and I get most of my work by networking. I also get referrals from word of mouth.
SB: I do graphic design, so I was able to create my own logo, business cards, brochures and flyers. I really didn’t have to put out too much money. Even with printing, I have developed great relationships with print houses to the point where I have my own discounted prices. For smaller runs, I have a few printers at home. I have a designated home office where I can meet with my clients, so overhead is minimal. My website is currently in development. A great percentage of my jobs are through referrals.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
PS: I probably would be finishing up graduate school, teaching or working in the nonprofit sector because I like to help people. I’ve worked with the Special Olympics, Starlight Starbright Foundation, American Cancer Society and Ronald McDonald House.
SB: I can’t imagine doing anything else anymore. I haven’t been behind a desk for so long that I really can’t see myself back there. If I had to take a job, it would still be in event planning for nonprofits.
What’s your specialty?
PS: I don’t want to limit myself but eventually my goal is to concentrate on sporting event management, working on things like the Super Bowl, NFL drafts, NCAA events, etc.
SB: I’ve worked on a vast array of events, but I do tend to be called on a great deal to plan weddings. I guess you can say wedding planning.
For those wanting to break into the industry, what advice can you offer?
PS: You have to give it your all, work hard. If you’re not doing it for the fame and fortune, but because it’s something you love, you’ll be successful. If you want to make people feel happy this may be the right thing for you.
SB: Love what you do! Offer service with a smile and treat everyone as though they are your only client. Planning and pulling off an event is not only about skill, but also about service and attitude. A great attitude will get you another call or a referral. Tap into your resources. Make sure you have something more to offer your clients. Be sure to network and build relationships with people in the industry, i.e. print shops, designers, DJs, MCs and caterers. Build a good reputation and always be prompt and reliable.
Please contact Peter Stafford at PeterKStafford@gmail.com or Stacey Bonello at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about their services.