I have a question for those who either plan events or assist planners. Could you give me a list of services you provide? If you are an actual planner, what assistance would you want someone to provide for you?
Thanks for your input, I posed the question to a friend of mine who is avplanner and got mixed reviews. She first said depending on my rates, she would love to someone like me herself, but then went into this dialogue about most of the services she does as the planner herself and wouldn't hand them off to someone not working with her side by side.
I'll wait to see what other event planners said (I did ask a friend of mine over a year ago, but she said while it was probably something that was needed, most planners simply wouldn't consider it because it cuts into their profit. Sigh. We'll see.
Hi Caroline. This was initially what I set out to do as well and received the same feedback. They like the idea in theory, but when it comes down to it, the event planning industry, be it weddings or parties, is a very intimate industry and typically planners don't like handing off tasks. I created a survey asking what types of tasks they would find useful and how many hours per week they would utilize a VA and sent it to about 50 local-ish wedding planners and didn't get ONE response. Of course I'm thinking in my head "this is exactly why you need a VA" but it made it made me realize that probably wasn't the best niche to go for as I'm starting out. That's not to say that after establishing your company that you couldn't segway into that at a later date, but I think it will be hard to get your business off the ground in that industry.
Perhaps in this age of technology, and in the current economy, more and more people are turning to webinars and online collaboration rather than having bricks and mortar events so people who are currently planners may be finding it harder to compete for work.
Mind you I've never heard of anyone getting married online but I suppose there's a first for everything.
You might also consider approaching bridal shops in your area to see if your idea might be viable.
I talked to enough planners to go forward with it. Weddings by themselves are a 18 billion a year industry - the economy does not stop people from getting married (at least not here in the US). And I plan on helping more than just bridal planners. I expressed to the planners that my role would be to provide administrative support. I was not interested in doing anything hands on.
It's a new concept because a lot of planners are used to doing it by themselves but there are some that realize the more they suck themselves into doing the tasks that don't make them money (like paperwork) the more money they could actually lose.
Meghan - if it's truly the niche/industry you want to work in, as hard as it may seem - do not let the fact that no one answered your survey stop you.
I agree wihth Caroline. I'd go speak to people face to face and explain what you are trying to do. In my experience with insurance for instance, most agent don't want to pay to have someone do their paperword filing, etc. HOWEVER, they are now noticing that having someone do that in the background free's up more hours in their work week for making money! They aren't stuck doing paperwork that doesn't pay them anything, and actually working on padding their pockets. No one can say no to that! One of the most successful agents I have encountered lives in South Florida and nets millions every year. Why? He never files one bit of his paperwork. Never touches it. But he has 3 assistants doing it for him. He realized what more and more people are realizing.... pay someone to do that work while you do what you're good at. Best of luck to you!
I agree with your post. On my website, it says, "Take back the most important thing in your day-TIME" If every business owner, real estate and/or insurance agent, photographer, wedding/event planner thought like that, they would have way more time in the day to invest in their business.
I am a certified master wedding planner and the way I ran my business was I hired sales people to sell my business, while I handled the rest of it, and then they also assisted on the wedding day by helping with setup. It allowed me a little more freedom to follow up on things then to do set up.