Event planning business plan

Executive Summary

Welcome to the next paradigm of event planning! Happy Events is about to redefine excellence in event planning in the Saint John market. While we are strong believers in the “ old school” values of hard work, putting the customer first, and paying attention to every detail, we also have access to the most up-to-date software applications to bring a synergy to your event that will make the whole affair seem effortless – and we will produce the same superior service every time.

Happy Events is an equal opportunity event planner – we work with events ranging from 20 guests to 2, 000. We can help you put your own event together, serving as a consultant, or we can plan it for you step by step, from initial planning to securing contractors for items like catering and staffing. Our interactive event planning software puts you in charge of your own event, as you can sit down and imagine a world of different choices and see how they would look in real life. Through our extensive suit of services, Happy Events has as its goal being your top resource for your next party, wedding, meeting, or other event.

Business Objectives

While Happy Events is still in its initial growth phase, the goal is to be the top event planning company in Saint John as well as a regional and national leader. This requires that every one of us buy into the mission of Happy Events and turn that mission into a series of highly successful events for our clients. Our prime objectives are: consistency of service, becoming the number one event planning company in Saint John, and recruiting, hiring and retaining the best event planning professionals in our market.

Mission Statement

Happy Events seeks to provide the highest level of customer service and satisfaction in the Saint John market by combining proactive communication, industry expertise and diligent work into a holistic standard for each of our clients.

Meeting our Mission

Whether you are planning your daughter’s wedding, your son’s bar mitzvah, or your father’s retirement party, it is not likely that you will remember such details as what the napkins looked like, or the color of the plates that the caterers used. The only time that those choices lodge in your memory happens when those details end up derailing your event. By choosing Happy Events to plan your special occasion, you put those choices in our hands, and we can put together an event package for your approval that will make your big day one to remember. No matter what size your event is, Happy Events will provide the same superior level of customer service and attention to detail.
At the same time, Happy Events has its own employees and internal clients to support. By providing a competitive wage and benefits, the idea is to keep our people focused on providing the very best in customer service – not worrying about supporting themselves.

Building Blocks for Success

Three areas will set us apart from our competition from Saint John. If we can succeed in these three elements of event planning, we will meet our goals:

1. Consistent, precise satisfaction of the client’s wishes.
2. Competitive pricing for the level of services offered.
3. Clear profit from each event planned.

Company Summary

Happy Events started in a spare bedroom and has expanded into retail office space as the company has neared its goal of becoming a major player in event planning in Saint John. We plan to offer at least three branches around Saint John within three years. Currently Happy Events has a staff of three, but the company has already developed a cadre of contract vendors in such areas as floral arrangements, bands, disc jockeys, caterers, performers, emcees and a wide variety of rentals. The company has also built a network of relationships with venues ranging from intimate gazebos and exquisite homes to spaces that are breathtaking in their size and view. In addition to three full-time staff, Happy Events also has two interns from a local high school, training them in the many facets of event planning.

The benefits of operating a business like Happy Events are many. The opportunity to bring joy to the lives of our clients by making their most important events experiences to remember forever is a compelling reason to come to work each day. Sharing our expertise in event planning has meant that we have the chance to help each of our clients turn dreams into reality once the event begins. Our positioning as a business gives us the ability to meet the needs of private and public entities. Our experiences as parents and spouses have taught us the importance of putting our very best into each event that we organize. As we spread throughout Saint John and beyond, we hope to bring the benefits of these experiences to each of our clients.


Thanks to the Internet age, just about anyone can start a business and link a website to it. However, the irony of this accessibility is that the World Wide Web is filled with websites of businesses that are not bringing in much business at all, because their websites (and their market presence) is lost in the sea of noise – there are so many websites that it takes serious marketing competency to make one particular website stand out from the competition. Happy Events has a multi-tiered marketing strategy designed to make our company stand out from the competition.

Internet Marketing

Obviously, the key with Internet marketing is SEO relevancy. Happy Events has retained the services of one of the premier Internet marketing services in Saint John to design an SEO-friendly website that will bring in the traffic. Using photographs from the events that the company has already put together, as well as a Flash video interview with a particularly happy couple whose wedding Happy Events planned, our website designer has put together a site that regularly leaps to the top of the Google results when one inputs “ event planning Saint John” into the search field. The opt-in fields that we have placed on our home page have yielded a lengthy list of potential clients who are all subscribing to the e-newsletter entitled “ Happy Events About Town.” The company uses the email addresses that it obtains from e-newsletter subscriptions and opt-ins from coupon offers to send out a list of weekly updates on the company.

Advertising in Print Media

Happy Events has taken out a ½-page spot in each of the last four issues of the monthly “ Saint John Design” magazine, a free publication that is distributed to upper-income homes in Greater Saint John. Also, Happy Events planned the wedding of the granddaughter of Peter Venkman, one of the Saint Johns selectmen, and that wedding appeared as a feature article in “ Saint John Design,” bringing in significant publicity.

Advertising at Trade Shows

Happy Events has set up booths at local bridal shows in and around Saint John, and about 50 percent of our new wedding planning business has come from those shows alone. The booth features a slide show with pictures from the weddings that the company has planned, as well as a photo album with prints of the various venues that the company has and can use for weddings.

The Competition

Operating Procedures/Personnel
Generally, all orders come through our website or on the telephone. Gena Fitzsimmons, one of the three co-owners, is the one whose phone number is always attached to our land line, so when people call to line up new business, she is the one they talk to, whether she is actually in the shop or not. Our retail store is open from 10 to 7, Monday through Friday, and by appointment on Saturday and Sunday, as the staff are usually bustling around from event to event on the weekends, and most of our retail clients are weekday shoppers. Marlene Wonka is generally the one who negotiates with our network of vendors and venues, and Linda Wilonsky is the one who sits down and meets with the clients to assess their needs. The three of them will sit down at the beginning and end of each day, unless there is an evening event, and coordinate the operating plan for the next day, talking about tasks and clients. Linda uploads detailed notes from her consultations with clients to Google Docs, and the other two can look them over to familiarize themselves with client needs, so they can start pursuing specific items when needed, even without a meeting. They take turns being on site at the event (or they will divide and conquer, if there are multiple events going on at once), just to make sure everything is following the client’s specifications.

Complete Financial Plan

In order for Happy Events to break even, we need to produce 19 events each month, on an average of $603 (approximately) for each event. For the first six months, Happy Events has averaged 16 events, although the average cost of each has been higher than our projected average, so we have turned a slight profit. Below, you will find an outline of targets in several key financial areas, where 1. 0 is our performance to date in the first year. The red and green columns indicate our goals for the next two years.

As far as reaching break-even, it is easier in event planning than it would be in some other fields. Our overhead is low, and if we had to, we could sacrifice our retail center and go back to operating out of a home office. We like the prestige of having a brick-and-mortar location, and it gives our customers a sense of stability when they come in for a consultation. We anticipate being well above break-even within six to eight months.

As far as profit margin goes, again, our low overhead will help us tremendously. If our event management totals grow as quickly as we have projected, our monthly profit will look similar to this over the next twelve months.


Our current research about Wonderful Weddings and Amazing Evenings came from some conversations we had with people who have used their planning services, as well as both of their owners, who were more than willing to tell us about their background. Their websites had a little bit of information (Wonderful Weddings had a very robust “ About Us” section). Both are private businesses, which means that their financials were not available, but in a community the size of Saint John, knowing the people who would be needing party planning services, and talking to contacts in those social circles, has told us many things about the way that they do business.

Initially, our thrust will be to continue moving into non-wedding events, such as birthday parties, corporate events, bar mitzvahs, and the like. While we will continue to accept wedding bookings, and will continue to market at bridal shows, our focus will be the niche that Amazing Evenings currently occupies. Once we have made some progress in that area, then we will turn our attention to building a presence in the wedding industry. There is room in Saint John for more than one event planning organization, but there is only room for one at the top, and it is our goal to become the number one event planning entity in this city – and this region. The opportunity is there, and we plan to make the most of it.