Do you have a creative flair for event decor? Are you always the one to take charge of the decorations at family gatherings and parties? If you answered yes, then starting your own event decorating business may be the perfect career for you! In this article, we will provide a guide on how to start an event decorating business from scratch – from setting things up to marketing your services and more!
So, whether you are just starting out in the event decor industry or are looking to build a more professional event decorating business, read on for tips and advice that’ll help get you started!
Who is an Event Decorator?
An event decorator is someone who designs and sets up decorations for various events such as:
- Corporate functions
- And more!
The job of an event decorator involves conceptualizing a theme for the event based on the client’s vision and setting up decorations accordingly. This includes tasks such as selecting the right colors, materials, and props for the event. Similarly, it also involves setting up lighting, furniture, and other decorations.
PRO TIP: Not yet a trained and certified event decorator? Become one in as little as 3-6 months with the help of these 6 steps!
How to Start an Event Decorating Business
Starting an event decorating business requires careful planning and preparation. So, here are some key steps you should take…
Step #1: Conceptualize Your Event Decorating Business
The first step to starting an event decorating business is to figure out what kind of services you want to provide. This includes deciding on the type of events you will be working on and the types of decorations you’d like to specialize in. For example, do you want to focus on creating elegant floral arrangements for weddings or provide luxury balloon decor for corporate events?
Step #2: Come Up with a Business Name and Get it Registered
Choosing a business name is an important part of building your brand. Furthermore, getting it registered will ensure that your event decorating business is legally recognized. So, come up with a unique and creative name for your business that resonates with both clients and event planners.
Step #3: Research the Market
Research your target market to better understand the needs and wants of potential clients. This could include studying the competition, analyzing trends, and brainstorming unique ideas for event decorations. Also, explore different decor styles as well as color schemes that would be popular in your market.
Step #4: Develop a Strong Brand Identity
Creating a strong brand identity is essential for any business! After all, it’s the first thing potential clients will notice about your event decorating business… And the last impression they’ll walk away with! So, start by designing an eye-catching logo that reflects your style and event decorations. Additionally, you’ll also want to solidify your brand’s:
- Tone of voice
- Visual assets, etc.
PRO TIP: Learn more about branding your business with this Beginner’s Guide!
Step #5: Draft a Business Plan
Once you have a clear vision for your event decorating business, it’s time to create a detailed business plan. This will help you navigate the start-up process and ensure that you know what steps to take next. Moreover, your business plan will also help you secure any needed financing.
Your business plan should cover the following details:
- Company overview
- Company mission and goals
- Marketing plan
- Target market research
- Competitor analysis
- Financial projections
- Product/service offerings
- Steps for setting up the business (e.g., obtaining permits, registering a company name, etc.)
Event Decorating Business Plan Sample
Here’s an example of what a business plan might say, using a fake event decorating business we’ve made up for you:
“Luxury Events & Decor is a start-up event decorating business based in Chicago, Illinois. We specialize in providing luxury decorations for weddings, corporate events, anniversaries and more. Our goal is to help our clients create the perfect setting and atmosphere for their special occasion.”
Mission & Goals
“Our mission is to provide high-quality decorations for any event. We strive to create a unique and luxurious experience for each of our clients. Our goal is to become the go-to event decorating business in Chicago and beyond.”
“Our marketing plan centers around online advertising, word-of-mouth referrals, networking events, and public relations campaigns. Additionally, we plan to utilize social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter to reach our target market.”
Target Market Research
“We will target affluent couples planning weddings, corporate event planners, private individuals hosting anniversaries and other special occasions. Our research has shown that these individuals are looking for high-quality decorations to add a touch of class and sophistication to their events.”
“We have identified four key competitors in the Chicago area. Our goal is to differentiate our business through superior customer service, unique decorations, and competitive rates.”
“Based on our market research and financial analysis, we estimate that Luxury Events & Decor will need an initial investment of $25,000 in order to launch. We anticipate generating revenue of $50,000 in the first year and increasing profits by 25% year-over-year.”
“We offer a wide range of decorations for any event, including backdrops, centerpieces, floral arrangements, and stage decorations. We also provide custom design services to help clients create the perfect look for their special occasion.”
Steps for Setting Up a Business
“Finally, we need to take the necessary steps to set up our business in Chicago. This includes obtaining permits and registering a company name, as well as obtaining insurance and setting up a business bank account.”
PRO TIP: Here are 500+ FREE business plan examples and templates for you to look over, courtesy of Bplans!
Step #6: Secure Financing
Developing a source of funding is vital for any business – and your event decorating business is no exception. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may need to secure financing through a loan or investment.
You can either apply for a traditional bank loan, seek out investors, or even consider crowd funding options such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Just be sure to do your research and understand the requirements for each option before you commit.
Step #7: Determine Your Business Location
If you plan to operate your event decorating business from a physical location, then you’ll need to decide where that will be. Consider the size requirements, zoning regulations, and even the local demographics when making your decision. Once you’ve identified a few potential locations, compare each option to determine which one is best suited for your needs.
On the other hand, perhaps you’d prefer to operate your event decorating business from home. In that case, you’ll still need to ensure that your business is properly registered and that you have the necessary permits for running a business from your home. Moreover, you’ll want to set up a designated office space where you can run your business!
Step #8: Get Necessary Equipment and Supplies
Once you have done your research, it’s time to get the necessary equipment and supplies for your business. This could include:
- Lighting fixtures
- Floral arrangements
- Any other items you may need to provide services for your clients
Step #9: Set Your Event Decorating Service Rates
Once you have the equipment and supplies to start your event decorating business, it’s time to establish your rates. Start by researching the rates of similar businesses in your area. From there, decide on a pricing structure that is both competitive and profitable for your business!
PRO TIP: Here are 4 insider secrets to pricing your services, courtesy of QC Event School graduate and industry expert, Katie Dionne!
Step #10: Build a Business Website
In today’s digital age, having an online presence is essential for any business. Meaning, your event decorating business NEEDS its own professional website!
Start by registering a domain name that reflects your company name and services. There are all sorts of free website building platforms at your disposal. From there, you can build a website that includes photos of your event decorations, pricing information, and other details about your business.
Step #11: Get on Social Media
By the same extension, social media is an invaluable tool for connecting with potential clients and getting your business out there. We recommend choosing the social networks that are most relevant to your target market. Once on there, start posting regularly!
Remember, this step is all about building relationships with customers and showcasing your event decorations. So, be sure to post photos of your designs, interact with followers, and respond to comments quickly in order to maximize your exposure!
Step #11: Figure Out Your Marketing Strategies
Next, you’ll need to figure out your marketing strategies for promoting your event decorating business. There are plenty of options to choose from, such as:
- Traditional print advertising and/or radio spots
- Social media marketing
- Email campaigns
- Paid ad marketing/PPC marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Co-marketing/partner marketing
- Word of mouth marketing
- Direct mail marketing
- PR (public relations) marketing
- Brand marketing
- Stealth marketing
- Content marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- And more!
Whichever option(s) you go with, make sure that you track the results of your efforts so you can refine your strategies over time.
Step #12: Create Client Acquisition AND Client Retention Strategies
Another key thing you should not overlook is creating both client acquisition and client retention strategies. Client acquisition strategies are all about getting new customers. Client retention strategies, on the other hand, focus on keeping the customers that you already have.
To start, review any feedback or reviews from previous clients to determine what went right and wrong throughout their experience. From there, you can use this information to update and improve your processes for future clients.
Finally, be sure to stay in touch with customers after their event in order to keep them coming back for more!
Step #13: Familiarize Yourself with SEO
We also strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is the process of optimizing your website and other digital assets so that they appear higher in search engine results pages. This helps to drive more traffic to your site, which in turn can lead to more customers.
Start by researching basic SEO best practices for event decorating businesses. From there, go ahead and update your content and website accordingly to increase your chances of getting found online!
PRO TIP: New to SEO? Moz’s Beginner’s Guide will teach you everything you need to know to get a grasp on the basics!
Step #14: Start Creating Quality Content
Content creation is another great way to help boost your event decorating business. You can begin by creating informative blog posts and tutorials related to event decorations, as well as other topics that may be of interest to your target market.
These blog posts should be optimized with relevant keywords, so make sure you familiarize yourself with SEO best practices before doing this. Additionally, you should also consider creating engaging videos to share on social media and other digital platforms.
Step #15: Start Networking
Don’t forget about networking! Getting connected with other event decorators in your area can be a great way to expand your business. Not only will this help you find potential customers, but you can also learn from other professionals in the industry and get advice on how to improve your business. We suggest attending local events, joining industry-related Facebook groups, and connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn.
PRO TIP: Learn how to network like a master!
Step #16: Stay Up to Date on Trends
Finally, be sure to stay up to date on the latest trends in event decorations. This will help you stay ahead of the competition and make sure your designs are always fresh and appealing to potential customers.
Check out websites and magazines dedicated to event decorating, as well as following influencers in the industry on social media. Being proactive about staying informed with the latest trends can help keep your business ahead of the curve!
How To Promote Your Decorating Business on Social Media
Start by creating a business page for your event decorating business. From there, use the “Stories” feature to show behind-the-scenes of events that you’re working on or have already finished. You can also create posts about your latest projects and any offers/discounts that you may be offering. Additionally, make sure to use relevant hashtags in your posts and consider running ads on Facebook as well.
Instagram is a great platform to showcase all of the amazing work that you’re doing with event decorations. After creating an Instagram profile for your business, share photos and IG reels of all of your latest projects. You should also share any tips and tricks you have as well! Additionally, use relevant hashtags and consider running sponsored ads on Instagram for even more exposure.
Twitter can be a great platform to promote your event decorating business – if used correctly. Create a professional profile for your company and start sharing interesting content related to the event decorations industry. Don’t forget to use hashtags in your posts, as well as utilizing Twitter’s ad platform.
Pinterest is a great platform to share visuals of your event decorations. Create boards that show off all of the amazing work you’ve done and make sure to use relevant keywords and hashtags. Also, you can also create Pinterest ads as well for even more exposure!
TikTok is a one of the most popular platforms nowadays to get creative and show off all the work you’ve done. Create videos showing behind-the-scenes of events, as well as tutorials on how to create specific decorations. We also recommend using relevant hashtags and trending sounds to better your chances of being seen. Lastly, consider running ads on TikTok as well for even more visibility!
Last but not least, don’t forget about LinkedIn! Again, create a professional profile for your business and start sharing relevant content. We recommend sharing articles you’ve written related to event decorations, as well as any offers/discounts that you may have. Additionally, consider connecting with other professionals in the industry and join groups related to event decorations.
Things Needed for Event Decoration Businesses
- Supplies: You’ll need to stock up on all the necessary supplies to decorate events, such as decorations, fabrics, balloons, centerpieces, etc.
- Tools: This could include things like ladders and extension cords for outdoor lighting setups or a hot glue gun for fabric draping projects.
- Transport: You’ll need a reliable form of transportation to get all your supplies and tools from one event to another. This could be as simple as having access to a car, or you could consider renting out a larger van/truck for bigger projects.
- Employees: If your business grows, it may be necessary to hire additional employees. Consider having a team of people at the ready to help with larger projects or events.
Where to Buy Event Decor Supplies
For high-quality event supplies, consider checking out stores such as:
These stores usually offer a wide selection of decorations, fabrics, balloons and more at reasonable prices. Additionally, you can also check out local party shops for last minute items or visit online retailers – like Amazon or eBay – for even more selection.
Buying On a Budget
If you’re looking to buy event decor supplies on a budget, consider checking out sites such as Craigslist, Kijiji, and/or Facebook Marketplace. You can usually find gently used decorations and props for lower prices. Additionally, some stores offer discounts for bulk purchases. So, if you need something in large quantities, look into those offers.
Some alternative ways to secure decor for your client’s event, without spending a fortune, include:
- Renting decorations from other decorators
- Reusing decorations from past events
- Gifting decorations from vendors
- Renting decorations directly from the selected venue
How To Build an Event Decor Portfolio
Having a portfolio of your event decorations is extremely important when starting (and running) an event decor business. After all, this will serve as a way to showcase all the amazing work you’ve done and give potential customers an idea of what they can expect when booking with you!
The best way to start building your portfolio is by taking quality images of all the events you decorate. You can either hire a photographer to capture the entire event or simply use your smartphone and take pictures yourself.
Once you have all the photos, include them in a Portfolio webpage directly on your business site. Moreover, you can also create an online portfolio of these images on sites such as Behance, Flickr, or Tumblr. Make sure to write a description for each project and list any details (i.e. suppliers, prices, etc.) that may be relevant to potential customers.
Finally, don’t forget to share your work on the social media platforms you’re active on. This will help you attract more customers and build a larger following for your business!
PRO TIP: One awesome way to get both experience AND portfolio material is to take part in a stylized photoshoot!
The Importance of Getting Certified in Event Decorating
In order to be a successful event decorator, it’s important to get certified in the field. This certification will prove that you are knowledgeable and have the necessary skills to run an event decor business. Not to mention, having this certification may give you access to discounts from vendors or access exclusive networking events with other professionals in the industry.
There are a variety of certifications available, so it’s important to do your research when choosing one that’s right for you. QC Event School, for example, offers a self-paced, online Event Decor certification course. In as little as 12 short weeks, you can become a globally-certified International Event Decorating Professional™ (IEDP™) AND obtain valuable business training to help you launch your company successfully!
Check out the full outline for this Event Decor certification course and enroll today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Finally, let’s answer some commonly asked questions about the event decorating industry…
Q: How much do event decorators make?
A: There’s no clear cut answer to this question, as every event decorator will have different rates, based on their experience and demand. The average rate is around $50 per hour or 10% of the total cost of the decorations. That said, in the United States alone, event decorators tend to earn anywhere between $55,000 USD to $81,000 USD per year!
Q: How much of an event budget is for decor?
A: Typically, event decor should take up 15-25% of the entire budget. This amount can vary depending on the type of decorations you’re using and how intricate your design is.
Q: How long does it take for the decor for an event to be set up?
A: How long it takes to decorate an event will depend on the size of the venue, how complex your design is, and how many people you have helping with the setup. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from one hour for a smaller event to several days for a larger scale event.
Q: How much should you charge for decorating?
A: How much you charge for your decorating services will vary depending on the type of decorations you’re providing, what level of expertise is required, and the size of the event. It’s important to take into consideration other factors like travel time, setup/teardown times, etc. when deciding on a rate.
Q: How much money do you need to start a decorating business?
A: How much money you need to start a decorating business will depend on the scale of your services and what types of decorations you’re providing. Start-up costs can range anywhere from several hundred dollars (for basic materials) to thousands (if you’re renting out larger equipment). Typically speaking, though, the average small business will spend approx. $40,000 USD on both their startup costs and the amount they’ll usually spend within their first year of operation.
Q: How do event decorators get clients?
A: There are all sorts of ways you can get clients as an event decorator! Here are just a handful of examples:
- Networking: Attending industry events, speaking at conferences, or joining local business groups can all help you to get your name out there.
- Social media: Creating a profile on popular social media sites and actively engaging with others in the industry can be an effective way to showcase your work
- Word of mouth: Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing! Ask your former clients for referrals and build a portfolio of work that will make you stand out from the competition.
- Paid advertising: Investing in paid advertising, such as Google Ads or social media ads can be an effective way to reach potential clients who are looking for event decorators.
- Client incentives: Offering discounts to brand-new customers, or loyalty rewards to existing clients, can help to boost your customer base.
- Running social media promotions/contests/giveaways: Offering discounts or freebies through social media posts is a great way to draw customers in and promote your services.
- Content advertising: Writing blog posts, creating videos or podcasts, and other forms of content marketing can help to draw potential customers to your website and show off your services.
- Collaborations: Partnering with other event companies or businesses in the industry can help to broaden your reach and increase brand awareness.
- Getting involved in your community: Participating in community events, donating to charities or local organizations, and sponsoring local sports teams can help to introduce your business to a wider audience.
Q: What are client consultations?
A: Client consultations are meetings you have with potential clients to discuss their event decorating needs and determine whether they would like to hire your services. During these meetings, it’s important to ask the right questions, get a better understanding of what the client is looking for, and be able to provide an accurate estimate of the cost.
Q: What do you say at a consultation for event decor?
A: During a consultation for event decor, it’s important to ask the right questions and provide helpful suggestions. This can include questions such as:
- How big is the event?
- How many guests will be attending?
- What type of mood are you trying to create?
- How much time do you have before the event?
- What kind of decorations are you looking for?
- Do you need help with set up and take down?
- What is your budget for decorations?
Once these questions have been answered, it’s important to provide helpful suggestions based on the client’s needs and ensure that both parties are in agreement before any contracts are signed.
PRO TIP: Make sure to also ask these 12 essential questions during EVERY client consultation!
Q: Does your event decorating business need a contract?
A: YES! You should have a proper contract written up not only for clients, but also for any vendors, suppliers, or venues you may work with. A contract should include all the details of the event, such as the date and time, location, decorations required, payment terms, timeline for setup and take down etc.
It’s also important to include a clause that outlines what would happen if either party fails to fulfill their obligations. This way, both parties can have peace of mind knowing that everything is laid out in writing and can be referred back to if needed.
By including a contract, you ensure that your event decorating business is protected and all parties involved have a clear understanding of the expectations. And once it’s written, don’t forget to have it looked over by a lawyer or other legal professionals! This way, they can make sure it meets all applicable laws and regulations.
PRO TIP: Need help getting your business contract started? These DO’s and DON’TS will set you on the right path!
Q: How can you start an event decorating business from home?
A: Starting an event decorating business from home is a great way to get your business off the ground quickly and with minimal cost. The first step is to create a budget for all the materials you’ll need to purchase, such as decorations, lighting, fabrics, etc.
Once you have purchased all the necessary supplies, it’s time to start advertising your services. You can create a website or social media pages to show off your work, as well as list any special packages you offer.
It’s also important to decide where you’ll host larger events if needed. This could mean renting out a space (such as an event hall or banquet room) or asking venues in the area if they would be willing to host your decorating services.
Finally, don’t forget to network and build relationships with local vendors and suppliers! This can help you get better deals on materials and will also give you a better understanding of the market so you can stay ahead of the competition.
Q: How can you start an event decorating business with little to no money?
A: Starting an event decorating business with limited funds is completely possible! The key to success is to use the resources and skills you already have. Start by assessing the supplies and tools you already own, such as decorations or fabrics. You can then advertise your services on social media or even create flyers to be posted at local businesses.
You may also want to look into partnering with local vendors and suppliers who are willing to provide discounts for your services. This can help you get the materials you need without breaking the bank, and will ensure that you’re able to provide quality decorations at an affordable price.
Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of free resources online. There are tons of free tutorials and guides available that can help you learn the basics of event decorating, giving you a good foundation to build your business on!
Q: Is event decor a good business?
A: Absolutely! Event decor is a great business to get into if you have a creative eye and an entrepreneurial spirit. Not only is it rewarding financially, but it also allows you to be creative and work with different people while producing stunning results.
Furthermore, event decorating can be done either part-time or full-time – depending on your availability and the size of your business. In fact, many event decorators start small (taking on one-off jobs or smaller events) before expanding into larger gigs.
So, if you’re looking for a fun and lucrative business to get into, event decorating is definitely worth considering!
Starting an event decorating business from scratch can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and resources, it’s 100% possible! By following all of the tips discussed in this article, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful and professional event decor business.
Got any questions or comments for us? Drop them down below and we’ll reply as soon as we can!
Good luck and happy decorating!
Start an exciting, lucrative career in event decorating in as little as 3-6 months by enrolling with QC Event School today!
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