Do you like events? Well, it’s a rhetorical question because it’ll be unfair to generalise that everyone likes events. Events such as weddings, birthday, baby shower, or even a housewarming party are a big “yes” for many people and a “no” for others. There are events whose ambience alone can take anyone’s breath away.
These events could either be a dream come true or, at worst, a nightmare—the former is preferable. As exciting as these events may be, their success or failure is due to the individual or individuals who planned them. They’d be acknowledged as event planners if they have the idea and skills to pull off a successful event.
It’ll be factual to say that all event planners plan and execute events, but not all events are planned and executed by event planners. To further understand the concept of event planning and how to be a successful event planner, especially in the Nigerian economy, you’ll have to dive right into this piece.
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Who is an Event Planner?
An event planner is usually a professional responsible for organising and coordinating every aspect of an event, such as corporate meetings, conferences, weddings, parties, and other social gatherings. The event planner’s responsibilities may include the following:
- Selecting and booking venues.
- Hiring vendors such as caterers, florists, photographers, and musicians.
- Managing budgets and timelines.
- Creating event layouts.
An event planner also develops marketing strategies and ensures that the event client’s or attendees’ expectations.
Essential Skills Needed to be a Successful Event Planner
Event planning is quite an interesting and tasking exercise, but it will be “chaotic” if you’re new—though it gets better as you take on more events. To be successful as an event planner, it’s required that you have some skills that will help you ace your event.
These skills are not difficult to have or learn (if you don’t have them already). Below are some of the skills you’ll need to have to succeed in your event planning in the Nigerian economy;
An event planner needs to be highly organised and able to juggle multiple tasks at once. The whole process, from planning to execution, demands a high level of organisation. You should have strong project management skills and be able to keep track of deadlines and budgets.
Good communication skills
Good communication skills are crucial for event planners since your job deals with people and not inanimate objects. You need to communicate effectively with clients, vendors, and event staff. This includes being a good listener, being able to articulate ideas clearly, and being able to negotiate effectively.
You need to be a creative person to succeed as an event planner. Event planning often requires coming up with creative solutions to problems and finding ways to make events unique and memorable. If you intend to succeed as an event planner, you need to be able to think outside the box and come up with new and exciting ideas.
Keen attention to details
The success of an event often hinges on small details, so you need to be meticulous and detail-oriented. Being able to anticipate and address potential problems before they arise is an ideal skill you need as an event planner.
Strong time management skills
Event planning can be a time-sensitive endeavour with tight deadlines and many moving parts. As part of your requirement, you must manage your time effectively and prioritise tasks to ensure that everything gets done on schedule.
Events are sometimes unpredictable, and this makes it essential that you can adapt to changing circumstances quickly. You should be able to think on your feet and devise alternative plans if or when things don’t go according to plan.
Strong leadership quality
As an event planner, your job entails that you often work with large teams of people, including vendors and event staff. You need to be able to lead and motivate your team to ensure that everyone is working together effectively to achieve the event’s goals.
How Can I Become a Successful Event Planner in Nigeria?
Newbies often ask this question in the event planning space. It’s one thing to begin a career as an event planner, it’s another to succeed. Starting a career as an event planner in Nigeria requires a combination of skills, education, and experience.
Here are some steps you can take to be an event planner in Nigeria;
Acquire a formal education
A degree in event management or a related field can give you the foundational knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the industry. You can also take courses or attend workshops to gain knowledge on event planning. A degree is not compulsory in event planning, this is why there is an option for online certification in event planning. It’s in a bid to make you a professional.
Gain field experience
You can gain experience through channels such as internships, volunteering, or working in entry-level positions in event planning firms. These can help you gain practical experience in the industry and build a network.
You can start small like organising your family members’ or friends’ birthday party, planning an event for your workplace and so on.
Read Also: Fun Birthday Party Ideas for Nigerians
Develop essential skills
As an event planner, you need to have excellent organisational skills, communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask. You also need to be creative and have problem-solving skills.
Build a portfolio
It’s easier to gain clients’ trust when you have evidence of past successful events you’ve planned. So, you can start building your portfolio by planning events for friends, family, and non-profit organisations. Take pictures and document the process, as this will be useful in showcasing your skills to potential clients.
Build a network
To build a successful career in event planning, you could attend events and conferences in the industry, join professional associations, and connect with other event planners. Building a network can help you get referrals and gain more clients.
As an event planner, keeping up with the latest trends, technologies, and innovations in the industry is essential. This will help you stay competitive and provide the best services to your clients.
Know how to market yourself
You should get people to buy into you as an event planner. Create a website, business cards, and social media accounts to promote your services. Also, you can use your portfolio to showcase your work and attract potential clients.
Challenges Faced by Event Planners in Nigeria and How to Overcome Them
As lucrative as event planning in Nigeria, it comes with its own challenges. The industry is growing rapidly, and the competition is on the rise. Here are some of the challenges faced by event planners in Nigeria and how to overcome them;
Nigeria is still developing its infrastructure, and event planners often struggle with a lack of proper venues, reliable transportation, and adequate equipment. To overcome this challenge, you need to be resourceful and creative. You can work with local vendors, use innovative event technology, and scout for unique locations that meet your clients’ needs.
Budget limitations are a common challenge for an event planner in Nigeria. Due to limited funds from your clients, it can affect the event itself. To overcome this challenge, you must work closely with your clients to understand their budgets and prioritise their needs. You can also work with vendors offering competitive pricing to help you achieve maximum success.
You should take into consideration that Nigeria is a diverse country, hence, you need to be aware of the different cultural practices and beliefs of your clients and guests. You should thoroughly research your clients’ and guests’ cultures and preferences to ensure that their events are inclusive and respectful.
Event planning requires careful planning and execution, and logistics are a critical part of this process. You need to be organised and detail-oriented, ensuring that every aspect of the event, including transportation, accommodation, and catering, is handled efficiently.
Unstable weather conditions
Nigeria’s tropical climate can be unstable and have an impact on events, especially those that are organised in “open air”—those events organised outside a building with canopies and tents. With this knowledge, you should keep abreast of the weather forecast and plan accordingly. You can also have backup plans in case of any changes or delays caused by weather conditions.
You can watch the weather for 10 days before the events. If you notice that the weather will be unfavourable, you can build a tent that would look like an indoor event or opt for a hall.
Legal Requirements Needed for Starting an Event Planning Business in Nigeria
In the event planning space, you’ll intend to organise certain types of events—big and glamorous—that’ll demand that you present some legal documents that’ll scale you up and increase your chances to succeed. Starting an event planning business in Nigeria involves complying with various legal requirements, including;
You must register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria. This process involves choosing a unique name for your business and completing the necessary paperwork.
Register your business with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN). This will enable you to pay taxes and file tax returns.
Permits and licenses
Depending on the type of events you plan to organise and your client’s status, you may need to obtain permits and licenses from relevant authorities such as the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
You need to obtain insurance coverage to protect your business against unforeseen events, such as liability insurance, property insurance, and event cancellation insurance.
Intellectual property protection
You need to register your business name, logo, and other intellectual property with the Nigerian Trademarks, Patents, and Designs Registry to protect them from unauthorised use.
Event planning is a very lucrative business that anyone would want to consider in Nigeria. With the increase in competition in the industry, it’s preferred that you go into it prepared. Every piece of information in this article is crucial to your success as an event planner in Nigeria.
For further guidance, you can consult a lawyer or business consultant to ensure you comply with all the legal requirements for starting an event planning business in Nigeria.
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