While people typically look at event planning from a logistical standpoint, there is also a revenue angle to events that, when leveraged properly, can create a significant income stream for businesses as well as planners. In fact, entire corporations are built around the concept of producing and selling space at large events.
The most attractive aspect of making money on events—besides profit potential—is that almost anyone can do it. The cost of hosting small- and medium-sized functions is minor compared to opening a retail business, and you can experiment with a wide range of concepts. Going outside your comfort zone can often jump-start creativity, opening up more opportunities for a short-term, profitable venture.
The best authors and celebrities can fill a room just on name alone, creating a revenue opportunity for event promoters who can match the right speaker with a hungry audience. The math behind profiting is pretty simple: Take the celebrity’s speaking fee and book a venue with enough seat inventory to exceed the cost of hosting the event. For example, if your total costs are $10,000 and you sold 750 tickets at $25 each ($18,750), then you would earn a profit of $8,750. An additional benefit is you don't need much more than a stage, chairs, and concessions. This keeps planning time to a minimum.
People will always pay to learn skills that lead to more money or more free time. The language or marketing copy differ, but this is essentially what all successful training seminars offer. You will find dozens of companies online that design and promote training seminars for business certification, study programs, and personal development. Even better is that you don’t actually need to be a trainer to make money off the events. All you have to do is identify a need, hire a good trainer, and plan the event.
What happens when you offer a prize along with the opportunity for hobbyists to compete against each other? Assuming you choose the right platform and region, you should have no problem attracting hundreds of candidates willing to pay a fee to participate. From poker tournaments to video games, every city has a market for gamers looking for an outlet to play outside of their home. For many, playing on a stage is a lifelong dream. Managing costs for these events can get complicated because you will need a support staff, but if you already have ties with fans or understand the intricacies of such events, then the profit potential is there, waiting to be scaled.
Events like craft shows and bake sales are perfect for new promoters because the costs are very low. High school gymnasiums can be rented for well under $1,000, and exhibitors at these functions are generally easy to work with. The first step in planning a profitable craft show is to determine how many vendor tables you can reasonably fit inside the venue; that number determines the amount you need to charge to clear a profit. From there, it is all about marketing, which most vendors will do on their own. If you do a good job drawing a crowd at your first show, then future shows will grow on reputation.
The pet industry is huge, yet there are very few opportunities for pet owners to get together as a group. This is where an entrepreneurial event planner could make a tidy profit by simply creating the opportunity. A pet show can include anything from a vendor expo to a full-fledged contest where pets can show off their talents and abilities. Obviously, such events come with a lot of things to manage, so start small and grow with experience.