In the competitive event industry, defining your niche can be a key differentiator and set you up as a specialist and market leader.
In the ever-changing world of events, trends come and go. But some trends remain popular to become a mainstay. There are ample opportunities to specialize in something unique. If the world is changing, are you keeping up?
What Is A Niche Event-Professional?
Having a niche in the event industry can be described as specializing in a particular type of event. This kind of event is not always common or widely catered for. Thus by catering to a defined group of individuals or a specific event, you can create a name for yourself. You’ll form part of a very select group of people who specialize in these events.
Niche events include the likes of fundraisers, children’s birthday parties, themed parties, as well as milestone parties such as anniversaries, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and award ceremonies. But it can also go further than that.
Some event planners focus on sporting events or even focus on specifics like marathons or cycling events. Other event pros work exclusively at large music festivals or find their niche in baby showers. An event niche can be anything you love and have a strong affinity for.
And in the last year, a new niche has appeared in hybrid and virtual events. Corporate clients are looking for event pros who understand the technicalities of planning virtual events and all the attendant issues around production and audience engagement.
Of course, the most apparent niche is doing only weddings. Still, even there, some wedding pros do luxury weddings or quirky boho weddings. You might even have a niche and not know it yet.
Why Specialize in Something Specific?
The majority of event planners attempt to cater to the widest variety of social and corporate events. It makes sense to increase the chances of obtaining customers and regular business opportunities. This makes sense when considering that the more business you have, the more profit you can make in a calendar year. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the only way to achieve these objectives.
By catering to one, two, or possibly three specific event types, you can become an expert in these events and attempt to develop your business as the local niche-market leader.
And that’s not something to ignore. By cultivating your niche, you can become the go-to, first-choice event planner in your local area. So while there may be 100 planners in your region, how many are deep experts in large-scale floral arrangements?
While you don’t need to forgo other event types, having a specialty allows for strong word-of-mouth marketing over the long run.
Specialization Helps Define Your Business
Kelly Caroline is an artist and event planner at The Village Arts Factory. She’s also the founder of Kelly Caroline Henna Art. She explains the process of becoming known as a Mehndi specialist in Michigan.
“I started doing basic blog posts about henna and putting up pictures of work I’d done, getting my SEO, knowing exactly how to get into the mind of my audience. The two words that kept popping up were ‘henna’ and ‘Michigan,’ so for my keywords, I used ‘henna Michigan,’ ‘henna artist Michigan’ and ‘henna for weddings Michigan'”.
It took about two months of continuous blog posts before Kelly started getting calls. “It just really went off from there,” she recalls. “In the beginning, I probably did three parties a month or so. Now, between myself and two other artists that I hire out, in our busy season between March and September, we’ll have four or five gigs a week.”
Why A Niche Makes Your Work Easier
Specialization makes your job a lot easier because:
- During the process of gathering the supplies, vendors, and resources required to host these events, you enable the re-use and reapplication of these elements for forthcoming events;
- You will save time and money, as you know what to expect of these events and how to deal with them professionally;
- Your events will be of a much higher quality than other event planners, who would only be able to produce a small fraction of the event-specific decor, vendors, and services.
- If you choose to specialize in specific types of events, you won’t have to go out and look for customers, as they will find you. You’ll save the money you would’ve used for advertising, as attendees of your event could be in search of something similar and ultimately make use of your services.
Which Event Industry Niche Should You Choose?
Your choice of niche is primarily dependent on 3 factors, namely:
- How receptive and needy your local market is for the services and events you wish to offer
- Your skillset and the capital you have available to specify your trade
- Your ability to connect with vendors and caterers to form a lasting professional relationship.
Even though the most decisive factor will always be the market’s need for your services, the process of choosing your niche(s) should be influenced by what you would like to do and how well you can do it. Even if your choices seem unrealistic or out of reach, take a chance. You might be surprised by how welcoming the market is.
Something that event planners, and people in general, forget to do is ask questions. Speak to people in the industry you wish to enter, ask them what their biggest challenges are, and find out what is required to succeed in the niche. This will help you to form a contingency plan and sufficiently prepare for your new undertaking. I mean, who better to ask about logging than a lumberjack?
Cons of Specializing In A Type Of Event:
- By becoming an expert in your niche-event genre, you allow market-specific customers to become your own, but in doing so, might exclude yourself from more “usual” events.
- Having a distinct niche, or several could be financially beneficial when there is a need for it. Still, trends come and go. Be careful.
Pros of Specializing In A Type Of Event:
- If your events make use of the same vendors, you can create a lasting relationship with these individuals.
- If you become renowned for your specialty and continue to make a name for yourself, you could become the sole specialist in the niche. Exciting!
Is A Niche Right For You
The question ultimately comes to whether you are willing to take a chance on something. And it’s okay to be nervous! Let’s look at your options.
Suppose you can produce a consistent amount of events over a calendar year without any significant financial or personal setbacks. Don’t you think you’d be able to squeeze in a niche-event side-hustle? By starting out slow and using your current capital and assets, you can broaden your event-planning horizon and possibly initiate something successful.
If you feel you have stagnated and grown tired of your current event genre, why not try something new? And event planning software like ThymeBase can help keep your workflow organized while you find your event-industry niche.
Meet the author:
My name is Duan Nel, and I am currently occupied as a Publishing Honors student. I would say that humor is one of the most important aspects of being human. Without it, I’d probably be a Graham Cracker.