Beginner’s Guide to Start an Event Planning Business in Singapore
The event planning business can be a bit of a paradox. It is considered one of the most challenging businesses but also one of the most exhilarating. Working hours are long, stress levels are through the ceiling, and handling clients can be tricky. Yet, for success, the buzz of an event planning business in Singapore is incomparable.
In fact, Singapore might actually be one the best places to start an event planning business. Its position as a global business hub has made Singapore a magnet for all kinds of events and functions. A competitive environment, world-class facilities, and a skilled talent pool make it an ideal ecosystem for such ventures.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll take a look at the business of event planning. We’ll also explore why it remains highly relevant and how you can go about starting one of your own. It’s a great business idea and, when done right, will undoubtedly make the world your oyster.
What Is Event Planning Business?
Managing, organizing, and coordinating an event or project is what event planners do as business activities. These events can be social, leisure, or corporate and require planning on various levels. It can run the spectrum from logistics to entertainment, press coverage, catering, budgeting, and even security.
Generally, social events cover arts and culturally themed affairs such as exhibitions, festivals, etc. It also includes private functions such as weddings, reunions, etc. Corporate events center around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions or MICE. More lavish ones include launches and press events, etc.
Why Choose to Start an Event Planning Business in Singapore?
For the past decade, Singapore has consistently ranked in the global top tier for events. Its accolades range from Top Convention City to high International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranking. Undoubtedly, Singapore is a global leader when it comes to the business of events and meetings.
Choosing to start your event planning business in Singapore is simply good business sense. As a global events destination, Singapore has some of the world’s best facilities and infrastructure. Stable governance, clear policies, and a competitive tax regime make it a great place to start any business.
Requirements to Start an Event Planning Business
To start any business on the right foot, there are certain basic requirements to observe. Writing up a smashing business plan and a solid financial forecast is a must. Due diligence will reveal the best business model and course of action to take. You’ll be able to discover the competition and even possibly find a successful niche.
Do speak to peers and maybe get some industry exposure before venturing out on your own. This will help you establish a network and a potential client list you can rely on later. Once you’re ready, start your event planning business by setting up a company. The process is relatively straightforward and requires just the basics in the documentation.
Check out Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website for detailed company formation guidelines. You can choose to set up as a sole proprietorship or a partnership. You can also incorporate it as a limited liability company. Register your company name, sign the relevant documents, open your corporate bank account and you’re all set.
Guidelines for Starting An Event Planning Business in Singapore
Generally, businesses in Singapore do not need a license to trade, and permits are industry-specific. However, some of the events themselves may require approval from certain sectors such as the police, etc.
It’s simply good business practice to always check with the relevant authorities before planning any event. For example, the Arts Entertainment Licence comes from the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). You will need this permit for any type of public entertainment event.
If you plan to sell food and beverage, you will need approval from the National Environment Agency (NEA). Hence, planning allows you to avoid the risk of a fine or premature closure of your event. Here are a few more examples of permits and licensing to consider for specific events:
- Trade Fair Permit
- Music & Video Copyright Permit
- Public Entertainment License
- Fire Works Display Licence
- Animal Exhibition Licence
How to Grow an Event Planning Business?
There’s plenty of sensible advice available on how to ensure your business is thriving and scalable. A reliable business plan, five-year financial forecast, strong advertising, and branding are all great building blocks. Do perfect the good old ‘elevator pitch’ – a speedy and exciting summary of what you do.
While you’re at it, work out a competitive pricing schedule and a list of events on offer. If you want to niche, play to your strengths and what interests you. For example, a solid corporate background would allow you to niche in MICE events. Do consider leveraging digital tools such as the latest apps and events software.
Event planning is a ‘people’ business, and success hinges on how well you are able to network. You will need to build up a diverse collection of suppliers, contacts, freelancers, media representatives, etc. This translates to socializing on a large scale by attending all sorts of events, etc.
Bear in mind that everyone everywhere has the potential to be a client. The savvy entrepreneur will recognize a window of opportunity in any given situation. Further, having a vibrant social media presence and website is de rigueur these days. Getting some professional help in this area is the way to go and a great return on investment.
Having your very own event planning business in Singapore is a great career path for anyone keen on events. Working smart and diligently in this vibrant industry will soon see you reaping the rewards of your success. The business can be challenging, but it also offers fantastic potential to would-be entrepreneurs. A well-planned event is a success story that speaks for itself and is a reward on its own.