Market Segments of the Event and Meeting Planning Business

December 23, 2013 | By | 2 Replies More

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Market Segments of the Event and Meeting Planning Business

The event planning market covers a wide variety of segments. It is therefore important that you carefully select the niche where you can provide the best possible service.

The main market segments can be broken down as follows:

Social Market.

The social circuit can be an immense source of business for an event planner. While typically smaller than corporate events, there are a number of social events that you can specialize in such as weddings, children’s parties, birthday celebrations, bar and bat mitzvahs, reunions, graduations, and other hospitality events. Commemoration events such as memorials and civic events also fall under this category.

These types of events are usually one-time affairs, but referrals and word of mouth can help fortify your reputation and widen your customer base. In a children’s party, for example, your potential clients can include your current customer for their child’s next birthday as well as all the other parents in attendance. Note, however, that social event clients often make strong emotional investments in the event leading to very high expectations that you as the event planner must recognize and manage (e.g. consider how parents want the birthday party of their children to be the best).

Corporate Market.

The corporate market covers private organizations and businesses, corporations, and political parties. These events are typically larger, with higher revenue potential, and higher chances of repeat business.

Corporate events can include company outings, trade show events and exhibitions, board member or stockholder meetings, conferences and seminars, product launches, award dinners, team building events, even fashion shows. Tasks may include everything from conducting research, creating an event design, choosing the venue, making hotel selections and reservations, organizing transportation, arranging the food/décor/entertainment, determining extracurricular activities for event participants, supervising the site, coordinating the actual event, and conducting evaluations of the event. Corporate clients demand high expectations in terms of quality and creativity, as well as flawless execution in terms of logistics and operations.


Charities and nonprofit organizations including research think tanks regularly host gala fundraisers, receptions, conferences and seminars, among other events, to raise awareness on issues they support, expand their public and donor base, and raise funds. While non-profits may have lesser high-revenue projects lined up for event planners, their functions and events are generally considered good training grounds for event planners.

Public Organizations.

The Government can be a productive source of projects for an event planner. Events typically range from high profile international meetings to conferences and award ceremonies. Some government organizations also host events where international leaders, diplomats and government officials from other countries participate.

Event planners will be responsible for arranging the shuttle services of the diplomats and leaders (unless their embassies provide for the transportation), and ensuring that the official meetings and social gatherings are properly arranged and taken care of.

Regional Events.

Some event planners prefer to specialize in a particular area instead of a single event type. Called a destination planner, you can be the “go-to” planner of a specific destination such as San Francisco, Madrid, or the Caribbean. Your business can involve the design and implementation of any type of program, including corporate events, transportation, meet and greet, team building, theme parties, and any type of special event the customers may require. You will present yourself as the expert for local conventions, seminars or other events by virtue of your extensive knowledge and contacts in the area. You know all there is to know about local venues, restaurants that are “group friendly”, the best means of transportation, and how to showcase the true spirit of your local area.

Event Services.

In addition to working on your event specialty, you can also provide services that other event planners and meeting professionals may need. Examples of these services include tent scenery and backdrop, staffing, catering, videography, professional speakers, restroom trailers, costumes and inflatable, transportation, among others. Other support products include event planning software, or step-by-step guides for those who wish to organize the event themselves and not hire an event planner.


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Jenny Fulbright

Jenny Fulbright

Jenny Fulbright is a writer for

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