How to Start an Events Planning Business in Kenya in 2024

Are you passionate about event planning? Would you start an event planning business if you landed a jackpot? The event planning and management industry is increasingly growing, and the demand for professionals is also escalating. This is why most event planning companies in Kenya are making high profits. 

Luckily, if you start your events planning business well and do things right, it can become the most rewarding project in your life. In this article, you’ll learn how to start an events planning business in Kenya. From choosing your events type to registering your business, you’ll know everything. Keep reading! 

How to Start an Events Planning Business in Kenya 

Before you start an events planning business in Kenya, you should seek to understand the event planning and management industry so well that you can tell what is trending. 

Also, seek to know your target customers by their needs, preferences, and habits. Above all, have the knack to identify and defeat your competition. As an event organizer who wants to succeed, assess your interpersonal and organizational skills. 

After all, you will meet and work with people of all statuses. Successful event managers can deliver excellent results even when working under pressure. Can you do the same? If yes, here is how to start an event planning business in Kenya:

1. Acquire Events Planning Knowledge and Skills

Perhaps you have never studied event planning or a related course like Hospitality and Tourism Management. The best starting point for someone without relevant education and first-hand experience is learning. 

Take the time to establish yourself in the industry by gaining all the necessary knowledge and skills. Here are your learning paths: 

  • Study in College: If you can take a short Certificate or Diploma course in events management, go for it. Enroll for this course in colleges like the East Africa Institute of Certified Studies, The Technical University of Kenya, and the Meru Institute of Business Studies.
  • Expand Your Knowledge: As you continue with your school training, read the best events planning magazines and online publications. Look for mentors in the industry and attend their workshops, events, and seminars. View YouTube videos on event planning and explore other people’s ideas. Offer to participate in events planning work for free to gain experience. 
  • Grow Your Network: Look for opportunities to attend events by some of the top event planning companies in Kenya. Watching a live event offers a brilliant learning opportunity. Find and join relevant industry associations and social media groups to increase your networking opportunities. 

Find Out: How To Start A Partnership Business In Kenya

2. Survey the Market

What you think about the events planning and management industry might not all be true. Thus, get to the ground and survey the market in person. By doing so, you will examine the demand for the service you plan to offer. During the market survey, investigate the following things:

  • Competition in your niches.
  • Different event types in the industry.
  • Various niches within event types.
  • Venues in your region.
  • Where to find event supplies like tents, chairs, tables, flowers, tablecloths, charger plates, napkins, backdrops, etc.
  • Your target customer’s needs and preferences, including budgets, locations, event types, etc.
  • How to attract and retain potential customers.
  • The market gaps you can fill. 

The information above can help you figure out how to start your event planning enterprise.

Also Read: How To Start A Soap-Making Business In Kenya

3. Choose Your Events Type and Niche

Marketing research and surveys will give you a clear picture of the venture you plan to start. One of the things you will discover is that the event planning and management industry is broad. 

Only choose all event types and niches at once if you have enough working capital and expertise. The most popular event types in Kenya are: 

  • Weddings
  • Product/Service Launches
  • Conferences
  • Corporate activities
  • Trade exhibitions and fairs
  • Sports
  • Concerts and festivals
  • Intimate gatherings like birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. 

After selecting the types of events to do, pinpoint a specific niche. For instance, if you want to organize destination weddings, determine if you will do catering, venue decorations, reception management, supplier sourcing, etc. 

You can do everything or choose just one area of specialization. Consider these factors as you choose a niche to focus on: 

  • Identify what interests you the most in the event planning field.
  • Examine the market demand for the services you want to offer.
  • The amount of starting and working capital you have at the moment.
  • Ability to network with suppliers and others in your field to create long-lasting professional relationships
  • The target customer and their needs. You can talk to them directly to discover their needs and wants. 
  • Strengths and weaknesses. 

4. Write a Business Plan

A business plan can help you lay a strong foundation for your events planning enterprise. It enables you to estimate various costs of starting and running your business. Also, a business plan allows you to describe your venture’s name, mission, vision, and core values. 

Furthermore, you can outline your marketing strategies based on the current market trends and project your profits and losses for the first year of operation. After successfully starting your enterprise, you can compare your actual performance with the estimations on your business plan.

Other things to have in the business plan include:

  • Business Description: Provide detailed information about your events planning business. Explain your specific services, such as wedding planning, corporate events, parties, etc. You should also identify your target market for the business.
  • Market Analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of the events planning industry in Kenya. The analysis should help you identify potential competitors, their strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Organizational Management: Outline your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, etc.) and introduce key team members and their roles.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy: Outline your marketing plan, including online and offline strategies. Remember to define your target audience and how you plan to reach them.
  • Services: Detail the range of services you will offer. Make sure to highlight any unique or specialized services that sets your business apart.
  • Legal Structure and Compliance: Detail the legal structure of your event planning business. Ensure to address any permits or licenses required for operating an events planning business in Kenya. 

5. Design Your Brand Identity

Starting an events planning business in Kenya also entails building your brand identity. Apart from choosing an exceptional business name, identify that one thing that can set your brand apart from its rivals. 

Write a detailed business profile and description of the services you look forward to offering. Later, add these to your Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media pages. The information will help your target audience understand what you do and build a lasting first impression. 

6. Choose Your Business Type

So far, you have chosen your event type and niche. Next, select the most suitable legal entity for your business. Will it be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company?

Ensure you understand the pros and cons of each business entity and how to register it legally in Kenya. Consider the following factors when choosing the best business type:

  • Capital: It is easier to raise business capital if you start a partnership or a limited liability company than if you go solo. 
  • Management: Would you like to supervise your affairs and eat your profits alone? Then, start a sole proprietorship business 
  • Liability: If you want to avoid taking responsibility for debts, losses, business malpractices, and other issues, then start a limited company. It is a separate entity from its owner. 
  • Ease of Setting Up: Registering a business in Kenya is generally harder when your proposed entity has many partners. On the other hand, a sole proprietorship registration process has less paperwork and ends faster. 
  • Taxation: To file your taxes easily, consider starting a sole-proprietorship or partnership events business. The government will treat your business proceeds as your income. So, you will file one tax return, which is inexpensive and convenient. Limited liability companies and shareholders pay separate taxes but may enjoy some tax benefits that other business types cannot. 

7. Register Your Events Planning Business 

Depending on your business type, you will follow a specific registration procedure. To register a business in Kenya, you need to create an e-Citizen account. After that, log in to your eCitizen Portal and do a business name search. 

Once you reserve a name for a week or longer, apply for business registration with the Registrar of Companies on the eCitizen portal. Here is a guide on how to register a business in Kenya.

8. Obtain Business Permits and Register Your Business With KRA 

Every county in Kenya offers business permits differently. Therefore, visit your County Government offices to know the permits you require for your events planning business. 

Furthermore, visit the KRA offices in your region to learn about the tax registration procedure. 

9. Start an Office and Build Relationships 

Finally, after starting an events planning business in Kenya, you need to set up an office and start building relationships. This is because you need to enter the location of your company when filling out various business registration forms, including those from  KRA and banks. Therefore, you need to have an office at the specific place you entered in the registration forms.

Buy office equipment and other things you will require during service delivery. If you intend to start a small venture, chances are you will not recruit anyone at this point. However, you should outsource services to other event planners when you cannot handle them. 

So, build a reliable team by networking with contractors in your niche. They can provide supplies for hire and avail themselves physically when you need a hand.