As the UK events sector was forced to a halt when the pandemic first hit, many events businesses innovated by running virtual events. Although this came with many challenges at first, virtual and hybrid events are set to be a permanent feature of the events industry for some time to come. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a virtual events planner, here’s what you need to know.
There’s no denying that the events industry was hit hard by the pandemic. But, the events sector remains a resilient industry and has been looking to bounce back quickly in recent months.
Having kept many businesses afloat through months of on-and-off restrictions, virtual and hybrid events are becoming an integral part of the events world going forward and have grown to represent an entire sub-sector of their own. According to Forbes, virtual events increased by over 1000% in 2020 and though this may eventually tail off, virtual events are a trend sure to stay around.
What does a virtual events planner do?
While the number of attendees is restricted at physical meetings and events, hybrid events allow planners to extend their event reach without any geographical restrictions. This makes it more cost effective and a more inclusive experience for both planners and attendees, which is a real positive.
– Katie Niland, The Belfry Hotel & Resort
Virtual events planners are, probably unsurprisingly, similar to traditional events planners in terms of how they run their business. However the main difference is that virtual planners will be playing a central role in digital events, rather than real life events.
A hybrid event planner’s role may sound easier, however this is a mistake. As hybrid events cross between both real life events as well as digital, and even then need to be made equally accessible to a wide range of attendees across lots of different platforms, this role can be complicated. Hybrid event planners will need:
- Good organisation
- The ability to multitask
- Excellent communications
- The ability to lead a team
- A flair for creativity
How do you become a virtual events planner
1. Research the industry
There are many different opportunities in the events and virtual events industry and some will be a better fit than others. Once you’ve decided that you want to make a career in events, your first task will be to decide which of these franchises is the right fit for you. You’ll need to consider:
- What does the franchise specialise in?
- What are the initial and ongoing financial costs?
- Is the franchise supportive? How much training will you receive?
- What kinds of pre-existing strategies does the franchise have to help you launch your business?
- Are you passionate about the motivation and ethos of the company?
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2. Finance your business
The average cost for setting up a franchise business is around £42,200 [BFA], but, as a virtual events franchisee, you won’t have to worry about making up those kinds of figures. Many events franchises require investments far below this average price, making events a very attractive option for ambitious franchisees.
Even if you can’t quite afford the start-up costs, it isn’t the end of your franchising journey. Many major banks and lending institutions are prepared to lend up to 70% of your start-up costs, depending on your personal credit history. As franchises are a safer business model than some other kinds of enterprise, you can look forward to some beneficial loans and attractive interest rates to help you get started. Some franchises even have dedicated brokers who can help you achieve the best possible deals.
3. Produce a business plan
Business plans are formal documents presented to key stakeholders, outlining your business plans, financial projections, unique selling points, and potential locations, should you decide to have a central office or store.
Business plans will receive feedback, so you can expect it to change over various rounds of amends, however putting together a business plan is a great way to formalise your intentions and take one step closer to making your franchising ambition a reality.
4. Sign a franchise agreement
The final step is to sign your franchise agreement. This is a legally binding document setting in stone both you and your franchisor’s commitments to making this franchise business a reality. If you don’t quite understand the full document, consult a legal adviser to help you feel more comfortable about what you’re signing up to. After all, failure to stick to the franchise rules that really matter can see your franchise business suspended.
Franchising opportunities in the virtual events industry
Point Franchise doesn’t currently have any dedicated virtual events franchises. However, as many existing franchises have pivoted towards virtual and hybrid events in part or in whole, you can still expect to be working on a range of different types of events.
1. The Party Tent Company
The Party Tent Company is aiming to be the number one solution for marquee and tent hires. Whether you’re hosting birthday parties, garden parties, village fetes, trade shows and smaller corporate events, the Party Tent Company is an excellent franchising opportunity.
- Becoming a franchisee with The Party Tent Company: No previous experience is required, but The Party Tent Company is looking for go-getting, responsible and hard-working franchisees with the ability to follow a proven system.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £12,000 to become a franchisee, and after two years, your expected revenue stands at £150,000.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll receive initial training, both business-focused and practical, along with experienced set-up support and assistance and ongoing help whenever it’s required, including regular customer referrals
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DIGI-SPORTS is a unique and exciting events company, offering an exclusive multi-functional interactive wall well-suited to any event.
- Becoming a franchisee with DIGI-SPORTS: DIGI-SPORTS is looking for franchisees with business development experience and a passion for the events industry.
- How much you need to invest: To become a franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £9,000, with a total investment cost of £16,000. Your expected revenue after two years is £100,000.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll receive comprehensive training and ongoing support with everything from logistics to sales, including access to a dedicated support email and hotline.
Become a virtual events planner today
Virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. The events industry is on the comeback trail, so if you want to position yourself for all the future growth coming to this industry, now is the time to make a change.
Or, if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge just yet, there’s plenty more information out there about franchising and the considerable advantages that franchising brings.
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©