Franchise Spotlight: Events

The UK events sector is booming. Franchises offer the reassurance of training, support, a recognised brand and a winning formula in this fast-paced, unpredictable environment

The events industry encompasses everything from events planning and venue management to related sectors like caterers, PR agencies and exhibition contractors.

The industry spans both business and consumer-focused events – like wedding planning, music festivals and comic book expos – and business-to-business events like conferences, corporate entertainment and trade shows.

The sector is booming and an events franchise could give you the greatest opportunity for an enjoyable, lucrative career. The franchisor provides training, support, a trusted brand and proven business model.

Sector overview

It takes more than event organisers themselves to make events happen and events franchises also include several related categories.

The more than 25,000 businesses in the sector also include venues, event production companies, caterers, destination marketing and management organisations, exhibition contractors and more.

Since the London 2012 Olympics, the UK has established itself as a world leader in outdoor events, with many UK companies exporting expertise.

Is an events franchise for me?

Event planning is a vibrant industry where the work is varied and – for the right person – enjoyable. What could be more satisfying than helping people have a good time?

But the very things that make events so rewarding – the variety, the unpredictability, the social dimension – can also make it stressful.

If anything goes wrong – say flowers fail to turn up on time or staff go down with food poisoning –the buck stops with you and reputation is everything in this line of work.

Keeping a cool head under pressure, organisational and time management skills and thinking on your feet are all vital qualities. You also need excellent communication skills and to be a real 'people person'.

You might have to work late at night or start early in the morning, and many events take place outside regular 9-5 working hours. There are exceptions, however – often involved in children’s or corporate events – so don’t necessarily rule the sector out if you prefer office hours.

There is also considerable scope for working flexible or part-time hours between events, or in the off-season for seasonal businesses.

Many event franchises allow you to work from home. Yet cabin fever shouldn’t stalk you given you’ll spend much of your time interacting with a variety of people at a range of locations.

The structure of events franchises

Before committing to a franchise, take the time to research your local area. If it’s saturated with wedding planners, for instance, you might reconsider investing in a wedding planning franchise.

Grill the franchisor on the nature and extent of training and ongoing support they provide. In a fast-paced, unpredictable environment you’ll need all the help you can get.

Talking to some existing franchisees about their experience is always a good idea too.

What kind of events franchises are out there?

As an Ambience Venue Styling franchisee, you’ll run a wedding styling business with a catalogue of 200-plus “lavish” hire items.

The franchisor offers a suite of support – including marketing templates and a virtual assistant that handles bridal enquiries, bookings and stock management – this frees you to give your undivided attention to your couples.

This is the ideal type of franchise model if you dream of planning traditional and not-so-traditional weddings, and without the need to build up a portfolio of supplies and suppliers.

Photobooths provides photo booths and similar products designed for live events to individuals starting or expanding a business within the entertainment sector.

No experience in the sector is necessary. The equipment, says the franchisor, is easy to learn and operate, with a one-to-one training session supplemented by an online portal comprising manuals, videos and tutorials.

This is a product-focused events business if you would enjoy working with event planners to take their events to the next level.

The Greek Outdoors operates in the £1 billion-plus outdoor catering market using a traditional Cypriot cooking method.

Ideal for foodies, this is an exciting opportunity if you would enjoy travelling and serving home-style food for events.

Investing in any events franchise can offer the flexibility depending on whether you like to work from home, out and about or B2B focused.

No matter which you decide however, ensure that you are a sharp multitasker, enjoy customer or consumer interaction and overall enjoy the prospect of being part of someone’s special event!



Paulyne Antoniou

About the author

Paulyne as Head of Content has produced regular videos and editorial for many years with small businesses, franchises and industry professionals.

@Be_theboss