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How to Start an Event Planning Business in Nigeria

by Temiloluwa Alagbe
A photo description of what the event planning business in Nigeria entails

If you are an aspiring event planner looking for information on how to start an event planning business in Nigeria, this is the post for you. This article explains thoroughly the processes involved in setting up an event-planning business, how to get more clients, and even how to freelance as an event planner. Keep reading to find out more.

Overview of the Event Planning Business in Nigeria.

Event planning involves managing events and putting everything needed in place to make that event successful. The business entails booking venues, handling table placements and venue decoration, hiring staff like caterers and entertainers, and generally overseeing the event. The client simply makes known their preferences for the event and the event planner handles the rest.

The event industry in Nigeria is a thriving one as it is currently worth $20 billion. The reason for this is that events in Nigeria are always a big deal. Everyone wants their events to leave a sweet taste in the mouths of their attendees, both literally and figuratively. Consequently, the event industry in Nigeria is fast-paced, with a growth rate of over 30% within the past five years.

How Profitable is the Event Planning Business in Nigeria?

The event planning business in Nigeria is highly profitable as it is one of the fastest-growing industries in Nigeria. Event planners are known to earn an annual salary of an active event planner is known to be about ₦3,000,000 with a 20% profit margin. New event planners usually make about ₦1,000,000 annually, depending on job quality, and customer satisfaction rate. The amount of money an event planner charges is dependent on the size of the event, your reputation as an event planner, and your customer’s budget. While we cannot give an exact amount, we can give you an estimate to help you price your services better. On average, event planners typically charge between ₦200,000 – ₦400,000 per event.

How to Start an Event Planning Business in Nigeria

Gather Experience

You should have some experience in the event planning industry before you start your business. This is because the event planning job is an unpredictable one. You could have everything perfectly planned out and it would all go south at the last minute. It takes more than having backups to be able to handle situations like this as you would need to keep the event hosts calm too. You can gather experienc through the folowing ways:


While it isn’t impossible to start an event planning business in Nigeria without experience, it would be in your best interest to get trained somewhere before you open your business.There are many event planning courses available for free online. For example, Oxford University offers a free event planning certification course where you go through a series of classes at your own pace and earn a certificate at the end of the programme.

In Nigeria, schools like Zapphaire Events, Event Management School, Lagos, Indigocrystal concept, and Busybee Events offer training in event planning and management,

Build a portfolio

This is where your training comes in handy. People would rather patronize what they see, not what they hear. Build a solid portfolio by including all the events you have helped plan and the outcome of such events. This way more people would trust the quality of your work and would hire you to plan their events.

Niche Down

There are many different types of events in Nigeria and it is easy to think you can take on any kind of event. Well, you can but it won’t be easy and you could easily get overwhelmed. Besides, clients will prefer to hire an expert in a particular niche than one who claims to be a master of all events. Picture this, say you’ve got a faulty television, would you hand it over to an expert electrician for fixing or an expert carpenter who claims to be an experienced electrician too? I’m sure you’d pick the former because you’d trust that person more. It’s the same pattern with clients. Be an expert in a particular niche and you will have more success. Some of the most successful event niches in Nigeria include:

  • Weddings
  • Conferences and product launches
  • Birthdays
  • Festivals

Conduct Market Research

You need to understand the business before getting into it and conducting thorough market research can help you accomplish this. Market research will help you understand your responsibilities as an event planner, client expectations, and general service prices.

Draft a Business Plan

Once you have decided on a niche, the next step is to create a foolproof business plan. A business plan is an important part of the success of any business because it helps you plan and make wise decisions. Without a business plan, you would just be winging it which is not a very good way of running a business. After deciding on the type of event planning business you want to operate in Nigeria, put it on paper along with your goals for the business and how you intend to achieve these goals.

Choose a Suitable Location

Selecting an excellent location for your business is the next step to take. There are many factors you need to consider before choosing a business location. Some of these factors include the demand for event planners, the location’s accessibility to customers, the availability of amenities like electricity and water, and many more things. The location of your business is a determinant of your business’s success rate.

Register Your Business

Now that you have the outline for your business, you need to register your business to bring your blueprints to life. The licenses you need are dependent on the form you want your business to take and the type of event you are planning but here’s an overview of the general licenses:

Business Registration

Getting your business registered means getting your business acknowledged. It involves establishing your business as a legal entity. The entire business registration business costs between ₦20,000 to ₦50,000.

Business License

A business license gives you the legal authorization to operate in a certain area. The cost of getting a business license depends on the location you want your business in so we suggest you decide on a suitable location first before you look into getting a business license. The cost of getting a business license varies, depending on your selected location.

Fire Safety Certificate

To guarantee your safety and the safety of your customers, a fire safety certificate is required by the government. The Federal Fire Service is responsible for giving out this certificate and the cost of obtaining one is about ₦20,000.

Other licenses include a public entertainment license, a food license, an alcohol license, and a music license. Getting these depends on the form you want your business to take and how you want to operate it.

Get Insurance

Secure your business from unforeseen circumstances by getting your business insured. While you shouldn’t sit there expecting the worst to happen, you need to be prepared for anything that might happen. We guarantee that it would be better if you get insurance and end up not needing it than to need one and not have it. Insurance premiums cost about 3% to 5% of your annual income.

Hire Assistance

Although it is very possible to singlehandedly run an event planning business, we suggest you get some assistance. The event planning business can be a tasking one and it will be in your best interest to hire staff to help you with budgeting, advertisement, event arrangements, and a lot more. The number of staff hired is dependent on the size of your event planning business and so is the cost.

Cost Estimate of Starting an Event Planning Business in Nigeria

The cost of starting an event planning business in Nigeria depends on various factors. However, the average cost of setting up a small-scale event planning business is about ₦150,000 while the cost of setting up a large-scale one could be up to ₦1,000,000. The following is a breakdown of the basic requirements for starting an event planning business in Nigeria and their cost estimates;

Business Registration

Whether small-scale or large-scale, you need to get your business registered to operate legally and this costs about ₦20,000 – ₦60,000.


To start an event planning business in Nigeria, you would need at least one computer and some office equipment. Other equipment you need would be determined by the type of event(s) you wish to plan. The cost estimate for getting the required equipment is between ₦100,000 to ₦400,000.

Hiring Staff

You can decide to run your event planning business alone but to make things easier for you, we would suggest you hire some help. The average price of hiring staff for your event planning business in Nigeria is between ₦50,000 to ₦300,000, depending on the number of staff you choose to hire.

Marketing and Insurance

For large-scale businesses, you could spend up to ₦100,000 while small-scale businesses could spend close to nothing. However, we would advise small-scale business owners to get insurance as this would cost less than ₦20,000.

Marketing and Promotional Strategies

Your business has officially been established and is set to begin operations. Now you need to create brand awareness. There are many event planning businesses out there and you need to convince people that yours is the best among them. The amount of money you spend on promotion and marketing is entirely up to you but we recommend that you spare no cost. Invest in effective customer acquisition strategies to boost your chances of success. Some promotional strategies include:

Plan Some Events for Free

You don’t have to pay to get event planning experience. Simply take on some events without charging for your services. We suggest you start with small events organized by your immediate family and friends because if you make first-timer mistakes, they are likely to be more understanding. This doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t put forward your best foot when planning these events. Paid or unpaid, family or not, take every event planning deal seriously because you are already building your business’s reputation.

Build a Brand

Once your business setup is complete, you need to create a brand that people can patronize. Choose a business logo and brand motto. It will be in your best interest to own a business website too. Regardless of the business structure you have selected, your business needs an identity.

Build a Strong Online Presence

In the times we are in, online presence is everything. For this reason, it is important to build your brand’s online presence. The first step to accomplishing this is to have an SEO website that showcases your work. You can drive traffic to your website by creating equally optimized blog posts that advertise your business.

Network with Other Business Owners

Networking with other event planners, especially the ones who are already established, will help you connect with potential clients. Attend event-planning seminars, conferences, and expos to build relationships with other event planners and market your event planning business to potential customers. You can even host a few training sessions yourself and showcase your expertise.This is why we recommend that you get experience from top event planning businesses in Nigeria as you would be able to ride on the waves of their success. Customers will have more trust in your skills if a leading event planner refers them to you.

Establish Relationships with Vendors

Building relationships with caterers, DJs, photographers, decorators, and other people involved with the success of an event will make your work a lot easier. In addition to simplifying your work process, they would refer you to clients.

Utilize Local Advertisement Tools

Although online advertisement is important, you shouldn’t neglect traditional marketing tools like newspapers, television ads, posters, and flyers. There are still people who are not so active online. You ought to be particular about telling everyone about your business to build a successful event planning brand.

Promotional Discounts

People are drawn to bonuses and free stuff. For this reason, giving welcome discounts and sponsoring giveaways is a proven way of attracting clients. However, you should calculate your expenses properly before deciding on how much to give away as a discount. This is to ensure that you don’t start your business counting losses.

Ask for Reviews

Once you have successfully planned your first event, urge the client to leave a review on your website (if you have one). If you don’t have one, you should create a social media account for your business and ask your client to talk about their experience. Reviews are a highly effective method of building your brand’s reputation. Be sure to always deliver your best and pacify unsatisfied clients.

Create an Engaging, User-Friendly Website

We visited the websites of some top event planning businesses in Nigeria and we discovered that we paid more attention to the websites with beautiful images and carefully organized details of the business. Your website should be aesthetically pleasing to catch your visitor’s attention, and easy to navigate to retain it. Take a look at the websites of some of these leading event planning businesses in Nigeria to get a better understanding of what you need to do.


The event planning business is very profitable in Nigeria and because of this, it can be just as competitive. The key to standing out is diligence and uncompromised excellence. Your work is a lot more convincing than your words could ever be.

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