Starting an event planning business can be intimidating, even scary. You may fear the perceived risks that are involved and question whether you can handle them. However, once we release what fear really means “False Evidence Appearing Real” (by: unknown) we have the opportunity to overcome.

Just remember this: “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem

I love this quote and its nudge toward jumping all in. Who are you starting an event planning business for anyway? That’s right, for Y-O-U, you!

Does Fear Go Away Once I’ve Started?

Fear and doubt are part of going beyond your comfort zone and growing. Fear still exists as an entrepreneur, even when you’ve been in business for as long as I have. You know what I fear? I fear doing Facebook live. It is a real stretch for me. For some reason, I can’t get past this.

I can talk on the phone, do face-to-face meetings, speak in front of a crowd and many other things, but Facebook Live gets me all the time. However, when I go face my fears and do, whatever it is that I fear, it usually is really rewarding; it’s just a matter of a little practice. And yes, I need to do more Facebook Live.

When Others Add to Your Fears

Often family and friends will discourage you from going into business on our own. They think they are giving you advice that will help you, but it can be discouraging when you’ve decided to ‘do your own thing’. I remember when my parents told me I needed to get a ‘real job’ as if what I did was a hobby.

You’re Not Alone

Many people are in the same position as you. Trust me when I say you are not alone. Let’s examine the top five fears commonly found among those wanting to start an event planning business and how Event Heroes can help:

1. Not Enough Money

When isn’t money presenting itself as an obstacle? Money is a tricky thing, isn’t it? We work for an income to support ourselves and our families so that we can do things we enjoy. Did you know that if you work full time from ages 18-67, you will have worked 92,120 hours (source) during that time? That’s A LOT!

Wouldn’t you rather spend that timed doing something you LOVE?!

What I’m trying to say is that investing in yourself and your event planning dream is worth it.

With our Event Heroes training, you are paying for quality training that will get you jump started in your business. When you follow our business practices, you’ll make back your investment with a couple of events.

2. Overall Fear

Fear can be several things. Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of not being good enough… Just let go of them! Fear can be paralyzing. The more you dwell on it, the more you second-guess yourself. This is all wasting time when you could be out there growing your business!

With the support found in the Event Heroes community, you can ask questions as you begin your journey. This helps alleviate any fears that may arise. We want to be with you every step of the way.

3. Not Enough Time

I just finished attending a group where we talked about making the most of our fringe hours. Those are the hours in between activities or daily tasks where you can spend time on things you enjoy.

You will never find time for things you enjoy; you must make time. Sometimes the dirty laundry and dishes can wait, put your passions first. If you love event planning, make time for it.

4. Lack of Support

If you find that you don’t have emotional support from your friends or family, it can be hard to pursue your dreams. I personally find that if others doubt my abilities, I’m more motivated to succeed. Just tell me I can’t and watch me make it happen, just to prove you wrong.

If you’re looking for support in the form of mentorship, motivations, and cheerleading, let the Event Heroes community fill that role for you.

5. Inexperience

We all start somewhere, and my guess is that you DO have some experience under you belt. Most people who come to me for event planning advice found their interest sparked while planning a party, wedding, or event for a friend or family member.

Sometimes you may surprise yourself if you sit down and write out all your experiences related to event planning. There’s probably a lot more there than you thought!

If lack of business or formal customer service experience is a fear of yours, then know that we have a system in place to address this! We interview many professionals in the event and business world to help you know how to best operate your business.

Putting Your Fears Behind You

I’ve always taken my business seriously and have been able to raise my kids while doing what I love. Now, that’s not to say you should quit your job and jump in with both feet. You can make a great side-hustle income working in the evenings and weekends until this does take over and become your full-time business if you so choose.

However, if you can jump in with both feet, there is nothing like “fail or succeed entirely” to motivate you to do what you what to do. And it’s harder to let yourself down, because you know you can do it – you’re awesome after all!

How to Get Started Confidently

Starting a business alone can be scary and time consuming as you learn the ropes. Let us help you overcome your fears and minimize the learning curve to get you scheduling and planning events sooner than later! Heck, our system will even save you time and MONEY in the long run. You’ll be up and running and ready to tackle events in no time.

Ready to start your Event Hero membership? Sign up today.

Watch for me to do more Facebook live soon as I face my fears!

Welcome to 2017, it’s event season and wedding planners are getting ready for the busy season.So wedding planners, here are a few of the trends we see for 2017!

Using unconventional spaces

Finding unique spaces for your brides to hold their weddings is key to helping them create the unique event they are looking for. Think old buildings with brick walls – instead of covering the walls with drape (so 2016) leave them raw and add the accents of beautiful flowers, lighting elements hanging from the ceiling and using the existing elements as part of the design.

Giving to a charity

One of the most touching weddings I’ve planned asked attendees to donate to their favorite charity. The charity they chose had a very personal feel for them and this was a wonderful way for everyone to feel great about their gift and the bride and groom to give back.

Entertainment beyond the DJ or band

Listen planners, there is that time frame between the wedding and the reception where guests are waiting for the Bride and Groom to show up and are bored and hungry. Why not create an entertainment distraction that fills that space. Try a game show based on the Bride and grooms new life or past events from their childhood.

Creating installations

This is another trend I love! Whether this is thousands of paper birds hanging from the ceiling, flowers or any other large installations of art that will really WOW! your guests when they walk through the door.

Pops of color

Color is coming back! In the last couple of years the color palate has been tans and whites. This year a pop of color, like bright pinks or oranges, are what a lot of brides are going for. Think of anything that will make the wedding different by adding bright colors. This could include flowers, or paper flowers hanging from the ceiling to form an installation!

We want to know what trends you are seeing for this years wedding. Add your comments below, we can’t wait to see what you have to say!

Want more ideas, tips and tricks? Join our VIP Membership Program

Happy Planning!

Will you be a super event planner or just average?

So what is it that sets a super event planner apart from those who are just meh? Is it the insider tips and tricks they have learned from years in the business? The access to trusted partners and contractors they have built and accrued over the years? Or is it their level of organization, knowledge of every aspect of planning an event and the support of their team in creating an event that will WOW! their clients every time?

The answer is that it is a combination of all of these things and more!

Owning your own successful, profitable event planning business requires you to be a great business manager, sales manager, project manager, creative manager, contract negotiator, customer service manager, and client relations expert all at the same time. Feeling overwhelmed yet? No worries! Although, looking at the big picture, it may seem a bit daunting, owning your own business and becoming a cutting edge event planner with the skills and knowledge to become a leader in the industry is doable and can be a very rewarding and exciting career.

The keys to being able to perform all the different roles required to be successful as an event planner are to be confident in your work, know your clients and what they are looking for and be prepared to put in the hard work necessary to create returning customers.

Need a push to take that first step?

If the idea of starting your own event planning business is exciting, but you’re not quite sure how to get started or if you’re new to the event planning business but need support to grow your business to the level you want it to be, you may be wondering how you can do so.

After running my own event planning business for the past 30 years, I have been contacted by countless people just like you who are looking for advice on how to start their own event planning businesses.

After a few years of answering those questions, I started to see a pattern. I would get questions from wanna-be event planners who had pieces and parts of the equation, but not the whole picture. For example, I had one young intern who had taken event-planning classes at school, but had no idea about starting a business. Then I’d work with someone who knew about starting a business but had no idea about how to plan an event. There was even the one lady who had business experience, and some event planning from the corporate world, but she didn’t know how to get started building her own clients and sources of trusted vendors for an at-home business.

So, my team and I started thinking about how we could provide ALL of the information people needed to know to start an event planning business without having to go through different sources to learn the ropes. That’s how we came up with the idea for Event Heroes.

We wanted to offer a coaching program that would provide a step-by-step guide on how to establish yourself as a business owner to finding clients, booking events, planning and producing shows and winning life long customers. And the one thing we really thought was super important was to be able to provide live support for our Event Hero members.

It’s all about the support!

So, that is what we did! Event Heroes, is an all-inclusive event planning coaching system that includes how-to coaching lessons, a complete library of pre-formatted business and event planning forms, fully developed event themes and instructions, access to our fully vetted and trusted black book of partner vendors, and live support sessions presented by leaders in the event planning industry.

At Event Heroes our goal is to help our members produce events that provide the WOW! factor that will establish them as leaders in the event industry.

Sign up to be an Event Hero VIP member on our signup page to take advantage of our great support system!

Tracy Fuller-White, owner of Event Heroes and InnovativEvents, a successful event management company based in Des Moines and Ames, Iowa can’t count the number of times she has been approached by people interested in starting their own event planning business. They all seem to have the same questions for her: “What advice can you give me if I want to start my own event planning company?” and “How did you get your start in the business?”.

After years of answering those and countless other questions, having lunches and coffee with people who just wanted to pick her brain, Tracy began to see a need for a program that would help those who are interested in taking the plunge and starting their own event planning business.

That’s when she and her team came up with the idea for Event Heroes, an event planning business training system. This system not only teaches its students how to start and build their own business, but is one that also provides them with the information, tips, and secrets for success that she and her team have culminated in their more than 30 years in the business.

During their brainstorming sessions and interviews with interested students and interns, the Event Hero team began to recognize a need for a program that would not only provide the typical “textbook” or “online” type of teaching program, but one that would take that training a step further. Tracy consulted with other planners and industry professionals and all agreed this was a need that wasn’t being filled by programs on the market.

So, Tracy and the team conducted more research and evaluated the feedback they received from everyone she has mentored over the years. Based on the findings, they developed Event Heroes as a program to teach and mentor those who are interested in starting their own event planning business.

The main goal of Event Heroes is to assist the new business owner get a solid start in the event business without having to go through the lean years of starting from scratch and without having to learn the ropes by trial and error or through working for someone else. Event Heroes is designed to be a self-paced, learning program that basically “holds your hand” throughout the process of answering your first phone call to selling, planning and producing amazing events that deliver a WOW!

The one thing that sets Event Heroes apart from other event planning programs is that it provides the piece of the puzzle that Tracy has been constantly asked about most over the years: How to apply the knowledge that is taught in the standard event planner training program and use it to get a business up and running. Knowing that was the missing link, inspired Tracy to focus on not just the knowledge but also the practical application of the knowledge and supplying the students with the ready-made business forms, templates and worksheets they need to hit the ground running.

Tracy’s style of teaching and working with people is extremely warm and personable. She and her team also consider themselves experts in customer service and make sure they emphasize this in all of their lessons. Tracy’s parents taught her at an early age “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” and this has been her lifelong motto for dealing with everyone she encounters in her personal and professional life.

The success of Event Heroes and the parent company InnovativEvents can be directly related to that personal motto and also to her belief in always giving your best. Tracy holds the belief that every successful business is driven by a dream or a purpose and living up to the high standards and goals of your vision is what keeps you going even when things get tough.

When theming gets personal

As an event pro, it’s always hard to plan your own event, or it is for me. Knowing all of the possibilities for planning and with tons of great ideas racing through my mind, it is hard to choose just one idea to stick with.

Over the holidays, my family had the opportunity to plan my daughter’s gender reveal party. Of course we were all excited to learn the gender of this “coming soon” attraction, but I’m not sure anyone’s excitement level could match mine; this is my first grand baby after all!

We started with one of the items my daughter loves to collect – owls –  and the nursery theme she and her husband have chosen. The theme for this event happened to be enchanted forest.

Our event happened on Christmas Eve; a busy time of year, but the only time we could get all of her friends in the same place for any amount of time. Instead of making this a “party” we went with an afternoon event and offered a little beer and wine, fun finger foods, and amazing owl-shaped cookies in pink and blue!

 Owl-shaped cookies by You Bake Me Happy

When guests arrived, the first thing they did was choose either a pink or blue owl based on their best guess at the gender of the baby. They were also instructed to write a note for the parents or baby and hang it on the Christmas tree.

I created a display using cute little owls printed and cut out, then attached to a small limb from one of our trees outside. I hung the limb on the wall and placed the little pink and blue owls all along the limb. I added some small birds and LED battery operated star lights to add a bit of twinkle.

I’ve never been a traditionalist when it came to Christmas décor for trees and this year was no different. However, it was also our first year ever for an artificial tree and I went with white. It seemed fitting for a tree decorated with baby gear.  Pacifiers, socks, bibs and stuffed toys were used as ornaments and small woodland animals placed around the base of the tree and hanging throughout the tree made sure our theme was complete.

Our food selections included rolls folded as diapers, mini cocktail wieners with little diapers, cucumber sandwiches and other fun bite-sized treats. I was able to find both pink and blue sodas and added those for beverages. Pink and blue punch served out of baby bottles would have been cute as well.

 Bite-sized treats

 Photo by Daniel Sandoval

How often do you write out your goals? Daily? Monthly? Not at all? It is time you assessed this practice and take it to the next level!


Setting goals for yourself is a great form of motivation, inspiration, and an overall reminder to keep you on track. Having your goals written down can help you assess your daily productivity and whether or not your time spent doing different activities will help lead you to that end goal or achievement.

Having different levels of goals can also be a great practice. Where do you see yourself in ten years, five years, a year from now, or even next month? If you are really proactive about setting goals and motivated enough to write out weekly or daily goals, do it!

What better time of the year to create your very own vision board than during the time you are planning out your New Year’s resolutions. Tie the two together and you’ve got yourself the perfect holiday project. Read below to see how to make your very own vision board today!


 Photo by David Marcu

Don’t hold yourself back when setting your life goals, whether it is in your relationship, job, or personal life. Negative thoughts and images of ourselves are the biggest road block in our road to success. Let the imagination you had in your childhood take over and you’ll be surprised at what barriers that you previously though impossible to cross now fade away.


A list of popular cocktail party themes for your holiday celebrations

The holidays are QUICKLY approaching and if you are prepping last minute – well shame on you! However, with the following list of creative and fun cocktail party ideas you can easily plan a memorable party that will WOW everyone in attendance.

1) Winter wonderland – Decorate your party with crystals and use blue lighting to create an icy effect. Add snowflakes for additional winter ambiance. Have a hot chocolate or hot tottie bar to warm guests up. Doing a company event? Surprise guests with snow from a snow machine or bubbles.

2) Naughty or nice – This theme can be created using food and drinks that are “naughty” vs. “nice.” You can also decorate one side of the room in red and black and the other side in white. If you want to be a little riskier, ask guests to dress in celebrity naughty or nice costumes.

3) James bond – This is a black tie affair. Have guests wear suits and formal dresses. Décor should parallel a royal casino or upscale dinner party with martinis being served shaken, not stirred. Tell guests to watch their favorite Bond movie prior to attending to get in character. You can even rent a red carpet for the entrance to set the stage for the evening.

4) Fire & Ice – Use red and blue décor to signify fire and ice. Guests wear red, blue, or a touch of both. A strong fire in the fire place and an ice sculpture in the center of the food display will really set the two areas apart. If you don’t have a fireplace, faux fires are safe and inexpensive and can add a warm touch to any party.

5) Ugly sweater – This is a more laid back and fun theme. Guests wear the ugliest Christmas sweater they can find and take lots of awkward photos while wearing them. Adding family pets is always a great touch.

6) Festivus – For those frustrated with commercialism and the pressure of other December holidays, Festivus is a secular holiday that occurs on December 23rd made popular by Seinfeld. Celebrations are of grievances, feats of strength, the aluminum pole, and Festivus miracles. “Festivus for the rest of us!” – Frank Costanza

7) Break your resolutions early – Before your new year’s resolutions take full effect, have a food smorgasbord with your friends. Have a pie bakeoff, bring your favorite sweets, or set up a chocolate fondue party and pair each chocolate with a wine! This is our favorite theme!

8) White Christmas – To get you in the holiday spirit with the lack of snow on the ground, have a party decorated in all white. Request your guests to wear all white too. It might be a good idea to stay away from red wines for the night. Use white leather furniture or white drape to really carry the theme through! Need help with the details? Buy this theme in our theme library.

Now that you have the theme of your cocktail party picked out, the rest of the planning elements will fall into place more easily. Make sure you choose foods, favors, entertainment, and décor that aligns with whichever theme suits your celebration best!

What is your favorite holiday cocktail party theme that you’ve created or attended before?

You need to get your creative juices flowing to plan your next event, but you just can’t think of a good theme and time is running out. You need to get down to the planning phase quickly! What to do? What to do?

Oh, yes, you forgot that little step of Brainstorming!   We told you it was important!  Who has time to brainstorm you may ask? You do!  Unless you are happy repeating the same event over and over again, you can skip this step. But, if you take pride in producing unique, customized events that fit your client’s individual needs, brainstorming is an extremely important step. It can make the difference between a good event and a great event that your attendees are talking about for years!

So what are the best ways to get a brainstorming session started?  We’ve created a list of our top 10 ways that we like to hold our sessions.  The key ideas we always keep in mind, no matter how or where we hold our sessions are:  have fun and no idea is off limits!

Brainstorming Tips

1. Create a place that is comfortable – get rid of the office chairs and desks, those are for the serious thinking and planning!

Imagine walking into a room filled with beanbags in bright colors for seating arrangements. This will take your brainstorming to a whole new level. It’s all about getting out of the BOX and in this instance about creating a creative space.

Have a pajama party. Ask guests to wear their PJ’s (with strict restrictions) to the planning session. Just being comfortable can release the creative thinking gene.

2. Include your whole team, not just the creative /planning staff

Include the drivers, set dressers, assistants, secretaries, etc – everyone has a unique viewpoint that will add value to your session

You’ll find that by having the same people to brainstorm with over and over will end up in the same ideas resurfacing. Adding in a member to your team that doesn’t think like the rest of the group will give you different perspectives immediately. You never know who has that next WOW idea and it might not be the creatives!

3. Establish the RULE – no idea is a bad idea

Create a judgement free zone for your session. No one has a bad idea, everyone takes a turn and everyone has input. Set up the ground rules in the beginning of the session and stick to them.

Decide who will be in charge as a group, this takes away any of the animosity that can occur in groups where the leader is appointed in advance. This is not a competition or a hierarchy like the office. It’s a free flowing, save and fun environment.

4. Have a large area to record ideas so everyone can easily read and add their own comments

Cover the walls in brown butcher paper, have plenty of writing tools available and encourage picture drawing to get the creative juices flowing.

Allow everyone a moment in the front of the room writing on the wall or create spaces for each individual and let them draw or write in their space at any time during the session. They might need the space to write a thought down when the ideas start popping! – Brainstorming can be kind of like popcorn…Once the first kernel starts to pop the whole bag explodes!

5. Everyone’s ideas are equal – nobody should feel shy or reserved

Give everyone free reign to express their ideas. Brainstorming is about free associating and ideas that caused laughter should not be exploited in the office. You are building comradery and teamwork while gaining all sorts of ideas. Make sure this is one of the rules you set up in the beginning.

6. Collect and save all ideas – you never know when something mentioned in one brainstorming session will spark an idea for another event

OK, so the crazy idea of flying the CEO in on an airplane cable didn’t work for this event but it might work for another. Keeping all those ideas in a folder of ideas will help you create this event and many more in the future.

7. NEVER criticize anyone’s ideas – this will lead to self-censorship which squashes creativity

Be respectful of other’s ideas, you never know when one silly idea might lead to a brilliant invention.

8. Take turns being the leader – giving others the chance to lead empowers and expands thinking

Make sure when doing this that you only have one leader at a time. Otherwise, you could have conflicting power interests.

Changing up leaders will open up different areas of conversation.

9. Work in teams and mix teams up.  Have the owner of the company team up with the part-time driver to come up with a theme.  You might be surprised what they create together!

Have team competitions for the craziest ideas, the most fun ideas and the ‘are you kidding me’ Ideas. You might be surprised what they create together!

10. HAVE FUN!  Brainstorming is the least stressful and the most fun part of event planning!

The most important item is to have fun. More ideas come out of relaxed conversation, laughing and giggles, harebrained ideas and drawings on napkins than any other way of communication. Have fun, build relationships with others and great ideas will flow that will translate into great events for your attendees!


We find brainstorming one of the most fun elements of our job. Just letting our hair down for a few hours, laughing at ourselves and our ideas and usually coming up with some ideas to WOW our audience is what it’s all about for us.

We love finding those unique ways to thrill our audience and this is one of the ways we find works best for our team. Need some quick inspiration? Check out five of our favorite themes to get you started. 

What techniques do you use to stir up creative juices? We’d love to know!

Every meeting or event you plan has a purpose and a reason for being held. Having a theme helps to relay the message of the event to the attendees, helps you focus on the elements you need for a successful meeting and helps you control what you do with the meetings. Need some inspiration? Learn how we brainstorm themes.

Whether you plan events for corporations or small businesses, these 5 event themes are sure to be a huge hit with both your client and their guests:

1. Charting a New Course

Best used when an organization is changing directions or launching a new product. Charting a new course can be water, compass or map theme.

2. Mission Possible

This is a pretty obvious theme and contains a lot of fun ideas to incorporate.

Your VIPs enter in black suits, hats and brief cases. They appear on stage and can even repel from the ceiling or make other Tom Cruise-esque entrances. This theme is great for launching a new product or to encourage team work in reaching a grand company goal!

3. The Power of One

This is a longtime favorite. Use this theme when you want to encourage individuality, need to empower your attendees or move them to action. Think of ways to express how one person can make a difference or how an individual can be a hero.

4. Picture the Possibilities

This theme can be used for a variety of purposes. From creating new ideas, releasing new products to changing how a company functions or for producing an award show, this theme is perfect for brainstorming new products or for revised company procedures.

5. Everyday Heroes

Of course we love this one because it has our favorite word in it! This is a great theme for recognizing those who have gone above and beyond in their positions or careers. Whether they have created exceptional outcomes, provided valuable service to their community, or advanced the company or organization in a big way, this is a great theme to use to acknowledge excellence within a company or organization. Think of the pink Cadillac award given to Mary Kay makeup distributors when they achieve a certain number of sales.

These are 5 of our favorites! Share what your favorite theme is or what theme you’d like to see.

Take a moment and think about the last event you attended. If you can vividly remember the handwritten invitations, the elegant entryway, gourmet foods and classy décor, chances are, you got themed. Themes help drive the vision and also create a seamless flow during any event.  Whether you choose something fun or funky, fantastical or serious, theming will ensure attendees are engaged and relaxed.  Here are 5 more reasons you should theme your next event:

1) Clear, Concise Messaging: When your theme ties into the message your client is trying to convey, the event is more influential and impactful.  For example, let’s say you’ve been hired by an organization that will be opening new offices all across the U.S. A great theme for a company’s journey to expand is the historic Route 66 theme.  You could also use this theme for a venue along old Route 66. See other themes we love.

2) Setting the Mood: Theming enhances the atmosphere of any event. From the time attendees receive their save the date cards to the end of the event; theming sets the tone and makes the difference between a good event and an event attendees will remember forever.

3) Cohesiveness and Connection: Nothing says professional as much as seamless elements flowing as one. When the food choices, the entertainment, lighting and room arrangement all work together, attendees feel connected and in tune with all the combined elements.

4) Manageability: By using a theme, every single element becomes easy to manage and deliver – which means success for you and your client looks like the hero!

5) An Event They’ll Remember: The best reason to use a theme is that your client and the attendees will remember and recall your event – taking delight in how everything flowed and how every element made them feel connected and a part of something bigger.

Don’t know where to get started? Read our blog on 8 Steps for Creating a Theme or How to Choose a Theme

Instead of relying on a broad vision, choosing a theme for your next event can guide you as you plan, alleviating any chance for missing an important detail. The focus that comes from theming your event will benefit you as an event planner, and will delight your client and their guests. And don’t even get us started about how much time and money you’ll save –that’s a whole other blog! Find more great resources, tips and tricks for being an Event Hero at