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Welcome to the future of event planning! Occasions, The Event Planning Specialists, brings to the community of Portland a new breath of air in the event planning market. By combining old fashioned values, going the extra mile, and using cutting edge event-planning software, Occasions will lead the market, providing the same quality results, every time.
Occasions is an equal opportunity business making its expertise and its products available to help its customers plan their own events. Party Packs (complete kits for their event), make hosting a party a snap, right down to the refreshments.
The event planning software brings interactive event planning as close as their personal computer. Through these and other affordable products and services, Occasions aims to be the number one resource for any event.
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Occasions is a small business aimed at the big time. In order to reach its lofty goals, Occasions must focus on the mission behind the vision. It will take all the employees, owners, founders, and vendors daily living the vision that Occasions represents. The vision manifests itself in three ways:
- Be one of the top three event planning specialists in the Northwestern United States.
- Justly compensate the employees, owners, and founders of Occasions.
- Produce the same quality results, every time.
In an ever changing, fast-paced world, success is determined by good choices for lasting effects. Communication is essential. Occasions strives to be the best choice of clients by helping to ease their event planning burden. Through consistent, predictable professionalism, Occasions will ensure a worry and hassle-free event at a reasonable price.
But, not all our clients will be external. Occasions has internal clients to serve. Occasions will strive to provide the same predictable and professional working environment to its employees and contracted vendors, justly compensating them for their services. It is also a priority to make a comfortable living wage for its owners, founders, full-time staff, and their families.
Keeping in tune with the needs of the market, utilising the latest technology and trends, all while ensuring the client receives the individual attention they deserve, is the vision and daily mission of Occasions; The Event Planning Specialists.
3. Keys to Success
Our keys to success include the commitment to quality by every person who is part of the team. Each of us will be responsible to push ourselves to a higher level of professionalism in three areas:
- Consistent, accurate fulfillment of the client’s wishes.
- Competitive pricing for the quality of services offered.
- Significant profit made on each event planned.
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Founded originally on a part-time basis, Occasions is a small business designed to meet the needs of the ever changing social world. Portland, Oregon is the current home with plans to expand to branch offices within four years.
Occasions’ staff of two, with numerous contract vendors, plans events, writes event-planning products, and trains area students in the art of event planning.
Occasions is invested in the community it resides in. Occasions is, in part, the answer to demands of the social world, on the working family, heavily-burdened office, out-of-town business, or special occasion in need of special recognition. As a business, we understand the needs of public and private organisations.
As parents and family members, we understand the needs of setting special time apart from other events in our lives. Occasions strives to accomplish these goals, in Portland and eventually other areas of the Pacific Northwest.
1. Company Ownership
Occasions is established as a sole proprietorship with the intention of selling the business when it is established to one of the employees invested in the vision of event planning.
All aspects of the business will be documented to ensure clients can count on the same results every time. It is these documents that will become the basis of ownership. The sole proprietor will use his or her name as the guarantor of each service.
Therefore, the sole proprietor must embody the vision and mission of Occasions.
2. Start-up Summary
Through careful planning on the part of the founders, the start-up costs for Occasions are minimal. It began as a home-based business with little overhead, and it continues to demand fewer outlay of funds as a service-based business.
The start-up cost investment funds were assets saved from prior earnings by the owners who did event planning on a part-time basis before establishing themselves as a business.
It is the wish of the founders to remain a debt-free establishment. However, recognising that in reality not all variables are controllable, outside financing is a viable option. Both founders own homes and have a perfect credit rating.
3. Company Locations and Facilities
Occasions is located inside the city limits of Portland, Oregon. It is a home-based business. Most meetings with clients are conducted in social settings, such as restaurants, coffee houses, the client’s home, facilities wishing to be used for the event, or over the phone.
Although the demand has not yet reached its peak, Occasions will eventually move from its home base into a small office complex, also within the city limits of Portland, Oregon.
When the company has reached its finished point, Occasions will have branch offices in Portland, Eugene, and Bend, Oregon, Seattle, Vancouver, and Olympia, Washington, and Boise and Sun Valley, Idaho.
The company will maintain a high degree of professionalism. All offices are equipped with the latest in business technology, such as telephone systems, computers, fax machines, email, duplicators, printers, and software. Each location will have a secure storage area for supplies and equipment used in events, such as walkie-talkies, cellular phones, portable fax machines, and laptops.
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3Products and Services
Although Occasions is primarily a service business, we also offer products to aid our customers in planning the event themselves. The following products are tools used inside our operation for the best possible results:
- Party Pack: The Party Pack is a complete kit for any party. It includes decorations, lighting effects guide, disposable theme cameras, cutlery, plates, napkins, cups, punch mix (or recipe), snack supplies (or recipe), tablecloths, theme music (where applicable), invitations, thank-you cards, and a step-by-step guide to planning, putting together,and hosting the event.
- Step-by-Step Guides: These booklets include a calendar to map out the event, a step-by-step guide on what is needed for and how to put together a successful, worry-free event, resource information, popular refreshments with recipes, games, and tips to put their event in the record books. The events available include birthdays for all ages, meetings, retreats, parties, vacations, and special occasion celebrations such as graduations, holidays, showers, weddings, and receptions.
- Event Planning Software: Due to be released June 2000, this cutting-edge tool will allow the client all the resources and visual aids for their event planning. They will be able to play with decoration themes, listen to theme music, design invitations, thank-you cards, and RSVP cards, use the interactive planning calendar, and much more. This software will bring their event into the millennium with cutting edge technology that is designed to save time and money.
- Resources Manual: This valuable guide acts as a review for all the resources located in the surrounding area. A ranking is given to the various services, such as caterers, decorators, disc jockeys, bands, and facilities. This manual gives the client the freedom of making a choice based on experience.
Free Event Planners Training for High School and College Students As a member of the Portland community, it is our mission to support our community. Ten hours each month will be devoted to training area students in event planning.
This will aid them in planning proms, graduation parties, river clean-ups, homecoming, and other important events. This is a priority of Occasions. It will not be cut back as the business grows. Occasions provides event planning in a wide range of applications. We guarantee satisfaction in the areas of appearance, performance, and taste. The following is a sampling of the types of events we plan every year:
- Meetings, Trainings, and Retreats.
- Conferences and Workshops.
- Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations and Holidays.
- Weddings, Receptions, and Showers.
- Company picnics, banquets, and award ceremonies.
…..and any other event that needs to be planned.
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1. Competitive Comparison
Occasions, although young, draws from the age-old tradition of going above and beyond what is expected, every time. Our systems for event planning have been drawn up, evaluated, practiced, worked, and reworked to ensure the maximum efficiency while minimising the possibility of error.
We employ local vendors who have the same desire to be the best at what they do, while providing un-matchable services. Thus, we give back to the community by providing jobs outside of our organisation. We encourage new and upcoming small businesses who provide a service within our need base to step up to the challenge of being the best through their contract with Occasions.
Our products will serve the function of aiding those that cannot afford the cost of an event planner. We wish to make our event planning tips available to those who need a helping hand. Occasions is a member of the community.
Through event planning, Occasions gets the opportunity to laugh when the community laughs and cry when the community cries, to rejoice when the community rejoices and to help put the pieces back together when things change or begin to fall apart. We care about the things that have meaning in the lives of our neighbours.
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4Market Analysis Summary
The following sections describe the market segmentation, strategies, and industry analysis.
1. Market Segmentation
The breakdown of the market for event planning, falls in a wide, very diverse grouping. Individuals as well as organisations demand the services we provide.
In order to provide the greatest depth of information, the market segments have been broken down into private and public organisations, and age groups.
Private Organisations and Businesses
Private organisations make up the single largest portion of Occasions’ client base. Private organisations such as businesses, corporations, and political parties host the most events on the largest scales, therefore, these events generate larger revenues per event.
The majority of larger scale holiday functions will fall under this segment.
Government agencies host many events every year. Occasions hopes to alleviate the pressure of event planning for public employees.
The second single largest segment, the public sector, can save money and give back to its community at the same time. These events are moderate in scale with middle to low revenues generated. Emphasis is placed on the visibility of the event for public viewing. The majority of organisational family functions will fall under this segment.
Under 24: Persons under the age of twenty-four (24) using an event planner are rare at best. We hope to tap the early college graduates who have begun their professional careers but have not yet started their families.
These events will focus mainly on themes with moderate to high energy appeal. The revenues generated will range from moderate to high, depending on the event. The majority of weddings will fall into this segment.
Ages 25-55: The persons that fall into this age group are employed, middle to upper-middle class families. The reason they choose event planners is they are too busy to do it themselves. Therefore, Occasions will be on hand for questions, contact will be moderate in length but occur regularly so as not to disturb the daily life of the families.
These events will generate moderate revenues, with a few generating low revenues. The majority of special occasion planning will occur in this market segment.
Ages 56 and above: Persons over the age of 55 have reached the turning point of life. Many are retiring, others are celebrating anniversaries of significant years, and still others are seeing that their children’s special events are taken care of.
These events will generate moderate to high revenues depending upon the income level of the family (direct correlation to social status). Most holiday parties, and other special occasions, such as wedding receptions and reunions, will occur in this market segment.
This segment has no direct information to compile for a description. It consists of any event planned that does not fit into one of the above categories.
2. Target Market Segment Strategy
Our target markets are middle to upper-middle class families, couples, individuals, or private and public organisations. We chose these groups because they are most able to afford event planners, and have the least amount of time to spare for event planning in general.
Families demand attention, employees are overburdened, and overwhelming detail needed to plan large events are too large a constraint to place on people not trained in the area of event planning.
The fast pace of the world we live in leaves little time for extra things we would like to do, like plan events, parties, and social get-togethers.
Occasions fills the need by being available to take on the burden of planning so that people can spend time on more important things, like family and friends.
The demand for this service can only increase considering the rise in incomes, population, and need for interpersonal relations in the workplace.
3. Service Business Analysis
Occasions is in a unique position of competition. We compete against hotels with conference facilities, conference centres, other event planners both on the large and small scale, persons within an organisation who are assigned the task of organising an event, and people who wish to organise their own events without the benefit of assistance.
The benefits and drawbacks of each of our competitors as compared with the services we offer are hardly a match in quality and price.
Hotels and Conference Centres
Strengths: On-site facilities, equipment, and support staff. Ability to transport and house persons for overnight stays. Able to internalise costs of transportation and equipment.
Weakness: Often very expensive, impersonal, rely on unskilled labor for support staff. The error rate is high due to high volume and traffic from other events happening at the same time.
Other Event Planners
Strengths: Have been in the market longer, have established a reputation and client base.
Weakness: Reputation precedes them, no systems-based businesses designed to produce consistent results; focus on smaller events, specialised events are main focused rather than all events; do not have the supporting products to market with, or instead of, event planning services. Employees or Persons wishing to do it themselves
Strengths: Internalised cost of planning the event; able to add tiny personalised touches that have meaning within the group or family.
Weakness: Consumes time that could be spent on other things; don’t have access to the best prices, services, and other needed resources available.