Do you love designing beautiful things? Are you always the one to plan the parties and decorate for them? If so, event decorating might be the perfect career for you – or the perfect addition to your existing design business! Event decorators are responsible for adding that special touch to events, making them look extra special.
But what does an event decorator do exactly? How much do they make? Where do they find clients? And most importantly, is it the right career for YOU?
In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions about event decorating and help you decide if it’s the right path for you. So, let’s get started!
What IS an “Event Decoration”?
First thing’s first: what constitutes an “event decoration”? Let’s break it down. Event decorations are the physical elements added to an event space to make it look and feel special – from colors and materials, to furniture and lighting.
What are the 7 Elements of Event Design?
In every event, there are seven key elements of design that you must consider when decorating:
- Space – The physical space of an event is the foundation upon which all other decorations are built. When designing a space, think about how people will move through it and engage with one another.
- Lighting – Lighting sets the mood and can be used to create atmosphere and drama in an event space.
- Forms – Forms are the shapes and structures that make up an event space. Think of tables, chairs, sofas, and other furniture pieces.
- Textures – Texture adds visual interest to a space and helps create a comfortable atmosphere.
- Lines – Lines are the paths that people take when they move through a space. Think of pathways, walls, and pathways between tables.
- Colors – Color adds life to a space, bring together themes, and can be used to set the tone for an event.
- Pattern – Patterns can be used to add visual interest and help guide guests through a space.
By considering all seven elements when designing an event, you can create beautiful spaces that wow your clients.
Event Decorator Job Description
What is the Role of an Event Decorator?
In a nutshell, event decorators are responsible for creating memorable and aesthetically pleasing designs for events. They use a variety of techniques to create unique spaces that reflect the theme of the event. They might choose any of the following elements to bring an event to life:
- Streamers, etc.
As an event decorator, you must be creative, artistic, and have an eye for detail. Plus, you should also be able to work quickly and efficiently, as events are often time-sensitive.
Pro Tip: Here are just 10 reasons why adding event decor services to your design business will benefit your career!
What Do Event Decorators Do?
As an event decorator, you’ll have many duties, tasks, and responsibilities when booked by a client. This will often include:
- Meeting with clients to create a vision;
- Planning the design;
- Sourcing materials and supplies (such as furniture, fabrics, props, and decorations);
- Hiring additional staff if necessary;
- And overseeing installation of the final displays.
Furthermore, you may also be asked to coordinate other services such as catering, entertainment, florists, and so on.
What Other Names Do Event Decorators Go By?
Event decorators are also known as event planners, design coordinators, or party designers. Additionally, if you were to graduate from QC Design School‘s self-paced, online Event Decor Course, you’d also be to call yourself an International Event Decorating Professional (IEDP).
(But we’ll talk more about this later!)
How Much Can You Make?
Just like with any field, the amount of money you can potentially make can vary widely. After all, salary is impacted by:
- Whether you’re offering event decor services full-time or part-time;
- And more.
Generally speaking, however, you can expect to make anywhere from $15-$50 per hour as a beginner. With experience and a solid portfolio, you’ll more than likely make significantly more as your career progresses.
Examples of Event Decorator Salary Ranges
In the United States, the annual salary typically ranges between approx. $19,500 and $41,500 USD per year. If you reside in the United Kingdom, that number is between approx. £22,000 and £55,000 GBP per year. Over in Australia, decorators usually earn between approx. $45,000 and $90,000 AUD annually.
Now, if you live in Canada or New Zealand, finding specific salary ranges online can be a bit trickier. This is because, in some countries such as these, event decor services are lumped under the event planner title.
However, to give you an idea, the annual salary range for event planners in Canada is between approx. $39,000 and $57,400 CAD. Over in New Zealand, the event planner salary typically ranges between $61,000 and $64,350 NZD per year.
How Much Do Event Decorators Charge?
When it comes to pricing, the cost of hiring an event decorator typically depends on several factors. This includes:
- Type and size of the client’s event;
- Number of decorations required;
- Any additional services requested;
- And more.
So, if you’re a professional event decorator, then your rates will vary depending on all of the above. (In other words, there isn’t a set rate for event decorators!)
Types of Pricing Structures
That said, and much like you probably already do with your existing design business, there are different ways you can charge your clients.
The most popular pricing structures include:
- Flat Fee – This sets the same cost for every task or event;
- Day Rate – You’ll be paid a certain amount per day of work;
- Hourly Rate – This option pays you for each hour spent on the job.
Furthermore, some designers also offer package deals to their clients. This is when they combine a few of their services together and offer them at a discounted rate.
Of course, the pricing strategy you choose will depend on you and your particular business needs. Remember: it’s always important to be competitive with your rates while still making sure you’re getting paid what you’re worth!
Do You Need to Be Certified?
No, you don’t technically need to be certified in order to become an event decorator. However, the pros to getting certified definitely outweigh the cons! For instance, having an official certification proves your expertise and reinforces the trust of potential clients.
Plus, you may also be able to charge more for your services if you have a credible certificate or diploma. And not to mention, your certification could be the very thing that sets you apart from competing event decorators in your area!
How to Become a Certified Event Decorator
Honestly, the single best way to become certified is to attend a course or program from a reputable school. This can be online or in-person, depending on your preference.
Simply do some research and look for courses that cover topics related to event decorating. For example, you may want to take classes on floral arranging, centerpieces, wedding design, and more!
QC Design School’s Event Decor Course
As previously mentioned, when it comes to event decor courses and certifications, QC Design School is one of the best in the business. Our self-paced, online Event Decor Course covers all the fundamentals of event decor design, including:
- Design principles and color theory;
- Tabletop accessories and event styling;
- Composing centerpieces and unique decorations;
- Starting your very own event decorating business;
- And SO much more!
Plus, once you’ve completed the program, you’ll be awarded with an internationally-recognized certification AND official designation in professional event decorating. Not only can this be used on your resume and in all of your marketing materials – it’s also the perfect way to stand out as true industry expert!
How to Find Event Decorator Jobs
Once you have your certification, the next step is to start looking for jobs. Fortunately, there are many ways this can be accomplished! Here are just 12 ideas to keep in the back of your mind…
1 – Develop a Solid Event Decorating Portfolio.
As with any design-related job, the best way to find new clients is by showcasing your work! So, make sure you have a solid portfolio that includes photos of your previous projects. It’s also important to include client testimonials and industry reviews in order to boost your credibility.
2 – Start a Website.
Another obvious way to find work is to create a website for yourself. This will allow potential clients to learn more about you, your services, and view any images or portfolios of past events.
Importantly, make sure to include all of the following information on your website:
- Your qualifications, certifications, and awards;
- An About Me page so prospective clients can get to know you;
- A full list of your services and rates;
- Photos or videos of previous projects;
- Contact information for booking inquiries;
- Links to your social media pages;
- And an online booking option.
Furthermore, it’s important that your website is mobile-friendly and easy for people to navigate. Your website could have all the right info – but if it’s not user-friendly, people likely won’t stay very long!
3 – Join Online Directories.
Another great option is to join directories like Thumbtack or TaskRabbit. On these websites, people post jobs and you can then apply for them! If you’d like more online directory suggestions, this article by HubSpot lists their Top 50!
4 – Utilize Social Media.
Don’t forget to take advantage of your social media accounts! Firstly, this is a great way to showcase your work. And secondly, many potential clients may reach out to you through these channels. Just be sure to keep your pages professional and up-to-date.
5 – Seek Out Networking Opportunities.
Next, consider attending industry events in your area. This is a great way to meet other professionals who may be able to refer jobs to you or even collaborate on projects together!
6 – Start an Event Decorating Blog.
You can also attract clients through blog-writing. Writing articles will help you to build credibility and demonstrate your knowledge in the industry. Furthermore, you can share your posts on social media pages and other online forums – potentially leading new clients right to your doorstep!
7 – Make Sure ALL of Your Online Content is SEO-Friendly.
Since a lot of what you post is likely going to be online, it’s important to develop all of this content for the best possible Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a. SEO). For example, use SEO-friendly keywords. This will help potential clients find you more easily when they search for specific terms related to event decorating.
Furthermore, there are a few more SEO-related steps you’ll need to take – particularly on your website’s and blog’s backends. For example, you’ll want to include meta descriptions and page titles for every page of your website. Additionally, make sure all of the content on each page is relevant and up-to-date.
8 – Invest in Paid Advertising.
These days, paid advertising is one of the most utilized forms of marketing. This could include anything from Facebook ads and Google AdWords, to print materials such as flyers or business cards. Yes, paid advertising can be expensive… But it’s is a great, tried-and-true way to get your name out there and attract even more clients!
9 – Run a Social Media Giveaway.
Social media giveaways are a great way to reach new audiences and potentially bring in new clients. Make sure to include pertinent information about your services, such as what type of events you specialize in, the sizes of parties you can accommodate, etc.
10 – Turn to Your Friends and Family.
Word-of-mouth referrals are still one of the best ways to attract clients. So, don’t forget to ask your friends and family for help too! Make sure they know exactly what you do and encourage them to share your services with others.
11 – Offer Competitive Client Incentives.
Another idea worth considering is offering incentives and discounts to your clients. This could look like:
- Discounts for returning customers;
- Discounts for first-time customers;
- Group discounts;
- Free services or upgrades;
- Discounts on additional services after any one service has been booked with your business;
- Referral programs, etc.
These types of incentives can help you to stand out from the competition and encourage people to give you a try!
12 – Always Follow Up With Potential Clients.
Finally, it’s important to remember that sales is still a numbers game. So, don’t forget to follow up with potential clients after your initial contact. This could be as simple as sending an email to thank them for their time and see if they have any further questions or would like to book an appointment.
Event Decorator Must-Haves
Next, let’s take a brief look at some of the must-haves you’ll need to run a successful event decorating business.
1 – Professional Equipment and Tools.
The right equipment is essential for any event decorator. This could include decorations, tables and chairs, linens, centerpieces, etc.
2 – Access to Wholesale Suppliers.
If you plan on providing decorations and other event-related materials, then it’s a good idea to develop relationships with local wholesale suppliers. This will help you get the best prices for these items so that you can pass those savings on to your clients.
3 – Professional Transportation and Storage.
In order to transport all of your supplies from event to event, you may need access to a truck or van. Additionally, you’ll also need adequate storage for all of your supplies and equipment.
4 – An Event Decorator’s Price List.
Next, it’s important to have an established pricing list for your services. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you know exactly how much each event costs – including all of the supplies involved.
5 – Contracts for Event Decorators.
You’ll also need to have contracts in place for each of your events. This will ensure that both parties are aware of any and all expectations before the event takes place. If you’ve never put together a legal contract before, we recommend this How-To Guide by People’s Law School.
6 – A Creative Eye.
Finally, don’t forget that the best event decorators have a great eye for detail! Being able to go beyond what is expected and come up with creative solutions to take the event up a notch is what will make you stand out from the competition.
Running an event decorating business can be a rewarding experience. Furthermore, if you’re already a working designer, this could be a great way to expand your current client base and make some extra income!
Just remember that it’s important to have all of the necessary tools in place before you start taking on clients, such as contracts, pricing lists, and access to wholesale suppliers. Once those are taken care of, don’t forget to use various marketing methods – such as word-of-mouth and social media – to get the word out about your services.
A little bit of creativity, hard work, and networking can go a long way in the event decorating business. And by following the tips outlined above, you’re sure to find success in this line of work! With enough hard work and dedication, you’ll be able to grow your event decor services into something amazing.
Good luck and thanks for reading!