The Corporate Market
Broadly speaking, there are two markets for event planning services: corporate and social. The term "corporate" includes not only companies but also charities and nonprofit organizations. Charities and nonprofit organizations host gala fundraisers, receptions and athletic competitions, among other events, to expand their public support base and raise funds. Thousands of these events occur each year, and although the large ones require specialized event planning experience, you may find smaller local events to start out with.
Companies host trade shows, conventions, company picnics, holiday parties and meetings for staff members, board members or stockholders. In one year alone, the total number of meetings held in the United States was almost 1 million, according to a Meetings Market Report conducted by Market Probe International Inc. for Meetings & Conventions magazine. The same report showed that organizations spent a total of $40.8 billion on meetings that same year.
The Social Market
Social events include weddings, birthdays, anniversary parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, Sweet 16 parties, children's parties, reunions and so on. You may decide to handle all these events or just specialize in one or more of them.
The market for social events, especially birthdays and anniversaries, is expected to continue to increase over the next few years, as baby boomers mature. This group has children getting married, parents celebrating golden anniversaries, and their own silver wedding anniversaries to commemorate.