Event Entrepreneurship: Business Foundations

Event Entrepreneurship: Business Foundations Certificate

Course Overview

Event Entrepreneurship: Business Foundations (previously called The Launching Pad: Starting Your Own Event Company) is designed for event & meeting professionals who are considering launching their own events business, or for those with an existing business looking to develop fundamental business skills. This course is ideal for professionals looking for an efficient and comprehensive introduction to key business fundamentals.

During the beginning stages of starting a company, a strong business acumen is crucial for success. Event Entrepreneurship: Business Foundations will walk you through key competencies that are required for getting a business off the ground, from creating an initial strategy and actionable goals, to drafting budgets and obtaining financing. The curriculum will then familiarize you with marketing strategies, effective pricing methods, how to obtain your first clients, and much more.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll have an understanding of the business tools and skillset needed to build a strong foundation for your business. Please note, this course focuses on business fundamentals only, and does NOT teach event planning or management.



  • Draft a business plan that focuses on identifying your business niche, target markets & customers, product & service offerings, pricing strategy, and competitive positioning, as well as setting goals that you’d like to achieve.
  • Understand fundamental sales skills including prospecting for new clients, evaluating & responding to RFP’s, designing proposals and delivering compelling presentations.
  • Consider marketing, advertising and public relations options.
  • Evaluate the basic financial performance of your business by reviewing profit & loss statements, balance sheets, budgets, and other key financial documents.

Scroll down to see more details including the weekly outline

Event Leadership Institute has been approved by the Events Industry Council (EIC) as a Preferred Provider of continuing education on all professional development certificate courses, which qualifies for CMP continuing education credit. Determination of continuing education credit eligibility or Preferred Provider status does not imply EIC’s endorsement or assessment of education quality.

Speaker: Howard Givner Headshot

Learn from ELI's Founder & CEO

With over 20 years of industry experience, Howard Givner is a widely recognized expert and innovator in the field of events, business growth strategy, technology, and education. Howard is the Founder and CEO of the Event Leadership Institute (which launched in April 2011), provider of best-in-class training and education for the events industry, through online, on-demand video classes, interviews with industry leaders, white papers, webinars and live events.

He is the founder of Paint The Town Red, Inc., and the former CEO of North America for Global Events Group, the 13th largest event agency in the world, which acquired Paint The Town Red in 2008. During his tenure, the company won over 30 industry awards. Howard is a Past President of the ILEA (International Live Events Association) NY Metro Chapter; has served on the board of directors of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Greater NY Chapter as VP of Education; is a member of the BizBash NY Advisory Board; has served on the Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine; been a judge of the Gala Awards & HSMAI’s Adrian Awards. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on various topics. He has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, National Public Radio, ABC News, The Apprentice, and USA Today, in addition to numerous trade media.
Howard is a consultant to companies in the hospitality, meetings, and event industry, specializing in strategic planning, sales growth, management, and mergers & acquisitions, and selectively consults with business owners on a limited number of engagements.

View Howard's Profile

Learn from an Industry Expert

Heather Mason founded Caspian Agency in 2005, intent on bringing a scientifically-based strategic discipline to white-glove event planning after recognizing that there was no codified method for creating and executing strategic events at scale. To do this, she created the Caspian 10 Essentials of Event Science. This methodology has been taught internationally, and is featured curricula for the San Diego State University Masters in Meetings and Events degree program where Heather is a Senior Fellow and an instructor. Her expertise in the innovation and social good business space has led to successful projects around the globe for the Skoll.

View Heather's Profile

Setting Up For Success: Creating A Roadmap

  • Why So Many Small Businesses Fail, & How to Avoid It
  • Interviews with Owners of Event Companies on What They’d Do Differently
  • Understanding the Functional Needs of Your Business, & Who Will Fill Them

The Big Picture

  • Outlining Your Long Term Goals, & How You’ll Get There
  • Finding Your Niche: Identifying Target Client & Event Types
  • Finding Your Niche: Identifying Types of Services (design, execution, etc.)
  • Branding Your Compay: Pros & Cons of Using Your Own Name
  • Branding Your Company: Finding What Makes You Unique

Setting Up Shop

  • Legal & Tax Considerations
  • Insurance Considerations
  • Office Options

Financing Your Business

  • Projecting Your Budget Needs
  • Taking On Investors
  • Loans and Lines of Credit

Accounting: Understanding Your Business Dashboard

  • Reading A Balance Sheet
  • Reading A Profit & Loss Statement
  • Sales Forecasting & Cash Flow
  • Managing Accounts Receivable
  • Managing Accounts Payable

Pricing: How & How Much You Should Charge

  • Identifying the Right Pricing Model (Flat Fees, Markups, % of Budget, etc.) for Your Business
  • Calculating How Much You Should Charge/Make
  • How to Deal with Commissions
  • Identifying Which Types of Clients Are Likely to be Time-Sucks

Prospecting For New Clients

  • Understanding the Sales Funnel
  • Tips For Making Sure You Prospect
  • Networking Tips
  • Honing Your Elevator Pitch
  • Where & How to Find New Leads
  • Client Mapping

Marketing Your Business

  • Keys to A Successful Website
  • Key Principles for Using Social Media
  • Getting Press/Publicity
  • Advertising: When It Works & When It Doesn’t

Pitching & Winning New Business

  • Client Discovery / Handling Inquiries
  • Evaluting RFPs. Determining When to Bid
  • Honing Your Value Proposition
  • Tips for Successful Pitch Meetings
  • Tips for Successful Proposals
  • How to Handle Requests for “Day-Of” Work
  • Contracts & Payment Structuring

Keeping & Growing A Client's Business

  • How to Avoid “Scope Creep”
  • 5 Keys to Preventing Upset Clients
  • Planning A Post-Event Debrief Designed to Win Rebooking

Working With Vendors

  • Proving Value Beyond Your Vendors: How to Avoid Clients Hiring Your Vendors Directly
  • Contracts, Insurance Requirements & Indemnification Clauses
  • Payment Terms & Commissions

Hiring Employees & Independent Contractors

  • Non-Compete & Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Compensation Models, Payroll Taxes, & Insurance
  • Effective Delegation
  • How to Avoid Employees Stealing Your Clients

The Event Leadership Institute stands behind all of its content. If you feel you didn't learn what you expected to in this course, just let us know within 30 days of your last lesson and we'll give you a full refund. Click here to view our refund policy and full terms & conditions.

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