Professional Development CoursesEvent Entrepreneurship: Business Foundations


Event Entrepreneurship: Business Foundations (previously called The Launching Pad: Staring 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. Facilitated by entrepreneur, Michael Granek, MBA, CSEP and with course videos featuring industry leader and the Event Leadership Institute’s Founder, Howard Givner, 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.


Learning Outcomes

  1. 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.
  2. Understand fundamental sales skills including prospecting for new clients, evaluating & responding to RFP’s, designing proposals and delivering compelling presentations.
  3. Consider marketing, advertising and public relations options.
  4. Evaluate the basic financial performance of your business by reviewing profit & loss statements, balance sheets, budgets, and other key financial documents.


  1. Setting Up For Success: Creating A Roadmap
    1. Why So Many Small Businesses Fail, & How to Avoid It
    2. Interviews with Owners of Event Companies on What They'd Do Differently
    3. Understanding the Functional Needs of Your Business, & Who Will Fill Them
  2. The Big Picture
    1. Outlining Your Long Term Goals, & How You'll Get There
    2. Finding Your Niche: Identifying Target Client & Event Types
    3. Finding Your Niche: Identifying Types of Services (design, execution, etc.)
    4. Branding Your Compay: Pros & Cons of Using Your Own Name
    5. Branding Your Company: Finding What Makes You Unique
  3. Setting Up Shop
    1. Legal & Tax Considerations
    2. Insurance Considerations
    3. Office Options
  4. Financing Your Business
    1. Projecting Your Budget Needs
    2. Taking On Investors
    3. Loans and Lines of Credit
  5. Accounting: Understanding Your Business Dashboard
    1. Reading A Balance Sheet
    2. Reading A Profit & Loss Statement
    3. Sales Forecasting & Cash Flow
    4. Managing Accounts Receivable
    5. Managing Accounts Payable
  6. Pricing: How & How Much You Should Charge
    1. Identifying the Right Pricing Model (Flat Fees, Markups, % of Budget, etc.) for Your Business
    2. Calculating How Much You Should Charge/Make
    3. How to Deal with Commissions
    4. Identifying Which Types of Clients Are Likely to be Time-Sucks
  7. Prospecting For New Clients
    1. Understanding the Sales Funnel
    2. Tips For Making Sure You Prospect
    3. Networking Tips
    4. Honing Your Elevator Pitch
    5. Where & How to Find New Leads
    6. Client Mapping
  8. Marketing Your Business
    1. Keys to A Successful Website
    2. Key Principles for Using Social Media
    3. Getting Press/Publicity
    4. Advertising: When It Works & When It Doesn't
  9. Pitching & Winning New Business
    1. Client Discovery / Handling Inquiries
    2. Evaluting RFPs. Determining When to Bid
    3. Honing Your Value Proposition
    4. Tips for Successful Pitch Meetings
    5. Tips for Successful Proposals
    6. How to Handle Requests for "Day-Of" Work
    7. Contracts & Payment Structuring
  10. Keeping & Growing A Client's Business
    1. How to Avoid "Scope Creep"
    2. 5 Keys to Preventing Upset Clients
    3. Planning A Post-Event Debrief Designed to Win Rebooking
  11. Working With Vendors
    1. Proving Value Beyond Your Vendors: How to Avoid Clients Hiring Your Vendors Directly
    2. Contracts, Insurance Requirements & Indemnification Clauses
    3. Payment Terms & Commissions
  12. Hiring Employees & Independent Contractors
    1. Non-Compete & Non-Disclosure Agreements
    2. Compensation Models, Payroll Taxes, & Insurance
    3. Effective Delegation
    4. How to Avoid Employees Stealing Your Clients
  13. Bonus Material
    1. Contract Template
    2. Client Budget Template
    3. Internal Event Profit & Loss Template

Free Course Preview

Course Details

  • Start Date:Learn Now! | Independent Study
  • Duration:6 Weeks
  • Location:Online
  • Tuition:$595

About the Instructor

Howard Givner

Executive Director

Event Leadership Institute

With over 20 years of industry experience, Howard is a widely recognized expert and innovator in the... find out more

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the course work?

Participants will log into our private Learning Management System to view instructional video lessons, broken into digestible chapters of approximately 10 minutes each, and may be supplemented with PDFs, quizzes, assignments or links to external articles. The content is organized into 6 weekly sections, with around 2 hours of content per week. The course material is designed to be viewed in a specific order, though you are free to view the lesson modules in any order you prefer. You will have 9 weeks to complete the course material.

Tell me about your learning guarantee?

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 the final lesson and we'll give you a full refund.

Will I earn a credential?

Students who complete this course will earn a certificate of completion from the Event Leadership Institute for Event Entrepreneurship: Business Foundations.


"Love the course - look forward to new material every week - kudos to you - great job!!"
Ruth Kintzer

"Thanks for the opportunity to jump into Howard Givner's rather brilliant mind."  Cynthia Harris

"I loved this course! It was extremely valuable to me as I am just starting up my own company. Thank you for sharing all the great advice and tips." Rebecca Hatlestad

"I was late in getting up to speed on the materials, but once I got started with this course, I could not stop!  The curriculum is so relevant to me and my immediate needs.  What a great program!"  Monique Mason-Stelivan | Planright Meeting & Event Management

"I found this course to be extremely helpful to anyone who wants to start their own event planning business.  There is a TON of information that any novice to the business years of sweat and tears." Victoria Beale

"I am really enjoying this course!  Thank you for sharing all of your insight, experience and knowledge. I’ve been in the business for about 15 years and am in the process of building my company and your course has been extremely timely and helpful!"  MaryAnne Kanacki | President, Dragonfly Agency 

"Just finished the course and I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of this information. I just quit my job of 15 years to start my own even consulting firm and you touched on each and every question I had. And you have answered questions that I didn't even know I needed the answers to." Melinda Cooke | Owner, Magenta Events      

"ELI has moved to the forefront of online learning for the event industry, and has created THE standard of education provision in both level of content and accessibility to students."
Kevin White | President-Elect, ISES International, Adjunct Professor, NYU

"Hands down, the best educational content and the smartest instructors in our industry." David Adler | CEO, BizBash

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