How to become an event planner
Updated: Mar 30
Event planning is a dynamic and rewarding career that requires both creative and organizational skills, as well as excellent attention to detail and communication skills.
Event planners work in a mixture of settings such as corporate events, weddings, trade shows and exhibitions, festivals, concerts, and conferences.
If you are interested in becoming an event planner, there are a few key steps you can take to achieve your goal. In this article, we will explore how to become an event planner and provide you with some tips and tricks to help you succeed in this exciting field.
Research the role of an event planner
Before you decide to pursue a career in event planning, it is important to understand what the job entails. An event planner is responsible for coordinating all aspects of an event, from the venue and catering to the décor and entertainment. They work directly with clients to understand their needs, then develop a plan to execute the event seamlessly. An event planner must be able to work under pressure and be able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
They must also be excellent communicators, negotiators, and problem solvers.
It's also important to research the different types of event planners, as the roles and skills required vary significantly. We use the term “event planner” loosely, as the actual job title varies depending on their sector and skill level. Event agencies tend to have project managers, senior project managers, and project directors. Corporate companies usually have an in-house team consisting of event managers and event assistants. On the other hand, you will find that venues such as hotels and exhibition halls have an event manager or event planner. All of these roles fall under the general term of event planning, but their day-to-day tasks and their ways of working are much different.
Go to University (Optional)
While a degree is not always required to become an event planner, having a degree or certification can help you stand out in the job market. In addition, Universities are excellent places to gain relevant experience, build your network and develop your skills. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in event planning, hospitality management, and related fields. These programs typically cover topics such as event design, budgeting, marketing, and logistics.
Gain Relevant Experience
To become an event planner, you will need to gain relevant experience in the field. This can include internships, volunteer work, or entry-level positions in event planning or related fields. It’s important to try as many roles, in as many different settings as possible and find something that you love! Look for opportunities to work with event planning firms, catering companies, or venues to gain experience in areas such as event design, budgeting, and vendor management.
If you are just starting out, consider volunteering to help plan events for non-profit organizations or local charities. This can be a great way to gain hands-on experience while also giving back to your community. Companies that provide casual staff for events are a great place to start. These can include event hosting companies and crewing companies.
Build Your Network
Networking is an essential part of any career, and event planning is no exception. Use every job opportunity to make new connections. Be interested in the work that is going on around you. Ask the right questions and make genuine connections with colleagues and managers.
Attend industry conferences and events, join professional organizations, and connect with other event planners on social media. This will help you stay up-to-date on industry trends, connect with potential clients, and build relationships with vendors and suppliers.
You can also consider joining a local event planning association or chapter of a national organization such as ISES or EPA. These organizations offer networking opportunities, educational resources, and access to industry events.
Develop Your Skills
To succeed as an event planner, you will need to continually develop your skills. This means taking feedback seriously by using it as an opportunity to improve and assessing every mistake you make so that you can learn from it.
Communication: Event planners must be able to communicate effectively with clients, vendors, and team members. This includes listening carefully to their needs, explaining complex ideas in simple terms, and negotiating contracts and agreements.
Organizational Skills: Event planners must be highly organized, able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and keep track of deadlines and budgets.
Creativity: Event planners must be able to come up with creative ideas for events that will capture the imagination of clients and attendees.
Problem Solving: Event planners must be able to think on their feet and come up with solutions to unexpected problems that may arise during an event.
Attention to Detail: Event planners must be detail-oriented, ensuring that every aspect of an event is planned and executed flawlessly.
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