How to Become an Event Planner

This article provides in-depth information into What is an Event Planner? What Event Planner do? Degrees for Event Planner, Steps to become Event Planner and much more.

Certified event planners are in charge of planning and dealing with all parts of an event. Event Planners usually hold a Bachelor’s degree in event management or related field. They meet with clients to work out event details, plan with the client and their team, scout and book locations, food, entertainment, staff, and cleanup. With appropriate education and experience, planners may go on to host larger events, such as conventions and corporate meetings.

Basic Requirements
Degree Required Bachelor's
Years of Experience  At least 2 years without a degree.
Skills Required Communication, Management, Customer Service, Industry Softwares, Computer Skills, Flexibility, Handling Pressure.
Average Salary $35,000

Definition of an Event Planner - In simple, this profession can be defined as the process of planning, communicating, and executing an event according to one's requirement. It is very common for any event organizer to have a hectic day often as the job is all about one being very flexible.

What does an Event Planner do ?

A Day in a Life of an Event Planner

It can never be like a normal day for a person in this profession as it is all about uncertainties and risks. The daily and the event day routine of an organizer ranges from meeting vendors, following with the logistics, communicating with the client, to successfully executing the event without any problem.

  1. It is not at all an office work where individuals spend their time sitting at the same place. It requires you to move from a place to place and communicate with many people. The event day starts with the follows ups that need to be done to ensure that every person who's responsible will be on time at the location.

  2. Communicate to the client and makes sure that everything is going as per the plan. Planning includes lights, food, audience, and much more.

  3. You have to be prepared for all situation and have a solution at your fingertips. As events are all about facing consequences, it is important as an organizer you have a solution to all sorts of issues.

  4. Have to oversee each and every department at the time of an event to make sure that everything going smooth.

Event Planners are the directors and the great minds behind the minute and large arrangements in the events that are been organized around the city. The duties of the event organizer start from meeting their client for the first time and discussing their quotation and start organizing the things, deciding the food and activities based on the client budget, and more. Event coordinators also control an event from conception to clean up.

Duties of an Event Planner

  • Coordinate details of events such as conferences, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, charity events, surprise parties, trade shows, sales meetings, business meetings, employee appreciation events, and virtual events.

  • Organize facilities and manage factors such as decoration, logistics, entertainment, catering, guest management, promotional stuff, and many more.

  • Liaise with clients to identify their needs and to ensure customer satisfaction

  • Conduct market research, gather information and negotiate contracts prior to closing any deals

  • Calculate budgets and ensure they are adhered to.

  • Book talent, including musicians, bands, and disc jockeys.

  • Select chefs or catering companies to prepare food for an event.

  • Sample food and select dishes for menus.

  • Should be proactive and must find the solutions to any rising issues in an ongoing event and solve them to ensure the smooth flow.

  • Visit the venue to plan the layout of seating and decorations.

  • Schedule speakers, vendors, and participants.

  • Coordinate and monitor event timelines and ensure deadlines are met.

  • Provide feedback and periodic reports to stakeholders.

  • Research market, identify event opportunities and generate interest.

How long does it take to become an event planner?

There is no fixed duration in which you can be an event planner. All it takes is experience, work environment, learnings, and problem-solving ability. You must be exceptionally good at dealing with a tough situation that questions an event. But to answer the question, an individual can generally take up to one or two years after earning the certificate in the relevant field.

Education for Event Planner

As said above, the bachelor's degree is mandatory for starting your career in the event management field. Even after your bachelors, it is not sure that you can be a very good event planner in the market until you have that experience of dealing with almost all the challenging situations that arise at an event. Professionals with other educational background are even considered as it is something that is not gained from a degree but from work.

In addition to this, you can even take up event planning certificate courses in various learning formats that will help you to specialize in wedding planning, sports management, catering coordinator, and more.

A career in Event Management/Planning

As mentioned earlier, at the initial stages of your career you'll be working by assisting or managing a small part of an event. As you gain enough experience and know how to deal with all the tough situations. With a few years of experience, you can start your own firm and operate it as you would have already built the network that would work for you.

Types of Event Planners

There are many types of event planners who are mastered in planning and executing various kinds of events. It is important to master in just one type of event as the format of analyzing and organizing process is not involved. Various kinds of the event manager in the market are given below.

  • Wedding Planners

These are the type of event organizers who totally focuses on organizing weddings and fun activities at marriages. This particular industry is very vast and demands more experience and solutions to any sort of problem that arises. You should know A - Z of the wedding such as catering, dresses, different tradition, music and sound systems, marriage certificates, and many more.

They work very closely with their clients to ensure that each and every step is done according to their taste and preference. And the pressure is someone who's very close to you until the end of an event. You have to deal with him and find a far friend named solution for every issue.

  • Corporate Event Planners

These are the type of event organizers who change themselves as one of the corporates, think corporate, and behave corporate to successfully execute the event. As a corporate event organizer, you'll be completely involved in executing seminars, conferences, trade shows, team meetings, and outings, travel coordinating, and much more.

  • Birthday Organizers

Do you love children? You love to have some family time and have some memories, then you are perfect for this job. Birthday organizers are those who specialize in organizing various kinds of birthday parties. Theme birthday parties are also part of this. While adult birthday party may or not include themed concept but requires more arrangements to be done. You start your work by choosing the perfect location, food, gifts, photographers, and much more.

There are still many types of event and event organizers, what makes this profession is the above one and it takes years of experience to reach there.

Event Planner Skills

The skills are pretty straight and an individual has to be very versatile and has to clearly adopt the changes. Following are the few organizational skills that are very important for your career success.

  • Network - Having a good connection with the people is the first and foremost thing that an event planner should consider. You have to build a very large network to ensure the clear and calm operations of a business.

  • Understanding an Event Flow - This is really a very basic thing that you have to research. You should thoroughly have an idea about how to start an event, how to manage it, how to solve issues, or how to deal with people, and much more.

  • Flexibility - This is not for those who are seeking for a 9-5 job. you have to be very flexible and should be ready to work at any time and find a solution for any kind of problem.

  • Client Service - Event Planning is all about client service and proper execution of a planned event. It is important to retain the existing and new customers as well by providing quality service.


Steps for becoming an Event Planner

1

Earn A Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to get into any industry and it also considered as an important factor to be a successful event planner. Most employers look for a bachelor’s degree in Event Planning or relative area. There is many bachelor’s program available in this field such as in hospitality management, marketing, or public relations. 

An individual from any background can pursue this degree and can master the work. A related degree that a student can study includes hospitality management, travel and tourism, restaurant service, events marketing, food and beverage management, and much more. There are many universities near you that offer various event management courses that helps one to gain proper experience while they are actually studying.

2

Do An Internship

Students are required to complete an internship during their four-year college education. Almost all the colleges require you to complete an internship. Internships help you gain hands-on experience in the field and acquire a greater understanding of the event planning process. It is also a great opportunity to build your network as networking is a vital part of this business.

3

Gain Work Experience

Many event planners start out planning smaller events, such as meetings and forums, for small organizations. Administrative assistants, for example, may assume meeting planning responsibilities in addition to their normal duties. You also may enter the field in related occupations, such as catering coordinator positions, to build experience and advance to a planner role.

4

Obtain Certification

Earning Certifications can make you stand out from the crowd and increase your marketability to potential employers. The content in certification exams can vary according to event planning areas.

5

Specialize Professional Skills

According to the BLS, there are many different types of event planners. Event planners organize private and public events like weddings. Convention service managers act as liaisons between companies and venues such as hotels to make sure all the details are managed. Finding your niche and networking accordingly can help ensure professional prospects for the future.

6

Expertise In Industry Software

It is very important for one to learn the industry tools that will help them carry their business operations without any hassle. As an event organizer, it is important for one to learn about the tools that help in maintaining their clients and audience. Various tools that are available help with project planning and management, audience database, sales, CRM, and more. Industry software that one needs to master in is Marketo, Microsoft Project, DoubleDutch, and many more.


Event Planner Salaries

Event Planner

Event Planner Degree Levels

Bachelors

Event managers must be skilled in the many aspects of organizing and running successful events. Bachelor's degree programs in event management train students on diverse topics including site analysis, food and beverage service, contract negotiations, and transportation management.

Event Management
  • Different types of events

  • Design Site/Venue selection

  • Logistics

Objectives
  • Conceptual overview of event management

  • Apply principles of business and not-for-profit management

  • To foster professionalism in event management

Travel and Tourism Management
  • Tourism Growth

  • Tourism supply

  • The Future Trends of Tourism

Objectives
  • Define tourism along with appropriate industry models

  • History, challenges and industry perspectives

  • Travel industry channels of distribution

Restaurant Services Management
  • Prepare Various Dishes

  • Develop standardized recipes for use in the daily operation

  • Assign work stations

Objectives
  • Basic culinary skills and sanitation

  • Management and waitstaff

  • Daily operations of a Restaurant

Certificate

Online event planning certification courses teach individuals how to prepare and execute all kinds of organized occasions, ranging from private birthday parties to large-scale industry conventions. Classes feature business topics in food services, finances, marketing, and contracts; creative elements such as theme and design may also be discussed.

Marketing for Events
  • Event Industry

  • Design of an Event

  • Developing Business Relations and Opportunities

Objectives
  • Understanding of event marketing

  • Achieving marketing objectives

  • Understanding of not-for-profit event management

Food and Beverage Management
  • Nutrition for Food Service Operations

  • Standard Product Costs and Pricing Strategies

  • Sanitation and Safety

Objectives
  • Use decision-making skills

  • Practice current managerial techniques and trends

  • Interpret financial data

Event Planning Liability
  • Standard Event Forms

  • Event Budgets

  • Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media for Events

Objectives
  • Described responsibilities of an event manager

  • Develop goals and objectives

  • Identify local event suppliers/vendors