For some people, planning just comes naturally. If this is the case for you, learning how to become an event planner may be the best career decision you make. Being able to use your natural gift and get paid for it, who could ask for more?
What Is an Event Planner?
Event planners coordinate all aspects of an event. These are the people you hire to plan a wedding or business conference for you. Some even hire event planners to help plan big parties. An event planner is able to successfully bring an event together and manage all aspects of it.
What Does an Event Planner Do?
Scouts and Inspects Venues
Event planners check out venues ahead of booking them, and after booking, they regularly visit the venues to do inspections. This helps ensure the venue is not only secured, but remains in the ideal condition for your upcoming event.
Negotiates and Manages Vendors
Most events have some sort of vendors, such as caterers or entertainers. Event managers negotiate with these vendors to get the best prices, and throughout the event, they manage the vendors to make sure you are getting what you paid for.
Coordinates Event Logistics
Event planners spend a lot of time figuring out all of the logistics of events. They help coordinate dates, times, guests in attendance, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Many event planners create an itinerary for the event and keep the event flowing smoothly.
Essential Event Planner Skills
Since event planners work with so many other people, being able to coordinate with a team is very important. Event planners will have to work with vendors, venues, guests, and the hosts of the event, creating a rather large team to coordinate and cooperate with.
In addition to managing every aspect of an event, event planners must keep an eye on the smaller details of events to keep them running smoothly. Being detail-oriented helps event planners catch any small details that could make or break the event.
Great Interpersonal Skills
Not everyone has great interpersonal skills, but it is mandatory as an event manager. The entire job involves working with a ton of other people, and if you are unable to build rapport, you will not be very successful.
Event Planner Salaries and Job Outlook
Event planners make an average of $50,600 per year. Most event planners work full-time and end up putting in a lot of overtime hours when finalizing preparations. Some event planners earn over $85,000 per year, so with the right combination of education, experience, and employment location, you could bring in a high salary.
Due to a growing demand for professionally planned events, the employment of event managers is expected to grow seven percent by 2028, which is faster than most other occupations. Many companies and organizations are switching to remote settings, making big events the only time the entire team can be together and socialize.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Event Planner?
Typically, to become an event planner, you must earn a bachelor’s degree, which takes around four years. Depending on where you choose to enroll in school, you can opt for an accelerated program to cut back on that time.
Many event planners also choose to pursue higher degrees to eliminate any competition in the job market, which adds two to four years to the time it takes to become an event planner.
How to Become an Event Planner: A Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Most event planners only earn a bachelor’s degree. There are a few different degrees you can pursue, the most common being in meeting and event management, business administration or management, or hospitality management and marketing. Any one of these degrees will get you a job as an event planner, so choose which you think is best for you.
Step 2: Learn Industry Technology
There are a lot of software programs that event planners must learn to use. This is something that can be done on-the-job, but if it is possible to learn before employment, you will be one step ahead of the competition. A lot of the required technology to learn includes customer relationship management programs and sales and marketing software.
Step 3: Choose a Specialization (optional)
In most career fields, choosing a specialization isn’t necessarily required, but it is recommended. The same goes for event planning; choosing a specialization is not completely necessary, but it does increase your employability. Some common specializations you can pursue are weddings, conferences, and fundraisers.
Step 4: Build a Portfolio
Building a portfolio helps event planners find customers and work. Many employers will request a portfolio with your application, and customers use your portfolio to determine if they wish to hire you. Portfolios should include photos of events you planned, invitations, and any hiccups that arose that you were able to solve.
Should You Become an Event Planner?
While planning events may seem like a stressful job to some, it can be very satisfying and rewarding for those who are natural planners. Becoming an event planner is a great career decision to make, especially with the predicted rise in employment opportunities.
FAQs About Becoming an Event Planner
In the District of Columbia, event planners earn an average of nearly $10,000 more per year than the average salary of the entire country.
It is not completely necessary to earn a degree to become an event planner. Overall, the most important qualification in this field is experience, but having a hospitality or business degree helps.
Event planners do not have to be certified, though it does lend them credibility if they are.
Event planners make all of the decisions to actually plan the event while event coordinators ensure the event goes according to plan.
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