Become An Event Planner

Do you have a knack for planning parties and corporate functions? Do people rave about your events? If so, then becoming an event planner could be the ideal job for you.

Event planning covers a wide range of jobs including wedding planning, party planning, corporate team building, fundraising events, end of year functions, conference planning and much more. An event planner is always focused, able to handle pressure, able to multi task, able to delegate, work to a budget, schedule, problem solve, crisis manage, and handle the logistical side of any event, large or small, outdoors or indoors. See Related: Event Jobs.

Event planners often have no formal training, but rather a passion for putting together amazing events and making a success of it. Many event planners start their own companies by planning events for family and friends and then using these to create portfolios of their work to present to future clients.

You have to be involved with an event from the initial phase of conceptualization and follow through right to the actual event and sometimes after the event getting certain items cleared away, paying people, and helping the hosts with thank you notes and such. You need to have excellent vision and be able to put together an event based on other people’s ideas. Incorporating different elements and different ideas into one event that goes off without a hitch, and where there is not one thing missing or out of place is the mark of a great event planner.

Being able to foresee problems and having back up plans will help you to be great, and ensuring that the suppliers you use are professional and reliable is the key to a successful event. The first thing you need to do as an event planner is get clients. If you work for a company, you will get clients assigned to you. You have to set up meetings with them to discuss the event, how it will work, what their ideas are, set dates and times, and give them some advice and suggestions as well. It is all about collaborating to make a function memorable, so you have to be able to put aside your beliefs and tastes to a certain extent and cater for the clients, giving them what they want, and not what you want.

Although no formal training is necessary and on the job training is provided by employers, an event planner can receive a qualification from a vocational school or community college and even online, where event planning is a popular course. You can also get a Bachelor’s degree in event planning and management through a business degree program, or a degree in marketing, tourism, communications and hospitality which is what hotels and resorts will look for before they hire you as an internal event planner. Voluntary certifications from the Convention Industry Council such as the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) diploma may help your job prospects.

An event planner can be paid in a number of different ways, but around 70 % earn a straight salary, while the remaining 30 % making their money from commission taken off the event budget or hourly wages. This is typically up to the employer with those being self employed usually getting commissions instead of a set monthly salary. Some event planners receive a cell phone allowance and gas allowance due to the enormous amount of communication and travelling that this job demands.

Event planning takes a lot of energy and requires you to work in sometimes very stressful situations, where a cake might not have arrived, or extra guests have no seating. There is always a crisis that needs to be managed, but you have to handle this quietly, efficiently, and as simply as possible. You will travel a lot as you search for facilities, venues, meet clients and suppliers and collect supplies and equipment. You work in an office, but also at venues where you decorate it and get everything in place. Even though event planners are under huge stress, this is a highly rewarding and exciting job to have.

Event Planner Quick Facts

Job Title: Event Planner
Office: Outdoors at fields, car parks, or stadiums, or indoors at function rooms, hotels, halls and in your own office, as well as largely in your car, as you travel extensively to suppliers and venues.
Description: Conceptualize, put together, manage, and successfully run events for numerous occasions.
Certifications/Education: No formal education is necessary, but a Bachelor degree in marketing, hospitality, communications, and business is recommended.
Necessary Skills: Knowledge of events and parties, what is required, how much to order, who to contact for affordable supplies, and the ability to delegate and coordinate the team involved in order to make an event work. Attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and an outgoing personality are important assets for an event planner to have.
Potential Employers: Event coordination companies, corporations that require an in-house planner, hotels, resorts, cruise lines, organizations, and you can be self employed.
Pay: Social event planners working full time can expect to earn an average of $45,359 per year depending on where the job is located and the kind of event that is planned. Meeting and conference planners earn $44,260 a year.

Helpful Links:
Convention Industry Council
Event Planners Association
Event Resources
Professional Convention Management Association
Meeting Professionals International

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