Organizing an event is similar to performing without rehearsing. Because you can’t foretell how things will turn out or how you’ll manage a situation, mastering the presence of the mind is the most crucial skill you can develop.
The client’s wants, event needs, and vision is three separate directions; it is up to you to fulfill their demands or make the event unique.
If you believe you are capable, you can manage, you can work long hours, and you can make things happen in any situation.
There are several components to event planning, and you must master them all. Budgeting is always the first step, followed by client pleasure.
Alternatively, you might select simply one or two fields in which you believe you excel, such as sound and video.
In this article, you’ll see how to attract your first client, establish a portfolio, and even start your own event planning firm.
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Is Event Planning a Good Career?
Event planning is a rapidly expanding field, and experience can be just as crucial as a degree in the field when it comes to landing a position.
Those seeking to know if event planning is a good career to choose have increased, considering the vast number of event planners.
While this has been a debated, event planning is a career that made the list of the top 10 occupations, and here are the reasons:
1. More Job Opportunities
Event planner occupations are expected to rise by 16 percent over the next decade, faster than the average for all professions, according to the US Labor Department.
Meetings are predicted to rise in importance, resulting in an increase in the number of meeting and event planners employed.
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2. Opportunities for Professional Development
Given their potential to shift from a small business to a larger one or swap between full-time employment and contract jobs, event planners have a lot of room for advancement.
With the variety of online education alternatives available, obtaining new certificates or qualifications through continuing education can also aid in the search for higher-paying jobs.
Meeting planners that gain experience and time may be able to start their own companies or work as independent consultants.
3. Possibility to Change Careers
Event planning is one of the few occupations that provide a significant amount of potential to get into the field quickly.
Assisting or volunteering at a few events will not only provide you with the experience you need, but it can also help you make the business and personal contacts you need to land your next project or career.
Any form of event experience is beneficial to those wishing to change industries and gain a more well-rounded experience while searching for job prospects in the sector.
What Qualifications Do You Need to be an Event Planner?
To work as an event planner, you’ll normally require a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, communications, public relations, or a related subject.
A focus in event planning is available in some hospitality schools. Students can expect to take courses in special events marketing, facility operations, media relations, and cost management tactics as part of these programs.
Above all, event planners must have exceptional communication abilities. They work with clients to decide the purpose, size, and budget of an event.
Event planners must be able to express themselves clearly in writing because they frequently communicate with clients and vendors via e-mail.
Because planners frequently utilize contracts to protect themselves and their clients, knowing contractual language may be beneficial.
Event planners must possess exceptional organizational abilities.
Planners frequently engage with numerous clients at the same time, which necessitates the ability to keep the information of each client’s demands separate and well-managed.
Working as part of a team is also essential for success in this sector. Event planners working on major events, for example, may choose to recruit trustworthy staff and delegate tasks as needed.
A planner usually needs prior experience preparing similar events to obtain a client’s trust. Many planners gain this expertise as part of their college degree or credential programs through internships or planning events on campus.
Others get experience by working as an apprentice or as a support staff member for a well-established event-organizing organization before launching their own company.
Do Event Planners Get Paid Well?
One of the most common inquiries I hear from aspiring event planners is, “Do Event Planners Get Paid Well?”
Wedding and event planners are both included in the broader job category of meeting, convention, and event planners, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As of 2012, these professionals earned an average yearly salary of $49,830, or $23.96 per hour.
The median wage, or the wage in the middle of the range, was $45,260 per year, or $21.76 per hour. The top 10% of planners made $79,270 or more per year, while the bottom 10% made $26,560 or less.
Before deciding to go to event planning school, get certified, or advertise their new business, be aware that you can likely make $44,260 every year ($3,262 per wedding).
How To Get Into Event Planning In 2023
Just as there isn’t one route to a great event, there isn’t a single tried and true path that magically leads to a career in event planning.
This is a field that thrives on ingenuity, creativity, and constant reinvention. Still, there are smart steps to take to begin the journey, build skills, and make a name for yourself.
Read on for a roundup of the top strategies for kickstarting a successful and rewarding event planning career.
1. Obtain a Formal Education
Consider getting a degree in event planning or a related subject. Professional event managers hold a variety of degrees, all of which offer essential skills for a career in event planning.
The following are some examples of useful college degrees:
Hotel and restaurant management: With a degree in this discipline, you can learn about the fundamentals of managing large-scale events, best practices for guest management, and an overview of the catering business.
Marketing: Any huge event will require a competent marketer in control, someone who can draw in attendees, organize promotional events, and keep messaging consistent.
2. Acquire Professional Credentials
Conventions, weddings, and parties are just a few of the types of events that event planners specialize in.
Event planners can set themselves apart by acquiring a professional certification, regardless of their area of expertise.
To achieve this, you can result to your local university, which may offer event planning coursework and professional credentials.
Other professional credentials that you can seek outside of your local university or college include:
- The Convention Industry Council created the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation (CIC)
- The International Live Events Association recommends becoming a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) (ILEA)
- The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAE) offers the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) program (IAEE)
3. Discover your Area of Expertise
Finding your specialization entails deciding which aspect of event planning you want to focus on.
You can specialize in practically any type of event because event planning is such a broad field, encompassing everything from shareholder retreats to fundraisers and children’s birthday parties.
Focus on your own abilities and interests in the sector so you may acquire expertise in specific areas. Be flexible enough to deal with any client, especially when you’re just starting out.
To locate your niche, identify the types of events you enjoy organizing the most and focus your hunt for experience on those types of events.
Because proven enthusiasm and love for a sort of event might attract businesses or organizations searching for the finest planner for that type of event, having a specialization can boost your marketability.
If you’re particularly interested in corporate retreat planning, for example, make sure your expertise and portfolio position you as the best candidate for the job.
4. Use Social Media to interact with others Online
Join online groups to meet other aspiring event planners as well as more seasoned event planners.
An active and effective online network can also help you appear more marketable to companies searching for digital knowledge, as many activities are scheduled online.
5. Participate in Community Events
Local events, whether fundraising or corporate, provide an excellent opportunity to observe and learn about event planning.
Attending an event as a visitor can provide you with a unique perspective on logistics and the guest experience.
Attend a few events and take notes on how the events are organized, how space is utilized, and which vendors and resources the planner employs.
You can also introduce yourself to the event planners so that you can ask them questions about their approach and make industry relationships.
6. Conduct Market Research on Industry Leaders
Research the most significant industry experts in the business and learn about their expertise and qualifications once you’ve gained a better understanding of the event planning landscape.
If you meet folks with links to larger companies at local events, reach out to them about meeting their contacts.
Industry experts can provide you with names and businesses to contact, as well as an opportunity to volunteer or become engaged with well-known event planners and learn their methods.
7. Look for a Mentor
A mentor is a more experienced person who can assist you with your profession and goals.
Be on the lookout for event planning pros with skills and qualities you admire as you network, research, and attend local activities.
Consider asking them to act as a mentor for you as your event planning career develops.
Respect your mentor’s time and listen to their experience and advice whenever you meet with them.
They may be able to provide you with unique connections, training, and resources.
8. Help Out at a Local Organization
Volunteering for local events, such as those organized by religious institutions, clubs and groups, local businesses, or nonprofits, is a wonderful way to get experience.
Many nonprofits and local philanthropic organizations hold awareness campaigns and fundraisers on a regular basis, providing numerous chances to contribute your time and talents.
You can obtain significant experience and working knowledge by volunteering to help plan an event or even just assisting during the setup and event itself.
Even simple tasks like passing out name tags and checking people in can provide you with valuable experience that you can use when pitching a potential client.
You can also volunteer to lead event planning efforts for a local group or club as you get started. These events give you the chance to demonstrate your leadership qualities, logistical management skills, and vendor relationships.
9. Create a Fantastic Portfolio
To impress a potential client, create a portfolio that highlights your experience, niche expertise, skills, and other qualifications.
Here are some suggestions for assembling a portfolio:
1. Include a wide range of activities:
Consider garage sales, multi-family birthday celebrations, or neighborhood block parties that you may have assisted in planning.
Describe what role you played and how your participation influenced the event.
Choose the most relevant events so that clients may see how your experience corresponds to their requirements.
2. Include hard statistics in your presentation:
Share precise data, such as the number of attendees, the amount of money received through ticket sales, or the amount of money raised, to demonstrate the effectiveness of your event.
Stats can help you demonstrate how effective your event planning skills are.
3. Send photos or videos:
Visuals show off your decorating style as well as the overall guest experience.
You may help the client imagine what their event will look like if you lead it with photographs or videos.
4. Obtain Feedback:
Have someone look over your portfolio and comment on the structure and clarity of your efforts.
Make sure your portfolio is well-written, well-organized, and ready to impress even the most discerning client.
10. Create a website:
You can offer your services and give an outline of your style and skills by creating a website.
For the optimal client experience, consider including the following aspects on your website:
1. Have a contact form on your website:
Provide a digital form for potential clients to fill out in addition to your business contact information, such as your phone number and email address.
This form can include questions about their contact information, the type of event they’re searching for, and any other information that will help you prepare for your meeting.
2. Make your portfolio public:
Clients can visit your website to learn more about your event planning experience and view photos from previous events.
It streamlines the process of building a connection by having it in the same spot where they can contact you for a quote or meeting.
3. Make a blog:
With a blog, you may share your perspective on the event planning profession, explain career problems and triumphs, and interact with other event planning bloggers.
A well-read blog that employs SEO techniques might help you become more well-known in the market and even reach out to additional clients.
4. Connect your website to your social media accounts:
Include your social media handles and a link from your website to those channels. If you upload images on social media, clients can go there to see more evidence of your event planning.
11. Submit an application to event management firms
Even if you eventually want to start your own event management company, you can get expertise by applying to event management companies in your area.
Search for open employment with the organizations that offer the best prospects for growth as a planner via social media and online job boards.
Examine a company’s reputation and past occurrences to evaluate if it fits your target market.
You can also apply for jobs in marketing, advertising, public relations, communications, or HR management. Just as these positions are frequently tasked with assisting in the planning of public and employee events.
You may gain new skills, keep up with current event trends, and develop new contacts in these and other event management professions.
12. Create your own Company
Here are some ideas for getting your business off the ground and finding your first client:
1. Make use of your home network:
Make your new business known to your family, friends, and employees. Inquire whether they know anyone who might require the services of an event planner.
2. To discover clients, use social media and online job sites:
Look for clientele looking for private event planners on the internet. Apply to their job openings and, if possible, follow up with a courteous email or phone call.
3. Promote your website:
Consider investing in marketing to promote your website and increase its internet visibility.
4. Create a solid business plan:
Your business plan should include information about your niche, target clients, and company objective.
Write a description of their responsibilities and describe your organizational structure if you have others working for you.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a career in event planning. These five tactics, on the other hand, can help you get a head start on the path.
You’ll acquire experience, gain skills, and make connections that will help you get closer to your event career goals.
- indeed.com – Learn About Being an Event Planner
- study.com – Event Planning: Requirements to Be an Event Planner
- indeed.com – How To Get Experience in Event Planning (With Tips)