Here's How To Start A Career As An Event Planner

There are very few careers that let you party while you work. However, becoming an event planner is one way you can make a living from fun parties. 

Event planners are the professionals you call whenever an important event is coming, but you want to avoid figuring it out yourself. While it may be all fun and games (literally), it's a profession that requires you to be patient, accommodating, quick, and able to handle high-stress situations. Becoming an event planner means that you have the option of working on your own or under the stability of an established company. Indeed reports that the average salary of an event planner is around $33,000. However, this number can change widely depending on multiple factors. Event planners can make more depending on their clientele, hours worked, and the types of events they organize. 


Becoming an event planner requires you to network with vendors and clients to get the best deals and events. Dealing with different personality types with various tastes and styles means this profession isn't for everyone. But those who can thrive under these circumstances can find themselves in a career filled with creativity and fun. 

The training you need to become an event planner

While the job of becoming an event planner involves doing many things at once, there's no one way to start your career. This job is more about your work and getting referred rather than how many years of education you have. Despite this, it's good to learn the ins and outs of the event planning industry. 


According to Thimble, a degree isn't necessary to become an event planner. While some may major in hospitality or public relations, it isn't a requirement. The most vital training you can get is getting experience in organizing events. The best way to start is by organizing small events such as business forums or conferences. 

Event Planning Blueprint also suggests spending time with florists, caterers, or established event planners. Whether you volunteer or get a paid position, the importance is to experience working on these events and familiarizing yourself with the process. After some time, you will want to move up and take more leadership roles that require more hands-on work for events. Whether working as a manager or senior event planner for an organization or company, getting more responsibilities will increase your confidence in your business.


How to build up your client list

Before promoting yourself to potential clients, you'll need to establish several aspects of your business. 

For starters, after getting experience in several types of events, you need to pick a niche and figure out which events you want to plan. While it's possible to organize multiple events, wedding and event planning for companies involves different work. Glassdoor recommends finding a specialization if you plan to start your own company. If you are working under an umbrella company, you will likely have to plan different events. 


One of the essential parts of starting your event planner career is networking. The success of your event planning reputation will depend on how well-connected you are to vendors and recommendations from previous clients. For that reason, you'll want to ensure that you are familiar with vendors such as florists, caterers, and bridal shops, who can easily recommend you to their clientele.

According to SocialTables, you must also publicize all of your hard work. Having a digital presence is essential for other potential clients can see your work. Using social media is one of the best ways to ensure that future party holders can see things you have done in the best and decide whether you are a viable option. A website is also essential as it displays all of your services and a more detailed look into your experience. 


Starting your own event planning business

While it's possible to earn a living while working for an event planning company, starting your own business is one of the best ways to earn an income as an event planner. QC Event Planning recommends beginning your journey by registering and licensing your business name. Every state will have its process for starting your business, meaning you will need to research all guidelines and requirements necessary. After registering your business, ensure you capture all of your domains on social media to ensure clients will recognize your brand name.


When building your event planning business, you want to ensure that your clients can view your previous work. Devry recommends collecting photographs, videos, or testimonies that could accurately show your previous work. Even if you don't have a lengthy history, create a portfolio with your design ideas that demonstrate your vision. Keep in mind to showcase your work for a variety of clients. Unless you only plan to niche down to a specific aesthetic, you want to show you can work for different aesthetics and themes.

Certifications and education

Getting a bachelor's degree usually isn't required for work as an event planner. Like any similar job, a bachelor's degree can be a great addition to your resume. Wedding Planning Institute recommends getting a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, marketing, public relations, or business. Having an educational background can aid you in your work by teaching you more formal skills. If going back to school isn't part of your plans, various online courses can teach event-planning skills around your schedule.


EventSprout recommends getting a certification, even if you don't plan to get a bachelor's degree in a related field. While not a bachelor's degree, a certification does give you more legitimacy and experience in event planning. You can find certifications at your local trade school or college, or you can look to get one of the nationally recognized certifications. These certifications include Certified Meeting Professional, Certified in Exhibition Management, and Certified Special Events Professional. These certifications are distributed by recognized councils and associations that deal with special events and management.

Must-have skills to develop

Besides the proper training, education, and certifications, there are other skills you need to develop to prosper in the event planning industry. Since you will be bringing someone else's vision to life, you need to learn how to listen and communicate with others. Eventbrite explains that some other skills you should have under your belt are working under pressure and problem-solving under a time crunch. Issues are bound to arise during events, and the event planner's job is to put out fires quickly to keep the event flowing. If you know you don't do well under immense pressure, event planning will be challenging.


Along with being able to balance the technical and creative sides of event planning, you need to know how to manage projects and organize them. There are many moving parts when it comes to events. The bigger events you take on, the more vendors and people you will be working with daily. To be an event planner, you have to develop the skills to keep all these moving parts working in unison and on time. Being organized is essential to stay on top of everything leading up to your event.