Industry Talk: The Beginner’s Guide to Event Planning

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Think you have what it takes to work in one of the busiest, most coveted industries in the country? The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects event planning job opportunities to increase by 33% from year 2012 to 2022, but will you be one of the lucky candidates?

Event planning jobs have always been popular, but what is it exactly that they do? Choosing locations, arranging transportation/travel and planning the scope of the event are only some of the tasks an event planner may be faced with on a daily basis. Their main goal is to ensure that the client is 100% satisfied with all aspects of the event, including the final product. So, what exactly does it take to become an event planner? These five tips will give you a great start!

5. You Need to Be Able to Communicate

Event planners communicate with hundreds of people each day, be it the client, the venue owner, the florist, the DJ, etc. If you do not have exceptional communication skills, both oral and written you will not excel at this job. Planners often send out RFPs and prepare presentations in order to gain business, so if they cannot deliver their idea, they most likely will not be chosen to plan the event.

4. You Need A Bachelor’s Degree

Don’t think you can just graduate high school and become one of the country’s premier event planners because it won’t happen. When hiring employees, event planners look for a degree in one of the following areas: hospitality management, tourism, or public relations. A mixture of all three is even better.

3. You Need to Be Calm, Cool and Collected

“I’d like my event to be held on October 4 at 7 p.m. in the Sprint Center with a country music DJ.” says the client. So you go ahead and start coordinating these specific directions. Two weeks later, your client calls back saying she changed her mind. They now want the event to be held at an outdoor location on September 27. You can’t be mad at the client for changing her mind, you simply must stay calm and completely start from scratch planning an event an entire week sooner.

2. You Need Contacts

And no I don’t mean you need to get your eyes checked. You need to have a great network of professionals that can help you plan these great events. If you have a last minute change to a party, use your connections to save the day.

And most importantly…

1. You Need to Be Organized

I’ve experienced it. Planning events can be stressful, so help ease the stress by being extremely organized. Write a list of everything you need to do before, during and after the event, so that you don’t miss a beat. And if you have assistants helping you, write down exactly what task you delegated to them and check in with them frequently.

If you these 5 tips describe you, then you may be cut out for an event planning job. Start networking and making your own connections today. That’s the best way to break into the industry.


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