How to Become an Event Planner 2024 | 5 Steps to Becoming an Event Planner

Do you want to become an event planner and want to know how to go about it? If yes, then keep reading.

In this article, we discussed ways to become an event planner as well as the qualifications you need to become the best event, planner.

Also, you will get to see the right schools that teach event planning and the estimated salaries of an event planner.

This content will guide you through all you need to know about becoming an event planner.

To spice things up a little more, this article also contains tips on becoming an event planner even without experience.

Also, you will discover how to land new clients and become one of your community’s most demanded event planners.

All over the world, the current labor marketplace has identified event planning as one of the most promising career paths.

One of the reasons for this is the sheer number of clients who are always on the lookout for event planners full of creativity. 

Individuals interested in event planning often ask whether it is hard to become one.

The field of event planning is diverse and requires the individual to be energetic, creative, and skillful at handling change and unforeseen circumstances. 

So, you won’t find it hard to cope if you are such a fellow.

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How to Become an Event Planner

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How to Become an Event Planner in 2024

A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners to become event planners includes:

Step 1: Decide what kind of Event Planner you would like to become

As I said earlier, event planning is vast, implying that you have to choose a niche that best suits your personality and preferences.

Each niche has its pros and cons. The path you are to toe has to give you the right work-life balance alongside reasonable pay.

The various professional paths you can follow as an event planner will give you an idea of the different types of event planning jobs.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

To learn how to become an event planner, it is necessary to hold a bachelor’s degree in event planning, as most employers require it. The educational backgrounds that event planners come from include hospitality management, marketing, and public relations.

The relevant coursework for event planners includes accounting, hospitality, and meeting management.

Some educational institutions offer programs of study specific to event and meeting planning. The following are to be studied by students in these programs: event promotion, computer skills for business, and event design.

Some programs may require students to complete internships to obtain a bachelor’s degree in event planning. Through internships, you are assisted in gaining hands-on experience in the field and obtaining a greater understanding of the event planning process.

Step 3: Gain Planning Experience

To gain experience as an event planner, you should start by planning smaller events, including meetings and forums, for small organizations.

You can also gain experience by being an administrative assistant or entering the field in related occupations, such as catering coordinator positions, to build experience and advance to a planner role.

In addition, you are to become familiar with common computer programs. As an event planner, having a skill with multitasking and organizing large amounts of information and tasks is mandatory.

Project management software, likewise spreadsheet and database software, may be of much assistance in keeping you organized and on track with planning duties.

If you wish to advance in the event planning field, joining a professional organization is another way to gain experience that will help you do that.

The professional organizations include Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Members of these organizations may find benefits such as networking opportunities, job search resources, and webinars.

Step 4: Obtain Certification

Among two individuals, one of whom has an event planning certificate; the potential employer will hire the one with the certificate. This indicates that event planning certifications may help you stand out to potential employers. According to event planning areas, there may be variations in the content of certification exams.

One option is the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation exam. Convention, meeting, and exhibition event planners can earn the CMP credential. Before sitting for the certification exam, you must prove your eligibility, have three years of experience and recent employment in the field, and have started earning continuing education credits.

Aside from the CMP, you may also earn the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation. Qualifying with experience and membership in the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) is mandatory. You must complete a 3-day course and certification exam as part of the requirements.

Step 5: Specialize Professional Skills

According to the BLS, there are many different types of event planners, which include association planners (marketers of the value of annual conferences and other voluntary meetings), corporate planners with a focus on meetings in the corporation or with a related business, and government meeting planners who need to be familiar with government regulations for purchasing materials and booking hotels to plan accordingly. In contrast, non-profit planners focus heavily on fundraising.

Event planners must organize private and public events, for instance, weddings. The job of convention service managers is to relay information between companies and venues such as hotels to ensure that all the details are managed. Discovering your niche and networking accordingly can assist in ensuring professional prospects for the future.

How to Become an Event Planner with No Experience

In that opportunities open to an event planner are hard to come by, we will be unveiling how to exploit these opportunities even without experience in the field. The steps on how to become an event planner without experience include:

Step 1: Know what the Job Entails

Don’t think that event planning is a life of endless glamour, as this sets you up to receive a shock!

As an event planner, your duty/role goes beyond making sure the champagne is flowing freely during an event because it is not always easy. It can entail putting in a lot of time and effort to organize things and dealing with a lot of stress at times. Your duty ranges from ensuring that the caterers show up on time, booking the right music entertainment, and staying within budget.

Step 2: Start Small

It is good to have dreams, but it all starts with starting small. In event planning, after completing an event management course, we advise that you start to gain experience with a local event planner, as this will expose you to many things you need to know about event planning.

When setting high goals, it is important to start small and work your way up to bigger and better events.

Step 3:  Build your Skill Set

An event planning course is very much needed to learn how to become an event planner without experience, as it will expose you to the industry’s dos and don’ts. This will help strengthen the skills that you lack in certain areas.

In building your skill set, you will learn how to account for every penny spent and be accountable for every penny spent. This starts with managing smaller-scale budgets, preparing you for managing budgets that hit vast amounts of money. Learning accountability for every penny spent is expedient. Skill sets in event planning include accountancy, keeping books, budgeting, and more, and building it can go a long way in strengthening your skills in event planning.

Step 4: Build your Network and Contacts

Being a social butterfly requires becoming an event planner with no experience. Who you know and what you know have much to do with event planning. Having contacts within the industry enables an event planner to secure an exclusive venue easily.

In numerous ways, this will also help you catch a lot of new clients. Being good at what you do by planning more and more successful events, whether weddings or birthday celebrations, opens new opportunities for more jobs, as clients who have been attendees at these events will also want your services.

Step 5: Build a Portfolio

Building a portfolio is among the tips for becoming an event planner without experience. Building a portfolio proves to prospective clients that you can plan and create a befitting event on their behalf.

Your portfolio should contain photos of events and feedback from clients. Every client wishes to have a unique and dazzling event, and creating a portfolio, both online and on paper, is a great way of showing them that you have the ability and skills to meet their taste.

Step 6: Promote Yourself!

You are building capacity on how to become an event planner without experience. Do you know that clients buy into you, as a person, as much as they buy into your services and skills?   Established event planners know a lot about this. You are to have your clients like your person, as getting the ‘right’ planner can depend on whether the clients like the person.

In this modern age, you shouldn’t be told that having a strong online presence is essential for businesses; that remains the case with event planning companies. The ways to build a strong online presence can range from having a website that sets the tone for your brand to having a strong social media presence. Clients out there require a quality product, and having that will boost your event planning credentials.

Event Planner Qualification

Often and on, intending event planners ask the question: What qualifications does one need to become an event planner? And we’ve got that answer here!

A bachelor’s degree in hospitality, communications, public relations, or a related field is commonly required to start an event planner career. Some hospitality programs offer a concentration in event planning.

How to Become a Certified Event Planner

How to become a certified event planner, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, marketing, public relations, communications, or business can get you the certification that is required for making certified event planners.

Not having a bachelor’s degree in any of the fields above will likely mean you need 1-2 years of experience. In addition, you’ll need skills in the following areas: communication, customer service, interpersonal relations, negotiation, and problem-solving. In addition to these skills, you’ll want to

  • Be organized and have advanced skills with online social media,
  • have basic computer skills with project management software knowledge,
  • have the ability to keep composed under pressure, and
  • be comfortable with video conferencing equipment.

Becoming a certified event planner commonly involves gaining experience planning a certain number of events, completing courses, and passing an exam. Most times, these certifications are not required, but while that is the case, having them can assist an event planner in securing jobs since clients can see that they have met several standards in the field of event planning.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Event Planner?

The question of how long it takes to become an event planner is a very necessary one that event planners should always ask before venturing into establishing a career in the field.

Event planners who kick off their careers after earning an event planning certificate or degree can take one to four years to get started. Some gain a few years of related experience working in hotels or other hospitality businesses before becoming event planners, which is a headway.

Event Planner Salary

Here, we will answer the question: What does an event planner earn?

As of December 2019, in New York City, USA, the average event planner’s salary was $66,000. Statistically, it decreased by 12.8% as of January 3, 2023.

In December 2019, event planners in London, UK, earned an average salary of £33,997, an increase of 18.11%.

According to data collected in January 2019, there has been a variation in salary trends depending on geography. As of March 2019, according to our research, the average pay for an event planner in New York City was $75,659, and £28, 7842 in London.

Best Schools for Event Planners

Here is a list of some of the best schools for event planners.

Read Also: Best Schools for Hotel Management

Iowa State University

Iowa State’s bachelor’s degree in event management requires 123 total semester units to complete. Students must complete between 21 and 24 credits in event management classes such as conference and meeting planning, special events coordination, global tourism management, and similar areas of study.

University of Central Florida

The Rosen College of Hospitality Management offers a Bachelor of Science in Event Management that requires 120 credit hours. Core coursework (28 total credits) includes study in the following areas:

  • Event promotion, strategies, sales, management, and technology
  • Catering sales management
  • Hospitality and risk management
  • Food preparation for catered events

Elective courses (15 credits) include topics ranging from meeting management to fairs and festivals to exploring the world’s wines. At least 30 of the last 39 credits completed in the degree path must be at UCF.

College of the Ozarks

Students interested in working as event planners can complete a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in hotel and restaurant management. Taught at the university’s Keeter Center, an upscale boutique hotel featuring fine dining, lodging, special events, and conferences, the hospitality management program at the College of the Ozarks is completely immersive in hospitality functions.

Central Michigan University

The university offers a bachelor’s degree in hospitality services management and degree concentrations in recreation, parks, and leisure service administration.

The recreation and event management major concentration prepares students to work in either community or commercial recreation and culminates in a 30-week internship. Students at the university also have the option of pursuing a minor in recreation and events management.

Lasell College

The event management major was developed in partnership with Wynn Boston Harbor, a five-star urban resort-casino set to open in 2019, to develop a curriculum and a pipeline of students ready for management positions in the resort industry.

Under the program’s “connected learning” philosophy, students visit locations such as Fenway Park, the Boston Convention, and Exhibition Center, and Stowe Mountain Resort to connect with industry professionals and gain first-hand knowledge of the hospitality industry.

How to Become an Event Planner Without Experience

Many people doubt their ability to become an event planner without experience, but the good news is that it is possible.

However, those who start their event planning business with experience in the field usually do better.

Well, good thing that doesn’t mean that those without experience can’t start up their own event planning business.

So, here are some tips on how to become an event planner without experience:

  • Get recommendations: Find friends and family Willing to give you some amazing recommendations.
  • Volunteer: Help your friends and family plan and manage their events, this way, you can get some experience.
  • Use other experiences: You may not have experience in event planning, but you certainly have experience in other things; use them.
  • Network with other experienced event planners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I start a career in event planning?

The steps toward starting an Event Planning Business include the following:
Make a decision on which event market best suits your skills and passions.
Carry out a marketing plan to comprehend where and how to build your event planning business.
Have your business registered with your country’s local or national business registry.
Gain Event Planning Skills and Experience.
Determine Your Event Planning Market/Forte.
Develop a Business Plan.
Designate Which Business Entity Fits Best for Your Firm.
Obtain Business Insurance.
Develop Your Network of Suppliers and Staffing Resources.
Define Your Event Planning Services.
Connect with clients

Can you be an event planner without a degree?

Not having a bachelor’s degree in any of the following fields: hospitality management, marketing, public relations, communications, or business, will likely mean your need 1-2 years of experience in the field. In addition, you’ll need skills in the following area: communication, customer service, interpersonal, negotiation, and problem-solving.

How Much Do Event Planners Earn in 2024?

As of December 2019, in New York City, USA, the average event planner’s salary was $66,000. Statistically, it decreased by 12.8% as of Jan 3, 2020.

Is Event Planning a good career?

Yes of course. Establishing an event planning business can be challenging, but it can be a lucrative job with strong growth potential in the near future. So, persistence and consistency is the key.

How do event planners get clients?

Getting new clients is one of the challenges event planners face.
This challenge is more familiar to those just starting an event-planning business.
Here are some tips to help you gain more clients:
Beyond planning events, offer experience as well: Although people want events, they also want an experience they can hold on to and tell friends and family about.
Display expertise: People usually prefer to work with experts, so to gain clients, show that you are one. You can do this by showing off your work and sharing your knowledge in event planning on social media.

Partner with local bloggers: work with some of the well-known local bloggers in your location and let them help you tell the world about what you do.
Volunteer to plan events for NGOs: volunteer to help NGOs plan events for free or at a very low cost; by so doing, you can showcase your skill and take pictures you can use for advertising on social media.

Conclusion: How to Become an Event Planner

Since you have read this article, I believe you now know how to become an event planner.

I hope that the information in this content will help you become the kind of event planner you envisage yourself to become.

If you have more questions about what becoming an event planner entails, kindly comment.

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