Are you the type of person who loves to take charge when throwing a party? Do others say you have skills when it comes down to the details while also making sure guests feel welcomed and are enjoying themselves? Maybe you should consider becoming an event planner. Here is some information about event planning as a career . . .
Types of event planners. There are different types of event planners such as wedding planners whose expertise is all things wedding related. Wedding planners typically fall into the private event planner category. Private event planners tend to assist people with special events in their lives like birthdays and bar mitzvahs. There are also corporate event planners who perform work similar to private event planners but typically on a larger scale. For example, corporate planners might put together trade shows or fundraisers, secure the convention hotel or hall, gather keynote speakers, and work with vendors.
Honing specific skills. If you want to become a successful event planner, here are some skills that you should tweak to become better in your event planning career…
- Be a self-starter
- Exhibit strong negotiation abilities
- Communicate well—whether verbal or written
- Have effective interpersonal skills
- Keep calm under pressure
Specialized knowledge. Event planners are not simply “party planners.” They exhibit specialized knowledge regarding the events they plan such as transportation, catering, entertainment, lodging, venue location, and production. Event planners often work long hours and are project driven.
Education. Many employers prefer that the event planners they hire have bachelor’s degrees. The most common area of specializing is hospitality or hotel management. Other fields that may be acceptable are marketing, business, or communications. Sometimes, event planners become certified by the Convention Industry Council in order to best market themselves.
Courses. Whether students are attending physical colleges or earning degrees as elearners, they will need to take certain classes in order to graduate with their bachelor’s in hospitality[i]:
- Hospitality Marketing
- Entrepreneurial Leadership
- Hospitality Facilities Design
- Organizational Theory and Development
Salaries. The typical salary for an event planner is $45,260 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics[ii]. However, plan on working your way up the ladder in terms of experience. New event planners might assist senior planners and then be given more challenging assignments when they prove they have what it takes to efficiently get the job done.
Job outlook. The job outlook for event planners is good. It is faster than average for all occupations at 44%[iii]. Since business is becoming globalized, event planners should be more in demand for organizing conventions and meetings. Job openings may also become available for people beginning their careers as event planners since others will leave the occupation.
Becoming an event planner could be an exciting career if you enjoy working with people, organizing events, troubleshooting, and scoping out possible event locations ahead of time. Event planners should be strong people managers, money managers, and time managers since they are putting together events from the ground up. If these job characteristics appeal to you, you should consider becoming an event planner and look into higher ed options that might jump start your career.
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