There is no one path to success in event planning. Just as there’s no magic formula for a successful event, there’s also no single proven and tested route that will lead you to an event-planning career. Ingenuity and creativity are key to success in this field. There are still smart steps you can take to start your journey, develop skills and establish yourself.
Here are the best strategies to kick-start a rewarding and successful career in event planning.
Find out how you can start a career in event planning:
1. Develop a solid foundation of knowledge about the industry.
Education is an excellent way to acquire a solid foundation of knowledge about the hospitality industry in general and the events industry. With an education that is specific to your industry, you can stand out from the crowd. You will stand out because of the investment you made in specialized training. The education you receive will help you start your own event-planning business, as well as get hired. This is also a good way to discover the different types of jobs available in the event planning industry.
Event planners are in high demand.
The event industry is growing, and the demand for event planners will grow faster than average through 2028.
What degree or certification is required to become an event planner?
It is not necessary to have a college degree in order to be an event planner. However, certain certificates and qualifications can help you stand out” and get hired.
Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in this field, courses for events, designations for meetings, and certificates. These courses are taught exclusively by professionals in the industry who understand the business inside and out. Take advantage of the networking opportunities that are available, whether you’re pursuing a degree or a few certificates.
What are the skills required by event planners?
Event planners should:
- Open to Collaboration
- Willingness to adapt
- Check out our Creative Ideas as well.
- Budgeting is easy with Good Budgeting
- An excellent communicator
- Calm and composed under pressure
- A networking maven
- Ready to Negotiate
- Prepare for travel
Event planners can benefit from this helpful education:
- PR and Communications
- You can also Design Your Own
- You can also find out more about our Management Services.
2. All event experience (and even non-event experience) can be converted into relevant experience.
A diverse experience portfolio, whether it is in the events industry or not, shows that you have developed a valuable and varied skill set. Have you ever had a position in the food and beverage sector? Your capacity for multitasking, your knowledge of nutrition and diet, and your capacity for developing relationships are all assets. Did you work in retail? You can use your customer insight and people skills to create event experiences that attendees will love. You may be the person to call when you want to throw a party for your family or friends.
Examine your job and passions to find soft skills that can be transferred. Include these skills in the experience section of ‘s event planning portfolio.
Start your event planning career in Arkansas
Arkansas, situated in the southern United States, offers a blend of natural beauty and a thriving business environment, with key sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and transportation, making it an attractive state for businesses seeking opportunities and a strong economic foundation.
For event planners operating in Arkansas, it is imperative to recognize the significance of errors and omissions insurance. The various risks they face, such as the potential for legal actions initiated by clients, highlight the importance of having errors and omissions insurance in Arkansas. By obtaining this insurance, you can ensure the protection of both your career and financial resources.
What is the best way to create an event portfolio for a newbie?
Staged event photos are a great way to showcase your creativity. Are you a creative person who enjoys using natural elements or centrepiece design? Join forces with local photographers, models, wedding shops, furniture rental agencies and venues for promotional photos. Show your work by taking before and after pictures.
Tailor your online presence. Planners love photo galleries, blogs, and videos. But, instead of tackling every platform to spread your message, concentrate on one or two. It’s not about being everywhere. Content with exceptional quality produces better results.
You can use your natural conversational skills to start online discussions. Share your event-planning software, tips, and checklists with other event planners. Or create a travel video blog to highlight your local event venues.
Write about your work as a planner on a blog. Offer to guest blog on other planners’ pages. Check out the guidelines for magazines, newspapers and other publications to get your work published.
Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and help a worthy cause. Charity events and non-profit fundraising can be done by all. Join a committee or take the lead to add experience to your resume.
Collect testimonials from your clients. You can ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues, regardless of whether they’ve worked with you before or not. Testimonials that are accurate can boost your credibility by proving you’re able to deliver on what you promise.
Embrace different portfolio formats. There isn’t a single best portfolio format. You can reach the right clients by using a variety of options. Your website will put your information right at their fingertips. A physical portfolio can be used for meetings in person. Pinterest allows you to gather inspiration and share it with others, giving clients an idea of your style. Your Instagram profile is a social calling card that can be used to attract new clients.
3. Your creative output and your logistical expertise should be balanced.
Professional event planner who excels in their field is able to combine their logical and creative sides.
The foundation for successful events is logic and logistics. You need to be interested in all the details and not just the big picture. It’s important to be able to plan and think logically when you are analyzing event budgets or floor plans. When events are not well-organized, they can leave clients and attendees unhappy.
Event planners must also be creative. This is useful for establishing your business’s aesthetic, creating event themes or designing graphics. Your creativity will also make your event stand out from the rest, attracting clients. An event planning checklist that is customized to your needs can help you plan logistics and schedule time for big ideas.
All new event planners should be aware of these free resources:
- Canva allows you to create posters, flyers and graphics for social media with ease.
- Social Tables provides a wide range of tools for event planning, including event diagramming and guest management.
- Grammarly is a free grammar-checking tool that also includes tone detection. This will help you make the best possible impression on potential clients when you are reaching out.
- Track your appointments and meetings with Applet. This intuitive app has a free version that is packed full of features.
- You can create your digital portfolio using a theme for WordPress “free” if you are using a wordpress.com branded address. Or, you can get more themes if you connect your hosting account and domain name to a WordPress.org account.
- For business planning assistance, contact your local SCOR office.
- Find venues, read reviews and compare prices at Wedding spots.
4. Plant seeds to launch a career as an event planner in the sector that you enjoy.
Don’t limit your search for events jobs. Many organizations host events, and they are always looking for professionals who can play a role in planning. Do you have a passion for the work of local non-profits? You can volunteer to assist their event planner or create events yourself. If you are interested in the arts, or healthcare, then look for associate positions in these organizations. This will help build your portfolio.
You can still gain valuable experience in events whether you work for a pharmaceutical firm and plan their annual convention or for a restaurant and host social events.
Keep these two acronyms in your mind to grasp the many opportunities available in the event industry:
5. MEEC. The market for “Meetings Expositions Events and Conventions” is MEEC. MEEC events can include corporate, travel, and hospitality events.
6. SMERF. SMERF stands for “Social, military, educational, religious, and fraternal” markets. Social markets include weddings, bridal showers and birthday parties. They also include alumni events and sports groups. The SMERF market is often dominated by weekend recreational events.
Although planning a weekend trip to raft plus transport for 25 people is far from the elegant event you want to plan, it’s an excellent way to learn and make connections while developing your own unique style.
7. Make connections with the event industry.
Networking is the best way to start your career as an event planner. Attend networking events sponsored by hospitality organizations to get your name out there. Although networking may be intimidating at first, it is an essential skill for this industry.
Event planning networking tips: How to build your career through in-person networking
How to start a conversation. It’s best to start by focusing on your body language. When you are approaching groups or pairs of three or four people in conversation, look for those with slightly open stances. This means that people are welcome to participate. Avoid conversations where participants are seated in a circle or with their arms crossed.
Start one or two conversations. Consider discussions as exercise: the more you do, the better you become. Start by practising in low-key settings, like your local gym or coffee shop, before moving on to networking events.
Open-minded and curious, develop a mindset. When you share your authentic story and ask real questions, networking will be more effective.
Remember proper business card etiquette. You should always have your cards on you. However, you shouldn’t give out your card just because you had a good conversation. When you hand out your business card to someone that asks, you can create meaningful connections. However, giving your card away to everyone you meet is like spamming their email.
Follow-up within 24 hours.
Focus on building professional relationships. Remember to tell the person where you met them, who you are and what you discussed. Let them know if something they said struck a chord with you. You can invite someone to coffee if you both live nearby. Do not ask for favours immediately. Build a relationship and create a mutually-beneficial connection instead. Networking is most effective when it’s a two-way process.
Start your event career with online networking.
Contact the right person. Make sure that the social media profiles and websites of potential clients or event professionals are open to contact. Respect their request if they don’t want to be solicited. Don’t bombard them with messages. This will give you a professional impression. Hashtags can be a powerful tool for networking. Keep an eye out for trends by following your favourite planners. Engage when it is appropriate.
Personalize your outreach. Emails that are copied and pasted will be impersonal, and they’re sure to fail. Do your research instead: look at LinkedIn, Twitter and website biographies to ensure you are sending a message to the right people.
Follow up. Follow up.