If you are an organized individual who thrives when you are in the planning phase of a project, an event, or a party, then perhaps you should consider a career doing just that! In today's busy world, many individuals do not have the time, the connections, or the expertise to plan an event or a party for a large number of people. If you have a natural knack for this type of planning and management, then begin by pursuing your Bachelor's degree in this field of study.
Depending upon which institution of higher learning that you decide to attend, you may be required to complete prerequisites related to convention service operations, special event management, special event coordination, and finances of the hospitality industry. Typically, this Bachelor's degree program is only offered through online colleges or universities. If this is the case with the school you choose, then it is likely that the lectures will be downloadable and you can participate in discussion boards at your convenience. However, some online schools require their students to complete some of the course work at an on campus location. Often, this is because there are group projects that must be completed. In addition, many online universities mandate that students pursuing a Bachelor's degree in event planning and management must complete an internship prior to their graduation. This allows students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in a real world setting and it will also be an extra advantage on their resume.
Once you have determined which post-secondary school you would like to attend, you will want to make sure that you complete a variety of courses that will prepare you to plan for a range of events. For example, if you have your heart set on becoming a wedding planner you will still want to complete courses related to planning for other events. This will make you much more marketable once you enter the work force. Furthermore, any knowledge you learn related to catering or event design will still benefit your work as a wedding planner. Keep in mind, while you are attending school to obtain your bachelor's degree it is wise to work part-time in this field. This will help you gain real world experience, while also applying what you are learning within the classroom.
Offering your services free of charge may also be another way to open future career paths and will also look good on your resume. Joining an organization that is pertinent to this field may also help you on the job front. For instance, you could join the International Special Events Society, which opens up the possibilities of hands on training and workshops that will directly apply to what your job would involve on a daily basis. Remember, in this career world the connections that you make could make the difference as to your level of success. How well you follow through with an event planning job and how well you work with other team members or vendors may just make the difference in your continued work.
Being an event planner is a great career that takes a lot of hard work to get started. We interviewed an event planner to better help students understand the industry and hopefully help them start their career upon graduation.
Question: How did you break into the event planning industry?
When I graduated college I had a business degree but wasn’t finding a job that I really wanted to do. I took a job for about a year and just hated working hard for someone else to see little in return. I took an event planning course with a friend and instantly loved it. I enrolled full-time and took course for about a year and earned my event planning degree. I then help a position at an event planning company to gain more experience. I always wanted to own my own business but realized pretty early on that owning a business is hard and I really needed to understand the industry better before starting out on my own. After two years I made the big move and opened up my own business.
Question: What type of event planning do you focus on?
When I first started I only dealt with weddings but since I live in Las Vegas, NV we found out that competing with the resorts was pretty hard. I opened up a birthday and anniversary party sector of my business and it took off. My average party now is about 75 guests and we are set-up to support 100-125 which is allowing us to put on multiple events at the same time.The hospitality industry is massive in Las Vegas so I really had a lot of options when I first started out.
Question: What other areas of responsibilities that you do for your clients?
It really depends on who we are working with but sometimes we are involved with booking hotels, flights or even inviting certain people to fundraisers. I would say that every event is really unique and we try to be the one-stop-shop when people use us for their event needs.
Question: What is the hardest thing about your job as an even planner?
It really amazes me how long it takes to get things done. Sometimes we spend weeks planning for an event that some might think would only take a few hours. We tend to have repeat customers as they realize how much work we put into their event and don’t want to risk leaving it I the hands of someone that doesn’t have the experience.
Question: How much are you paid?
We own all of our own things like tables, chairs, bars, etc so those are fixed costs we charge to our clients. When it comes to food we work with lots of caterers so we negotiate deals with them based on the budget of our clients.