4 Tips To Start a Career in Event Planning

Have you spent so many hours researching how to start a career in event planning that you’re coming up empty handed or maybe overwhelmed with all the information available online?

Let’s be serious for a second.

There are so many people that want to be an event planner that you will have a lot of competition – and many event planners will work for such low wages that they can barely survive or pay their rent.

Do you want to be that person?

Heck no! That’s why I’m giving you 4 Tips on How To Start a Career in Event Planning – profitably!

How To Start a Career in Event Planning

Event planning is fun, but it’s also a lot of work, and I want you to make money as a planner!

So, I’m going to share with you some really easy, and often free, tips to break into your dream career; whether that’s planning parties, weddings, fundraisers, festivals, or even kid’s events.

If you’re a natural at taking charge, can multi-task, and meet deadlines under pressure, then a career in event planning is for you.

  1. Event Planning Courses

Many local colleges offer courses and programs in event planning that cost approximately $3000-4000 a year or you can register for an online course. Online event planning courses have become the most popular alternatives to traditional education and offer a variety of benefits including lower cost and less time to complete the program.

Pros – You can study on your own time and often tutors are available to help you.

Cons – You need to carve out time for self study and actually do it.

  1. Volunteer

Working with local non-profit organizations on event development is one of THE best ways to get event planning experience.

Before I started my business, to get experience, I was a committee member on The Relay for Life with the Canadian Cancer Society for 3 years, volunteered for other charitable events and ran my own small events.

Pros – Great way to get the experience you need and learn various areas of event planning, and is a great place to network.

Cons – Some events can take a lot of time – but then again, if you want to start a Career in Event Planning, then welcome to the real world of event planning!

  1. Intern

Working directly with an established event planner or event planning company is the perfect way to break intro the industry and get the experience you need.

When you’re looking at planners to work with, be sure to pick ones based on your interests and what areas you need to learn i.e.: wedding planning vs. fundraising galas.

I recommend you have some experience and/or some educational background in event planning, before you contact professional planners about internships. I hear from many professional planners that they get a lot of email applications from people with little to no experience, and even though it’s “free” work, they still want to work with the best. Remember, it’s their event and their reputation that’s on the line, so be professional when you approach other planners for their help.

Pros – Fantastic way to get real life experience and learn the ins-and-outs of the industry.

Cons – these are typically volunteer positions and you may feel like you’re being left behind or not used. This usually happens because planners feel too busy to train staff, so it’s important that you showcase your strengths before the event and pinpoint where and how you’ll be most useful to the planner and the overall event.

  1. Start an Event Planning Business

This one is my favorite but it doesn’t happen overnight and without a little experience in event planning and/or business. A few tips to consider and research before you set up shop:

  1. Decide which event market best suites your skills and passions. For example, do you prefer to work with CEOs or brides?
  2. Do a marketing plan, so you understand where and how you’ll build your business. This is also a good time to identify your ideal client.
  3. Register your business with your local or national business registry.
  4. Develop a network of suppliers and vendors.
  5. Get insurance for your business and events.

Pros – Freedom to choose your clients and who you work with.

Cons – It can be scary believing in yourself 😉

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What steps are you taking or did you take to start a career in event planning?

Thank you so much for sharing and contributing here. There’s nothing I love more than to see our event planning community grow.

Have an event-full week!

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11 Comments

  1. Avatar Edward February 18, 2014 at 3:34 am

    I personally don’t mind having more information at my fingertips. The more the better, unless there is any information that is deceptive and which could cause me to squander money or waste my time. I certainly don’t want to spin my wheels. I think it is important to have a mentor in your life. If you don’t the benefit of one on one mentorship though, getting on the job experience is a great option..

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint January 28, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      Good points Edward.
      Information is power, but it’s important to take action on the information you’re consuming. Otherwise it’s just information and not really helping you get started as an event planner.

      Reply
  2. Avatar Steven February 19, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Event planning is a fun job but it also takes an imagination beyond compare sometimes. I did a wedding once that the groom wore a zoot suit to and they had balloons instead of flowers, that took some work but when it was finished it turned out to be a lot of fun. Thank you for your post it brought back a lot of fun memories of time past.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint January 28, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Love the creativity Steven, and you’re right, events can take a lot of imagination!!!

      Reply
  3. Avatar Vincent February 20, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Recently, I have been seeing several movies about relationships between successful persons in society and in those that I’ve seen, there were examples of beautifully crafted event theme dcor, either because the characters were attending an event, like a wedding, or because one of the characters was an established event planner. In every case, I found it creatively stimulating to see how the production’s set designers made such fantastic displays. It was inspirational.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint January 28, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Movies are a great place to get event inspiration! Thanks for the suggestions Vincent!

      Reply
  4. Avatar Steven February 21, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Me too, Vincent. I can think of two movies I have seen where there was at least one scene with an elaborate wedding reception. One movie was “The Wedding Planner and more recently, I saw “Best Man Holiday. In that film, there was an opening credits sequence where one of the couples got married and let me tell you: that setup for their wedding reception was first rate. One can only hope to land a gig of that magnitude.

    Reply
  5. Avatar Justin February 22, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I went to school for Marketing and my first job was a marketing coordinator. I was responsible for the company’s presence at trade shows and events. That’s where it all started for me. I had an undergraduate degree in Marketing and was going for my Masters. I was very detail oriented and could manage MANY tasks at once which is key for any planner. You need to be able to juggle multiple things while solving problems.

    Reply
  6. Avatar Marwa Rida April 9, 2019 at 1:17 am

    Starting in Event Planning career is not easy.
    You need to be creative and resourceful. You need to think differently.
    And these are not the things that can be taught easily but there are various online courses to help guide you.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Event Planning Blueprint April 9, 2019 at 7:44 am

      You’re right, it’s not always easy and it’s best to learn from people who’ve already done what you want to do! We totally agree!

      Reply

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