Choosing Event Planning Courses: 3 Common Mistakes To Avoid

The other day I was speaking to an Event Planning Blueprint reader about her desire to switch careers and be an event planner full-time. She told me about her current career and how unhappy she is and how she loves planning events, and is often asked by family and friends to plan their events.

But, she was scared to leave a secure position at her company for a career in event planning because she felt she lacked the confidence and know-how to really make it work. She is considering event planning courses and wonders which one is best for her, she also wonders if being certified is necessary to her success.

Choosing Event Planning Courses

If you’re considering event planning courses, many planners waste hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of dollars on event training by making these 3 common mistakes:

Mistake #1: Taking event planning courses from someone who has never been a successful event manager. This is common because many companies offering event planning courses are lead by people who have never earned a living as an event planner.

If you don’t think that matters consider how likely they are to teach you tips learned through the mistakes they’ve made through trial and error.

In order to avoid this mistake, Google the trainer’s name and company name that you’re considering or search for them on LinkedIn to view their employment history.

Mistake #2: Paying for event planning certification because you think it’ll give you credibility. This is a VERY common mistake when you’re entering the event planning industry because new planners worry that clients won’t take them seriously.

The first thing you need to recognize is that there is no such thing as an official event planning certification. If you are “certified” it simply means you took a specific course. The events industry is an unregulated industry and anyone can offer “certified courses” because there is no law or regulation stopping them.

When I started providing event planning courses in 2013, I chose not to play the marketing game (for the reasons mentioned) and call our graduates “certified,” because it’s misleading to students and their event clients. As a graduate of any course at Event Planning Blueprint, it’s doesn’t mean you’re less capable than anyone else from another program.

You can choose to call yourself “certified” no matter what program you take, since the event industry is unregulated.

The second thing to remember is that you won’t get automatic credibility if you say you’re a “certified event planner.”

How to gain credibility when an “event certification” isn’t necessary

You get credibility from thequality of your work, the way you treat your event clients, your knowledge and contributions to the event industry, your marketing and any media recognition you receive. The right event planning courses will cover these topics and teach you what you need to know to present yourself professionally.

When considering an event course, find out what you’ll learn rather than letting “certification” be your guide. Take a look at the description of each course, talk to the course instructor and read the course description to make sure it’s a fit for you.

Mistake #3: Assuming that event-planning courses are official if an association recognizes them. There are many associations claiming to be the voice of the event planning industry, and some of these associations provide useful information to their members.

But not all event planning associations are independent and objective, so it’s important to dig deeper to find out if the associations you’re considering are linked to any event planning courses.

Often the board of directors of the event associations are the course trainers, so they naturally endorse their programs.

Other associations may charge a fee to the event planning training companies in exchange for endorsement. If they don’t recognize a particular program it may mean that the training company chose not to “apply” to be endorsed by that particular association.

Don’t assume that because an event association endorses a specific event planning course it automatically means that it’s a good training program. If might be a great program, but you should look closer to make sure it meets your needs.

Your Next Step

The key message here is to take your time when considering event planning courses. There are many great training programs and it’s important to find one that suits you and your lifestyle.

When you have a better picture of what you’re looking for and why you want to register for a training program, then you’re in a better position to evaluate whether you’ve found the one that’ll work for you. And, less than an hour of research can point you in the right direction to find that program.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

Have you considered event planning courses to further your career? How did you decide which course was (or is) right for you?

Share your comments below, but remember any links to outside posts or videos are deleted. 🙂

We look forward to hearing from you,

3 Comments

  1. Katalinaat4:02 pm

    Hi Melanie my name is Katalina and I live in Sydney Australia. I have been wanting to start my own business as an event stylist, I have some experience in the social and corporal side where I’ve planned and designed families and church group social events also organised youth fundraiser events. I have thought about taking it on full time but was afraid of the business side because I have been doing this for free since 1999. I feel I am now ready to take it on as a full time business and need help in choosing the right course to take. Are you able to direct me into which course to take. Would love to hear from you.

    Regards
    Katalina.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat7:12 pm

      That’s very exciting, congratulations Katalina! We’ve sent you an email so we can help you determine the best course for you.

      Reply

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