How To Become An Event Planner In 10 Steps

Is becoming an event planner all you dream about?

 

Do you want to know how to become an event planner (or maybe you want to start your own event business), yet you can’t seem to figure out how to get started?

 

Fear often holds people back from planning the event of their dreams and asking to get paid for the time you spend planning the event.

 

Also, the fear of losing the security of a full-time job holds people back from making the jump to running your own business as well.

 

Maybe you feel you’re not good enough? Or, like you’ll look foolish if it doesn’t go as planned or work out at all?

 

Staying in fear will only get you more of what you’ve got… stuck with no momentum!

 

Uncertainty can be scary.

 

Yet if you don’t take any action, you’ll never plan the events you daydream about. So, what steps do you need to take to be a successful event planner?

10 Steps to Becoming an Event Planner

In this video, watch (and take notes!) as I share 10 ways to get the experience you need to get started with confidence.

 

 

When I started in 2004, I questioned myself because I loved planning parties and events for friends and family, but I wasn’t sure how to get started with my event planning career or where to start looking to get the experience I needed.

 

Here are the 10 steps I used (and my student have used) to go from uncertainty to full-time event planner.

Become An Event Planner In 10 Steps

Step 1 – Volunteer for caterers, florists, at nonprofits, or work for an established event planner.

 

Your long-term success in event planning will be based on the experience that you bring to your clients. That means if you’re thinking about getting started as an event planner, you should understand what an event planner does and what skills are needed.

 

Step 2 – Take on more responsibility. Become the catering manager or a fundraising chair for a nonprofit. Or, take on a lead-planning role at an event planning company.

 

Decide your niche market and focus on getting event experience in those areas (you can offer a wider range of services later once you’re established). Determining your niche helps you focus on the right type of vendors to work with, clients to establish relationships with, and events to plan.

 

Here are questions to ask yourself to help determine your niche:

  • What event services will you offer?
  • Who do you like working with?
  • What type of budgets do you want to work with?
  • Will you offer full service planning or day of management?

Step 3 – It’s not what you know, but who you know. In event planning, networking is key!

 

So, go to networking events, hand out business cards and let everyone know you’re an event planner!

 

Wherever you go, hand out business cards and collect contact information for the people you meet.

 

After every meeting or introduction, I follow up with a “nice to meet you” email – below my signature is a description describing my event planning services.

Your Event Portfolio

Step 4 – Create an event portfolio. Showcase your work with photos, brochures, and invitations of the events you’ve planned. Organize each piece online (iPad storybook works well) to easily present your experience and share your stories. Most people are visual so it’s important to paint the picture for them!

 

Step 5 – Take an event course. Your success as an event planner is based on your event experience and knowledge.

Taking a certified event planning course helps you gain credibility, teaches you about industry trends, and helps you establish contacts within the industry.

 

Step 6 – Create a business plan. If starting an event business is your plan, Google ‘event planning business plan’ to find a template that works for you.

 

Step 7 – Register your event business name. Local government websites list the licenses you need to run a business.

 

Step 8 – Create a budget. To become an event planner, it’s important to have money while establishing yourself in the industry.

 

Step 9 – Marketing. Create a website, social media accounts and business cards.

You’ll need a client contract, too.

 

Step 10 – Develop your network of suppliers and vendors – focus on caterers, photographers, florists, and entertainers, to name a few.

How To Become A Full-Time Event Planner

Whether you’re looking to become a certified event planner or make the switch from event planner to full-time business owner, we can help!

 

Check out our courses here.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s one step you can take right away to get started and become an event planner?

 

Thank you so much for joining me and adding your comments below. I truly love hearing from our event planning community.

 

The only way to tackle your fear is to take action. If you don’t want to spend another day stuck doing something you don’t love, or ‘waiting until everything is perfect’, get started before you’re ready.

 

Have an event-full day!

 

70 Comments

  1. Event Planning Blueprintat4:44 pm

    happy it helped you DeShone!

    Reply
  2. Event Planning Blueprintat4:46 pm

    We only recommend courses and resources we’ve actually used, but you may want to ask yourself why you need a certification – or if you do?! /event-planning-certificate/ (copy and paste the URL)

    Reply
  3. Terryat3:41 am

    I’m just starting to get my event planning business going, I’m starting with my kid’s birthday bash in 4weeks. I have found a vendor who can supply everything but the food. Now I’m trying my best to figure out what the best pay rate is for a self taught event planner like myself. It’s just me too!! There is no one else helping with this adventure, how do you balance the time to do everything with 4 kiddos.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat2:53 pm

      Well a birthday bash is a great way to start – and fun too.
      Here’s a post to help you determine how to charge for your services moving forward: /how-to-charge-for-event-planning-services/
      Once you’re up and running, hire people to help you, hire great vendors and use interns to help manage your time and obligations.
      Good luck Terry!

      Reply
  4. Sarah-Jude Davisat2:31 pm

    Hey ! Thank you for all this tips !
    I would love become an event planner one day. But first I have to study to become one. I’m Sarah-Jude, I’m from France, and I’ve always been in love with all kinds of events.
    That’s why I decide, to go to USA and study event there. I can’t wait to start !

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat3:10 pm

      Welcome to EPB Sarah! Check out our program How To Be An Event Planner: //howtobeaneventplanner.com
      It might be exactly what you’re looking for – and we have people from all over the world in this program.

      Reply
  5. Daniella ogbuaguat3:59 pm

    Hello, thanks for the tips it’s exactly what I need my name is Daniella from Nigeria am 28 and I recently started an event planning comp doh I have little experience but I have successfully planned an event with help from experienced vendors but the problem am is since i planned my last event haven’t gotten any calls or clients from referrals so I will like tips on what to do when these situation happens and also how to attract my targeted clients seeing the industry is quite competitive.thanks

    Reply
  6. Joeyat8:48 am

    I would think that the best method for anyone who want to be an event planner at the beginning stage is to write down everything. List up everything you can think of be it a certain organized manner or not. You can show your list to other people so that they can give you idea as well if you happen to be miss out certain category.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat1:56 pm

      Lists and speaking to those that know you best can certainly help you figure out what you want to do!

      Reply
  7. Erin Smithat1:07 am

    I am going to take a course to receive an Event Planning certificate, as well as planning to go back to school to get a degree in Communications/Public Relations.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat2:14 pm

      We wish you much luck and success in your educational and career goals, Erin. If you’re looking for a program to learn How to Be an Event Planner, visit: /howtobeaneventplanner

      Reply
  8. Steveat3:56 pm

    This is great! We try to plan and organize events in the best way possible all the time. This checklist is a great start!

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat8:43 pm

      thanks Steve!

      Reply
  9. Stephanieat5:43 pm

    I am just wanting to do budget partys and something on the side from my work as a groomer. What could I possibly do I love doing birthday partys, and bachlorette partys. And also baby showers

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat8:54 am

      Do what you love Stephanie. If you love birthdays, parts and showers, then do that!

      Reply
  10. Gloriaat4:37 pm

    I love to organize, that is put things in place. And I also discover that when I organize stuff, I feel this joy on my inside just seeing things in place. To me it is like art, communicating with people to understand their wants and putting it to play . I am currently open to venture into the business. I have gained alot form your publication and I hope to get this right.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat4:54 pm

      So glad you liked the post, Gloria! Make sure you check out the MANY others we have at /blog

      Reply
  11. Kenneth Jenkinsat7:35 am

    The business that we are going to be running will be event planning. This will be a family business. Right now we need help getting started

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat8:24 am

      Congratulations Kenneth. To help you start your event business, learn more about our business training program Success Academy: /successacademy

      Reply
  12. Jaceyat9:56 pm

    Hi! I’m a recent college graduate, and I’ve been a little lost for direction as far as my career goes. I’ve been an event programmer for over a year at the job I hold and I hadn’t even considered the possibility of making it a career until now (I know right). I was just wondering what I could do to try and make it a career being that I have the experience? What places should I look into or is it even feasible to try and start something myself so early? Any help would be appreciated! Thank you so much.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat10:07 am

      Hello, Jacey, thank you for reaching out! You have come to the right place! First and foremost, it is definitely feasible to make it a career. I’m not sure where you are currently at career wise, but depending on your financial situation and availability, you could dive in right it, get started with How to Be an Event Planner (/howtobeaneventplanner) and really get going. One of the many benefits to this course is the flexibility. You are able to work at your own pace – so, if you want to take a more conservative approach, you can work on it while you work your current job. Regardless, this is the place to be! We will encourage, support, and help you every step of the way!

      Reply
  13. Montaat2:09 pm

    Since a young age I have always had an artistic eye. From music, art, baking, and writing but my confidence and circumstances got the best of me. Over the yrs I have realize my love and passion for making things beautiful for someone’s special day – like when you walk into Disneyland and it’s this amazing adventure around every corner. That’s how I feel about event planning – especially the decor because I am a visual person so I notice details. I have done a few parties over the yrs and people have asked if I have a card, and it’s flattering, but I’d have to say, “no, I’m doing this for a friend.” More and more people tell me that I should not ignore my passion, so I’m taking steps and a leap of faith and getting out of my comfort zone. I don’t have a website but I imagine it. I am a passionate person and I often wear my heart on my sleeve.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat3:37 pm

      First and foremost, thank you for your comment! It sounds to me like you are destined to be an event planner. I am happy to see that you have already planned a few events and have had a chance to test the water, that’s the best way to start and get a feel for the industry. Because of your knowledge and ability to plan events, I would like to suggest you take a look at our Success Academy course. This course is less about “planning events” (as you already seem to know quite a bit about that), but more about creating an event planning business. As you mentioned – you already have a name in mind, so this course will really help you move along, get your business up and running and get the legal concerns taken care of. If you do feel like you need more coaching on the actual planning of events, we do also offer a course called How to be an Event Planner, which does cover the logistics of planning an event.

      Which course you choose is entirely your choice, but from a personal perspective, I think you may find more value in the Success Academy course – /successacademy

      Please let us know how we can help, we are here for you every step of the way!

      Reply
  14. Jane Kamat4:25 am

    Reading this article gets me more excited about event planning. I have always loved planning and organizing things; I love every detail to be perfect and I try to get myself involved however I can and my passion for events grows all the time. I have not done anything recognizable (my biggest excuse is money) but I know it is a risk I have to take sooner or later, and I know I need direction to be successful.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat8:33 am

      welcome Jane and thanks for your comments! We’d be happy to guide you and help you get started, so make sure you sign up for a free mini-course here: / You can also learn more about our courses at: /courses

      Reply
  15. Staciat6:06 pm

    This is so amazing, thank you for being so helpful! Event Planning has always been a hobby for me. I planned my weddings (both of them) and every birthday my children have had. I love doing theme parties and get so excited when everything comes together. I create invitations, table settings. I planned my bff’s baby shower and made themed snacks. I have always been a little lost about what it is I could do with this planning and creating and wondered how it could be a business or career for myself. Most recently, I had to plan a funeral. The toughest thing I have ever done. But because of this, I truly felt this is my calling. I am OCD when it comes to organizing, and do well at managing multiple people that have tasks to be completed. I need to follow the light.

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat8:39 am

      Welcome Staci, so glad you found us. If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for our weekly email tips at / – they’ll help guide you in the right direction so you can move your passion into your profession.

      Reply
  16. Traonaat9:22 am

    I want to become an event planner because I’m a very creative person and I’m always planning something or getting creative in my own home. I am actually planning my boyfriend’s surprise party which is very important to me and I am using that party as a new beginning to make me confident enough to go forward working my way up to become an event planner. Your steps really helped me because I didn’t know where to start or how to start, so thank you for that!

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat1:19 pm

      You’re welcome, we’re glad the steps have helped you and wish you success with your events!

      Reply
  17. Melincheat3:06 pm

    I am a party fanatic! I love the decorations, lights, costumes, and colors. More importantly I like being the one incharge of all the behind the scenes. I’m charge of everything this party has to offer. Not only weddings, but Halloween, and Christmas being my three mains. I want to be certified and get myself established. What better way to make friends than to throw a party?!

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat3:18 pm

      We love your enthusiasm for parties, Melinche, they’re one of our favourites too! Feel free to check out our training program: /howtobeaneventplanner that includes business training and a certificate of completion.

      Reply
  18. anickaat1:47 pm

    Loved these tips! I’ve been considering and wanting to be an event planner for some time now! My question is along with a certification for event planning do I need some sort of degree as well? I’m not finished with school yet and not sure when I will be but I would like to start on the event planning sooner rather than later. What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Event Planning Blueprintat2:25 pm

      So glad you loved the tips, Anicka! In fact, you do not need an event certification and they have virtually no relevance in the field. Here’s more info: /event-planning-certificate/

      Many experienced planners don’t have any certifications and will tell you that not one client has asked for it in all their years of planning 🙂

      You can get started right away, even while you’re in school.

      Reply
  19. Daniellaat8:14 pm

    Next year I will got my bachelor in advertising and graphic design, but I’d like to be an event planner after I finish my studies.
    After I finish my graphic design bachelor I want to follow up something at university to help me grow in my work as an event planner
    Can you help me with this?

    Reply
    1. Melanieat8:47 pm

      We have many posts dedicated to helping event planners that can be found here: /blog/ and you can learn more about our online event planning course at: /howtobeaneventplanner

      Reply
  20. Shanesha Brown-Hallat8:02 pm

    I think marketing is my main concern at the moment. I recently found my love for event planning after planning my wedding as I wasn’t pleased with the job my planners were doing and since then I’ve been encouraged by guests who had attended as well as friends to pursue event planning.

    Reply
    1. Melanieat8:14 pm

      Congratulations on your nuptials and planning a great wedding! Here are a number of articles and videos to help you get started: /category/gettingstarted/ and don’t forget to check out our event course too: /howtobeaneventplanner
      If there’s anything we can help with, let me know 🙂

      Reply

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