How to become an event planner

How to become an event planner

Want to help wedding receptions go on without a hitch or plan large-scale corporate events? Event planning is a promising career path for people who are creative, good with people management and logistics, organized and proactive. Event planning involves more than decorating spaces, planning meals and entertaining guests. Becoming a professional event planner requires formal training and professional experience. 

Next steps for professional event planners:

Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree

Most event planners have a bachelor’s degree in event management or a related field like hospitality management, public relations or marketing

Completing an internship during your undergraduate studies will give you wedding planning training and a better understanding of event management.

Step 2: Decide your niche

Event planning is a very diverse field. You can plan events ranging from small meetings or private events to multi-thousand person concerts and fundraising campaigns for politicians. Choose a niche that best suits your personality and job interests to continually build experience toward your ultimate career goals. 

  1. Social events: Social event planners organize social events such as parties, galas, fundraisers, celebrations and other socially-based functions. Social events also require heavy organization and planning skills.
  2. Corporate events: Corporate event planners organize events for companies from small to large. Corporate events often promote company image, further brand awareness, showcase products or services and help increase company relationships either internally or externally. As a corporate event planner, you collaborate heavily with multiple third-party vendors as well as internal teams, like marketing. To be successful as a corporate event planner, integrating cross-departmental objectives is important.
  3. Non-profit events: As a non-profit event planner, you will typically organize fundraising or community events for 501(c)(3), or nonprofit, organizations. Nonprofit event work requires being able to negotiate stricter budgets, create community partnerships and create positive community relationships through each event. It often requires working with volunteers and across sectors, like government and private businesses. Communication skills are critical for career success. 

Step 3: Build your portfolio

Building a website and showcasing your portfolio online will help you reach a larger audience and establish your professional ability and reputation. It will also help you stand out to clients and give better pay leverage when negotiating contracts. Include any disclosable and notable clients along with event content, materials, photographs and press coverage. Also, describe challenges you faced during past events and how you overcame these challenges. 

Step 4: Start working as a certified event planner

Once you earn your party planner license and acquire the necessary experience you can start building your own event management business or work internally within an organization. To have a successful business, you must build strong contacts with vendors and event services professionals.

Get started with Lynn

Lynn University’s Bachelor of Science in event management provides you with the experience and network you need to become a successful event planner. All event management students are required to complete an internship in the field so you will gain experience and network before leaving school.