Event planners work for large hotel chains and convention centers, or they may be self employed and specialize in a single type of event such as bridal consulting. Your attention to detail and organizational skills will assist in creating memorable occasions for your clients.
Successful Event Planning Creates Memorable Experiences
As an event planner, your job is to ensure that conventions, business conferences, family reunions, and weddings run smoothly from the initial planning stages to final clean up. You'll coordinate every aspect of an event, including location, catering, and supplying furniture and decor. You may also hire speakers and entertainment and oversee travel and lodging arrangements. You'll likely work from an office, but will travel frequently. Knowledge of diverse cultures and multiple languages are helpful for planning international events. Event planners may keep regular business hours between events, but while planning and staging events, you'll need to be available "24/7" so that clients and vendors can reach you. Your ability to interpret your clients' needs and preferences appropriately is essential. Event planning requires excellent organizational and communication skills, and the ability to coordinate the efforts of many people in achieving the outcome desired by your clients. Work experience in business, food service, and hospitality is useful for event planning.
Career Training for Event Planning Professionals
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that a combination of work experience and a college degree is typically required by event planning firms. A college degree in business, communications, marketing, or hospitality management is preferred if you want to work for a large hotels or resorts. Many schools offer online degrees in hospitality and tourism, marketing, and business administration; it's also possible to take a combination of traditional classroom courses and online courses. Earning a bachelor's degree entails completion of required core courses including English, math, humanities, and science, along with specialized courses related to your major. These may include business, computer science, sales and marketing, accounting, and human relations. If you're already employed in the hospitality industry, check with your human resources department to see if your employer offers tuition reimbursement.
Event Planning Career Outlook is Encouraging
The BLS reports that job prospects for event planners are growing faster than average, and that the median annual salary was $42,180 as of May 2006. Event planning jobs are subject to economic fluctuations, as corporations sponsor fewer large events when faced with budget constraints. After establishing a professional reputation through employment, some event planners start their own businesses in general event planning, or they may specialize as bridal consultants or provide other niche services including birthdays, holiday parties, and pet-related events. As organizations work to provide effective and meaningful events for employees, and families strive to create the perfect event for loved ones, qualified event planners are sure to enjoy continued professional opportunities.