If you’re naturally a well organised, creative multi-tasker, then you should consider a career in event planning. Life as an event planner offers a number of fantastic travelling and networking opportunities. You’ll find that there are limited jobs out there that offer the same scope of travel, creativity and socialising possibilities than event planning does. The variation in jobs you’ll have to work on is guaranteed to keep you not only interested but perpetually inspired. The majority of experienced event planners will agree that the most rewarding aspect of this job is working alongside your clients in order to deliver the most successful event, in everyone’s eyes. Here is a guide on how to start a career in event planning.
How to start a career in event planning: The different types of events
Whether you opt to become a private or a corporate events manager, you could decide to work on a variety of different events or specialise in just one specific type. Nevertheless, here is a list of just some of the types of events you could help to organise throughout your career as an event planner.
- Product launches
- Art exhibitions
- Music festivals
- Charity fundraisers
- Award ceremonies
- Trade fairs
- Book launches
What skills do I require in order to be an event planner?
The main skills you’ll need to possess in order to succeed in this area of work, is to be well organised, highly creative and have an exceptional eye for detail. It goes without saying that you’ll also need to be driven, motivated and hard-working. It is also an advantage if you are good at negotiating and have adequate sales and marketing skills. This will help you to obtain the best value for money deals when you’re booking vendors, caterers and venues. Furthermore, it is essential to possess good communication and people skills. In this field of work, you will be constantly dealing with other people and you’re much more likely to secure the prime vendors and venues if you can adequately communicate what you’re looking for. People will also be much more willing to work with you in the future if you are personable and ensure they receive a good experience when dealing with you. Lastly, it is always good to possess a naturally high degree of energy; this job demands long hours.
Start event management courses
If you are a complete novice with absolutely no experience in event management, then it is wise to sign yourself up to some courses. There is no minimum qualification required to do this job, but in completing these courses you are able to prove your knowledge and talent.
Embarking on online courses that you can complete in the evenings and during your spare time is advised when starting out. Take a look at QC Event School which offers online event planning courses. The courses will teach you professional planning techniques when it comes to organising events such as weddings and product launches. There are a number of courses available, helping you to start off your event planning career with an industry-recognised certificate.
These courses will be highly beneficial when it comes to event management theory, however, you will still need to find work experience within the industry.
Volunteer for experience
Gaining as much experience as possible will be the most valuable way of making you an attractive candidate. Having first-hand experience of what it is like to be involved in events planning demonstrates you have the stamina and skill set to succeed. The best way to get as much experience as possible is to start with volunteer positions.
Companies organising large-scale events are always on the lookout for volunteers to help out. Because no organised event will run in the exact same way as another, every event you attend will provide you with more insight and an alternative perspective. Possessing such a widespread understanding of varying events will be an exceptional asset to you in the long run.
Whilst you are on these volunteering jobs, it is essential to take in as much information as possible. Make mental or physical notes on the way the day has been organised to provide you with helpful tips for the future.
Reach out to a variety of sectors
When it comes to event sectors, there are so many. Experimental, educational, private, corporate and fundraising are all sectors that you might eventually be involved in. Nevertheless, each one of these requires a different skill set and until you try each one separately, you won’t know which sector you prefer.
Trying out work in different sectors will not only provide you with realistic expectations of what a career in this field entails but will broaden your knowledge and skillset. Experimenting with these different sectors will also specify the experience required and narrow down a job search in the future.
Become an intern
The best way to get into this industry is to work directly for an established event planning company. If you’re doing a degree in event management or are post-university, then taking a placement year to become an intern is highly recommended. However, even without a degree, you can look around for internship work.
When looking for a planner or company to work with, make sure to choose ones based on your area of interests and sector you wish to work in. It is best to have some experience in event planning before you approach a big company; it will be their reputation on the line if anything goes wrong because of you.
As an intern, make sure to utilise your position at these events effectively and strike up conversations with the vendors used. Build up a contact list of entertainers, caterers and venues providers. This could be anything from photo booth hire in London to corporate caterers and professional photographers.
Once you have completed either your degree or event management courses and you have successfully taken part in enough voluntary or internship work to gain an adequate amount of experience, you can apply for a serious job. This might either be within an events management company or alongside a solo event planner. Once you are in the industry, have gained enough experience and have built up a valuable reputation for yourself, you will then have the opportunity to start freelance work or start your own business. Nevertheless, whatever you decide to do with your career, you’ll find that every day in this dynamic industry will be exciting and inspiring. If you have enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it on your social media.