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How to Become an Event Planner

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How to Become an Event Planner


Thinking of becoming an event planner? Even after the global pandemic, event planning is one of the most promising career paths with an 11% job growth rate, compared to the 7% average of expected growth.

So, it’s definitely a great choice!

However, becoming an event planner isn’t actually an easy task. It is a diverse and demanding field that would require you to be creative and skillful at handling rapid unforeseen changes, and you have to be a highly adaptable person to be successful in the field. 

Yet, don’t lose heart. Just because being an event planner can be challenging, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Whether you are just starting out after school or college or looking for a career change, in this guide we’ll discuss all you need to know about becoming an event planner and what is demanded by the role. 

The Role of an Event Planner

The main role of an event planner, as the name suggests, is to plan and manage all sorts of events. As we know, there are many types of events available, including but not limited to: 

  • Conferences

  • Keynote speaker session

  • Networking events

  • Workshops/classes

  • Seminar

  • Expos and trade shows

  • Competitions

  • Awards

  • Concerts and festivals

And so on. 

Most event planners typically specialize in certain types of events, for example, some might specialize in concerts and festivals. 

There are generally three different career paths for event planners: 

  1. An in-house event planner for a company

In this role, the event planner works for a company that is not an event organizer company. The event planner’s role typically involves organizing internal events (i.e. meetings, seminars, etc.), as well as customer-facing events (i.e. product launch, awards) for this specific company alone. Depending on the type of the company, might also involve joining exhibitions/trade shows and organizing the company’s booth at said events. 

  1. An event planner for an event organizer company

In this role, the event planner works for an event organizer company. Some event organizer companies might only be in charge of just several events (or even just one event) that they’ll work on all year round, but there are also event organizers that will organize a plethora of events across different industries in a year. 

  1. Agency-side event planner

This type of event planner works for a creative/marketing agency, and will often work for many different clients and many different events throughout the year. An agency event planner is demanded to be agile and adaptable in working with different clients targeting various different target audiences. 

Qualifications for the Event Planner Role

To become an event planner, the good news is that professional qualifications are not mandatory. However, qualifications and credentials will significantly help you when looking for an event planning job (assuming you are not going to start your own event planner company). 

Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate degrees in Event Management, and you can also opt to continue the event management study at the postgraduate level. If you don’t want to commit three or four years of study for an undergraduate degree, there are also various event management short courses available. 

Responsibilities of an Event Planner

While the actual responsibilities of the event planner role might vary depending on the company you work in, here are the typical responsibilities of this role: 

  • Manage all aspects of event planning while ensuring the event stays within its strict deadline and budget

  • Build and maintain relationships with vendors, venues, and other relevant parties to ensure efficient logistics 

  • Establish standard procedures and train the event team

  • Coordinate with the internal team, vendors, sponsors, and others to establish needs for the event

  • Research resources and vendors

  • Lead pre-event meetings and make important decisions about event design and production

  • Troubleshoot and handle any issues related to the event

  • Oversee client experiences before, during, and after the event

  • Managing on-site preparations, event production, and event breakdown

  • Comply with legal health and safety regulations at all times

Skills Required in the Event Planner Role

Here are the key event planning and management skills and qualities to ensure successful event management: 

  1. Communications

An event planner should be comfortable maintaining communications with various different parties from vendors, clients, co-workers, government officials, high-level executives, sponsor representatives, and more. A good event planner is a good communicator and negotiator. 

  1. Flexibility

The event planner role demands flexibility. Planning an event involves many different, rapidly-changing moving parts. During emergencies, the event planner might be demanded to fulfill a stagehand’s role, but in other cases might need to be the decision-maker. 

  1. Tech-Savvy

It’s virtually impossible to plan and run an event these days without the help of technology. The event planner should be familiar with team-management tools like Dropbox and Slack, and also event management platforms like Eventtia that will help the event planner manage the project effectively. 

  1. Organization

As discussed, event planning often involves many different moving parts, and the event planner might be required to juggle a lot of things at once. The event planner should be able to focus on the big picture, while at the same time should also keep track of the little details. 

  1. Calm Under Pressure

No matter how meticulously an event is planned, there are always unexpected changes and issues. Successful event planners should be able to stay calm under pressure and continue to work effectively under pressure while treating everyone appropriately. 

  1. Decision-Making

There will be a lot of decisions that should be made when planning, managing and running an event. Many of them will need to be made quickly and you might not have all the required information to make an obvious decision. Can be challenging, but with experience, this will get easier. 

Becoming a Successful Event Planner 

While becoming an event planner might not be an easy thing to achieve, by learning the right skills and figuring out how your existing skills could be applied, you can start your event planning career even when you haven’t got a background in events. Of course, starting your own event planning company is also a viable and even lucrative option to kick start your career in the booming industry. 

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