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How To Become An Event Planner
Are you creative, well organized and very detail-oriented? Do you thrive under pressure-especially the pressure of last minute changes and quick fixes when things go wrong? If you answered “yes” to these questions, a career as an Event Planner may be for you.
A successful Event Planner also needs exemplary communication skills – someone who listens to their client, understands the goal of the event being held, and creates and follows through with requests the client has. Clients can range from those planning a wedding to hosting a corporate annual meeting.
As an Event Planner, you will become adept at venue selection, the catering obtainable, production and entertainment needs, transportation required depending upon the event, lodging, conference services, as well as relationships with florists, suppliers, equipment rental services, and more.
You also should decide if you want to specialize in planning particular types of events, such as social events or business meetings, or be more of a generalist, someone who is hired to plan a variety of events. Also remember that event planning is not a 9 to 5 job; you need to be very flexible - always available for weekdays, weeknights and even weekends.
In order to successfully compete in today's challenging market, special events professionals need to be educated and connected. There are some certifications and even online classes that you can register for to learn how to be an Event Planner. You can become a Certified Special Events Professional or a Certified Meeting Planner through the International Special Events Society and Meeting Professional International. The more you can do to market yourself as a professional by certification and experience, the more you will oushine the competition. Read and learn everything you can about the industry, trends, and the specifics of planning events.
The best thing by far is to gain the kind of hands-on experience that will help you land your first job or start your own event planning business. Offer your event planning services to family and friends. As a beginner, you should also try to volunteer for events and work on-site and perhaps volunteer for the planning committee. In this way you will have experience for your resume and meet people who may help you in your job search.
Before getting a job planning the event of the century, working in smaller hotels, convention centers, museums, and sports venues will give you valuable experience. Networking is crucial if you want to become an Event Planner as well. Join the trade organizations of the market you want to serve. Attend functions and social events to network with potential clients, vendors and suppliers. Learn what you can and meet as many professionals as you can because a network of strong connections, (which you have created by working in the industry), will help you plan top notch events in the future.