Between 2019 and 2029, the event planning industry is expected to grow significantly. More and more people are getting into the career, and there are many reasons why.
It’s fulfilling, and you can make your clients very happy.
However, when it comes to the career of an event planner, people often struggle with where to start. Formal training is an obvious answer, but there are other things you can — and should — do to build your career as an event planner.
If you’re seriously considering it, follow these tips to become successful in no time and be a dream event planner for many clients!
1. Focus: What Kind of Event Planner Do You Want to Be?
An event planner is a vastly varied career. There are many different kinds of meetings and events that can take place, and very rarely will an event planner cover them all.
Usually, they have an area of expertise.
This could be anything from:
- Wedding planning
- Social events
- Corporate events
- Non-profit organization events
It’s important to decide what you’re passionate about, as well as the kind of money you want to make and how much time you want to spend working. Planning some of these events can be more demanding than others.
2. Research, Research, Research
When you’ve decided what kind of event planning you want to do, it’s time to do your research.
Look at successful events of the same kind. Attend some if possible.
You’ll also want to do some online research. Check how much they pay, how your work-life balance will look. If you can, talk to others who are in the same business in your area, as they’ll be able to give you realistic ideas.
It’s also worth researching just how in-demand your niche is. You don’t want to pick a job as an event planner for a certain kind of meeting, only to find out that people in your area are rarely looking for such a thing.
3. Set Your Goals
When you’ve decided what kind of event planning you want to do and you’ve done your research to solidify your decision, it’s time to set some goals.
You might want to think about how many events you want to plan in a given time frame because then you’ll know how many people you can take on.
You’ll also want to think about your rates. You can charge by the hour or by the event, and it really depends on what works for you.
You can also set annual goals for your business, as hopefully, it will grow as time goes on.
4. Build a Portfolio
Building a portfolio of images is one of the most important things you can do as an event planner. It’s something to show your clients to convince them of why they should hire you, and it’s a very valuable tool.
Many people choose to have a hard copy, but having a website is also a great idea.
Even if web design isn’t your thing, there are free website hosts and themes you can use that will impress your clients just as much as any custom design!
You’ll have to get started on event planning before you build your portfolio, but make sure you have one up and running as soon as possible.
5. Become Certified
Becoming a certified event planner is a goal for most people in that career field. There are many different certifications available, each with its own requirements, so it’s important to look into what’s best for you.
A related degree (such as hospitality) can speed up the time it takes you to get certified but without the degree, you can expect to need anywhere between 2-5 years for certification.
The benefits of certification include being able to charge more for your work and being respected in your field. People are more likely to hire someone with a certification, even if the rate is higher.
6. Make Good Connections
Making good connections and networking is as important as anything else in the industry!
If there are event planning conventions anywhere near you — or you have the means to travel to them — you should do it. By making the effort, you can get your name out there more as a respected event planner and connect with others in the industry who may be able to lead you to clients.
You can also connect with people online if it isn’t possible to attend conventions.
7. Build a Good Reputation
There will be times in your job when you’re frustrated with a particularly difficult client, or when something seems impossible. While you may not be in the wrong, it’s important to keep your cool.
Many event planners get their clients from referrals or word of mouth. If you come across as frustrated and easily stressed — even if that’s not the truth of the situation — it might mean losing out on potential clients.
By always being calm, friendly, and professional, you’ll do yourself a lot of favors in this field. Working on your people skills is as important as anything else.
Do All This and You’ll Be a Respected Event Planner in No Time!
If you’re willing to work on your experience and training, build a professional portfolio, and become certified when the time comes, you’re well on your way to becoming a respected event planner!
It’s not always an easy path, but it’s highly rewarding and will give you a career where you can truly make a difference and enjoy your work. What else could you ask for?