How can someone break into event planning?
Are there any qualifications, certifications or degrees required? It's another one of the many careers I'm interested in.
I was never formally trained, I learned it all on my own, by working in the trenches and asking questions. As far as an event planner goes, you need to get your foot in the door at a catering place...this will show you how things work and the all basic concepts. Ask questions and take some initiative, if you are luckly, you could move up rather quickly. Organization and people skills are very important for this, so work on that. If you really want some formal education, I would recommend a few Business courses. You may want to check out some of the culinary schools as well, as popular as the industry is today, you may find Event Planner courses there. Hope this helps you, good luck Skylar and keep me up to date !
I'm not aware of any degrees or certifications required in most markets. Developing a reputation for reliable performance and customer satisfaction seems key. You can start out with a job with any of the various companies that are involved in event staging: caterers, bartending services, valet parking services, tent & table & chair rental outfits, florists, lighting & sound set-up professionals, etc. Just about every one of those companies has to often hire people quickly to staff up for their coming events. Once in the door, pay attention to how the events are planned, express an interest in it, and take on more duties related to scheduling, logistics, budget, trouble-shooting, etc., until you become recognized as a good planner. Name recognition will follow, and you'll be on your way.
I would go big by hosting a free event to promote my event planning services. I'm talking about a nice event, with dueling pianos and chocolate fountains.
Pick a date about 3-4 months away and book an event hall or restaurant for a few hours. Make sure it is not cheap, and that you have to pay a deposit. The key is to lock yourself in so that you have to do it.
Spend a week selecting a theme and your niche market to invite, which should be a group of professionals who need event planning services (real estate agents, sales professionals, travel agents, banks, etc).
Build a website for your event. Also tie it to your event planning website to showcase what you can do.
Make a flyer promoting your event that includes your theme. Make it classy. Email it to a chamber of commerce directory or just go through the yellow pages and find businesses to invite. Include two free tickets in each letter.
Make follow up calls to the owners of key businesses. Don't forget local charities who always are organizing balls and dances, etc.
Aim for 50 people to attend. Spend time planning your kickoff event. This will be your resume and your training. If you do it right, you will demonstrate your skills.
If your event is a failure, you should try again with a different niche or decide whether it is something you can continue to do.
If it works, you may get a few requests to plan parties for your event attendees. I do not know how much profit you can make, but I assume for at least a year it will be minimal or even a loss as you advertise and build up a client base.
I know of people who did this and one makes $25,000 per event, and only does four events per year.
(I didn't intend to type this much; May have to write a Hub about it
Jobs in the line of planning meetings, events and conferences are increasing, especially in government, and are expected to add 16% more new jobs over 2008 totals by 2018. The average wage is fairly high at over $23.00/hr and many of these positions do not yet require a college degree. Experience can be more important than a degree. read more
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