Many people that I talk to have said how exciting it must be to be an event planner. When people say that to me I’m often left wondering exactly what aspect of an event planner’s job are they referring to. First I want to say that they are right to a certain degree. The job of an event planner can be very rewarding. However for those of you that are considering a career in event planning there are a few things that you should understand about what an event planner’s job entails.
The Travel Schedule of an Event Planner
At first glance many people think how great it is to travel to all the different cities that many event planners go to. Usually they are major cities that offer the very best that their region/country has to offer. However that novelty will soon wear off. I’ve worked with many event planners that quite literally did not remember what city they were in. The reason? Usually it’s because during a conference or meeting the event planner is extremely busy making sure that every and all aspects of the program is being executed. Therefore many do not even see the outside of the hotel that they are in. So if you’re selecting travel as a reason to become an event planner I strongly suggest you rethink that reason.
An Event Planner’s Work Schedule
As I mentioned above when talking about the event planners travel schedule, the same can apply to their work schedule. During programs it’s not unheard of for a planner to be up before dawn making sure the morning activities are ready. And their days can literally go past midnight. I’ve often said this job is for young people. And it’s for this reason that I say that.
The Event Planners Interaction with Delegates
During my hotel days I would always joke that if I ever interviewed anybody who said they liked working with people that I would never hire them. I always said anybody who made that statement has never really had an opportunity to work with people. Now of course I’m mostly joking here, but the point I’m trying to make is that when you do work with people there are lots of personality types that you will be dealing with. And an event planner knows this firsthand. During a program an event planner is bombarded with questions and requests ranging from; what restaurant would you recommend, I need to change my flights, my luggage was lost and I need toiletries, and the list goes on and on and on. It takes a strong personality and a multitasker to be able to deal with all of these requests, with a smile, while making sure that the overall program is running smoothly. Now you know why many event planners higher local professionals to assist them with executing their programs.
So if you do think you have the right stuff to become an event planner then I encourage you to look further. One suggestion would be to volunteer to be an ambassador for your city. Generally speaking, being an ambassador for your city means that you’re available to help welcome large groups to your city. If you’ve ever been to an airport when a large convention is getting underway then you have most likely seen people mulling about the airport welcoming and answering general questions. Quite often these are volunteer positions. It’ll give you a little exposure to the industry and a fair amount of exposure dealing with convention delegates. Kind of like a test drive before you buy. Check with your local colleges and your convention and visitors bureaus for courses and recommendations on how to become an event planner. Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reason.