I’m proud to be in the event planning business. I plan events for a living. And have to admit really love it. Before I was an event planner I had next to no experience in the field. I had worked in hotels and the service industry. But no real event experience to talk about. And as it turns out there are so many that are in exactly the same boat. I was lucky and found an entry level position. Where I was able to learn and hone my skills.
I hear it all the time. Planning events and getting paid for it is the right career path for me. The opportunity to put a personal touch on things; work with different personalities, choose decor, venues and food is the ultimate goal. For some that’s a fantasy they want to become a reality. We all know it takes more than fantasy or a passion for planning a good party to be successful. It takes the ability to work hard, multitask, handle demands, experience and the skill to plan and organize. Just to name a few.
Getting into Event Planning
I get asked all the time how do I break into the event planning business. How do I get experience so I can get hired? In the past a lot of planners learned their talents and expertise on the job. But frankly times they are a changing. And when looking for success and a shot at one of the best careers; there are lots of ways to gain an in by getting experience. Successful event planners come to the table with amazing skills. That help in getting the job done. Including organization, time management, communication, relationships, flexibility and a desire that is second to none. As well one of the more important skills not listed is know-how.
Getting a Leg up in Event Planning
It is imperative to get knowledge and experience wherever one can. And there are lots of ways soon-to-be event planners can shape their future. I’m a big proponent of volunteering. Not new information but the facts prove it’s a great way to gain that much needed and valuable experience. Volunteering is a great way to get that on the job understanding. Events almost always need help. Reach out to event companies, non-profits, large events, venues and charity. Put yourself out there, offer your services and get involved.
Network, network, network. The majority of jobs are not found published or in help wanted ads. Remember in so many scenarios, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And while networking is not everything it is vital to one’s career. Especially in the early stages. It’s a great way to exchange ideas and learn new things. So get yourself out there and start interacting.
Education is the key to everything. Isn’t that what we heard over and over again growing up? Well the parents were right, mostly. These days, organizations are looking to employ people that come with skills and are ready right out of the gate. Learning curves tend to be shorter and shorter. And they want to hire people that know their stuff. An education can compensate for practical experience. A diploma, certification or course provides the know-how and means to help a newer planner jump in with both feet. Learning the ABC’s of planning an event will help you once you start that job search.
There are various courses, degrees and certifications available in the event planning field. A great way to get some needed experience is to take on an internship. You don’t have to be in school to go the route of an internship. And it’s the perfect way to get an introduction into the world of events. What could be better? Getting experience while at the same time learning the ins and outs of event planning. And in the end you never know where it can lead.
I may be biased. But for the right kind of person a career in event planning is the best decision. It’s definitely consuming and hard work. But filled with so many rewards, fulfillment and joy. And if success is the goal education and experience go hand in hand.