Although there is no specific degree program related to the field, students who are interested in pursuing a career as a corporate event planner might consider enrolling in a professional certificate program in event planning. In an event planning program, students are expected to learn how to set a budget for an event, secure a venue, arrange for food and beverage service, handle invitations and reservations, and manage client expectations. Many certificate programs also include management and operations courses, providing graduates with the training necessary to oversee teams of employees. Graduates might consider pursuing voluntary event planner certification.
Event Planning Certificate
Programs in professional event planning typically take between one and two semesters to complete, and they provide students with an understanding of how to design, promote and carry out events ranging from small business gatherings to large corporate galas. Most certificate programs in event and meeting planning are part of university extension or continuing education departments, and have very few educational prerequisite demands for incoming students. Most students must submit an application and a fee to gain admittance into such programs. Certificate programs in event planning often include core courses related to basic training in the field as well as elective courses covering optional elements. A mixture of both of these types of courses might cover such topics as:
- Venue selection
- Negotiating contracts
- Audio visual technologies
- Corporate event planning
- Event production
- Cost control
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Corporate event planners work to organize meetings, conferences and annual parties for large businesses and corporations. The employment outlook for meeting, convention and event planners is expected to grow by 10% between the years 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In 2015, there were about 87,400 meeting, convention and event planners employed across the nation. They were earning a median annual salary of $46,840 in May 2015, according to BLS figures. Planners who worked for miscellaneous durable goods merchant wholesalers earned the highest salaries in that year.
Continuing Education and Certification
Graduates of an event planning certificate program who are looking to further their education might consider bachelor's or master's degrees in the fields of public relations or marketing. Some universities offering event planning certificate programs allow students to transfer their credits over to 4-year degree programs in hospitality. Although certification in the industry is not required, it is offered voluntarily by organizations such as the Convention Industry Council and the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.
Students can earn an event planning certificate to work as a corporate event planner. Throughout this program, students learn how to choose venues for events, negotiate contracts, and control costs.