Students in these programs learn how to organize and coordinate conferences and meetings, contact vendors, and work with clients. Some programs include an internship. Students who meet education and experience requirements may pursue voluntary certification in the field.
Associate's Degree in Event Planning
Most event planner degree programs require 62-66 credit hours. About a third of those hours are in general education courses, with the rest being related to the major. Required major courses may include:
- Basics of hospitality management
- Business procedures and principals of marketing
- Contract management
- Hospitality accounting
- Food safety and managing buffets/catering
- Managing and coordinating special events, including event risks
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment for meeting, convention, and event planners would grow by 10% over 2014-2024. The median salary for these professionals was $46,840 in 2015.
Certification and Continuing Education
There are two main voluntary certifications available for meeting and event planning professionals. One widely recognized certification is for those who plan civilian meetings, the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) available through the Convention Industry Council. The other is for those who plan government meetings, the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) offered by the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. A qualifying exam is required for both certifications. Recertification for the CMP is available every five years through employment, professional contributions and continuing education. CGMP certification renewal is required every three years via continued membership in the organizations.
An associate's degree in event planning includes coursework and a possible internship. A few of the courses students would take include contract management, hospitality accounting, and food safety and managing buffets/catering.