Aspiring event planners can earn undergraduate and graduate certificates and undergraduate degrees through online event planning or management programs. Depending on the program, certificates can be completed online in as few as four months. Graduates of online programs in event management may find work with established event planners or start their own event planning businesses.
Online Event Management Classes
The following courses are commonly found in online event management programs.
- Foundations of Event Management Course: This class provides basic knowledge of event management theory and principles. Students learn the professional event manager's 5-step approach to event planning, as well as common kinds of events and clients. Introduction to components of event planning such as site selection, budgeting and legal matters are also covered. This is the first class to be taken for most programs.
- Event Management Operations Course: After completing the introductory course, students generally take this class on the logistics of event management. This includes consideration of guests' experience from arrival to exit and administrative organization. Elements like toilet access and traffic management are also discussed. Like with the introductory course, students will receive lessons online and submit a quiz of completion that will be evaluated by instructors.
- Event Budgeting Course: The financial element of event planning is covered in this class. Students learn to use stakeholder money efficiently and to adjust logistical elements to a variety of events and budgets. Students will be able to assess how much can be spent on various event components and to judge the feasibility of future clients' requests.
- Marketing Course: This class covers the business and economic aspects of event planning. Emphasis is on successful marketing strategies, investment return and effective advertising. Adaptation of marketing strategies to different kinds of events is also covered, increasing students' versatility as eventual event planners.
- Risk Management of Event Planning Course: This class covers the elements of safety, liability and ethics of event planning. Students learn about legal issues such as the negotiation of contracts, permits and insurance. Techniques to minimize risk of injury and harm to event site are also emphasized. This class is usually one of the last in a certificate program.
- Final Event Management Project Course: Generally programs require completion of an independent outline of a hypothetical event after core classes are finished. Final projects are submitted to the instructors and are evaluated and returned with comments, though they vary in form and may be anything from an essay to a real-world internship. This provides a template for future professional work in event management.
- Entertainment and Production Course: In this course, students receive an overview of the audio, visual and entertainment components of producing events. Coursework includes the management of technical production, analysis of the entertainment industry, and the legal and regulatory requirements and protections for entertainment production.