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Online Event Planning Courses and Classes Overview

Online event planning courses teach individuals how to prepare and execute all kinds of organized occasions, ranging from private birthday parties to large-scale industry conventions. Classes feature business topics in food services, finances, marketing and contracts; creative elements such as theme and design may also be discussed.

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Online Courses in Event Planning

The following course descriptions detail some commonly offered online event planning courses.

  • Event Planning Management: Event planners are expected to have a firm grasp on managerial skills such as organization, leadership and critical thinking. Courses which relate these business practices directly to event planning discuss such career-specific themes as space planning, customer service, vendor contracting, budget management and logistics.
  • Marketing for Events: While some events are invitation-only, many require public attendance and registration. Marketing lessons teach aspiring event planners how to reach relevant audiences, build seating charts, monitor attendance and create excitement about their upcoming event. Students learn to solicit sponsorship to reduce overhead and increase profit margins.
  • Food and Beverage Management: Almost any event needs food and drink, which is why it's important for planners to grasp how food services work. For some events, caterers may need to be contracted. In other cases, a venue may offer their own kitchen and wait staff. In this course, students learn the pricing and logistics of serving refreshments and how to factor food into their event.
  • Special Event Planning: These online classes focus the scheduling, financing, catering and entertainment for such special events as weddings, birthday parties, trade shows or corporate meetings. Because this course ties together many themes of event planning, it may be taken toward the middle or end of a greater event planning program. Students may be asked to complete a tactical project wherein they plan and budget a special event from start to finish.
  • Event Planning Liability: Professionals must handle contracts, billing, insurance and other legally binding paperwork while planning an event. Risk management classes train them to successfully navigate within legal and ethical boundaries. Prospective event planners must learn to protect themselves as well as their employees, volunteers, venues, contractors and clients. This advanced course may be taken toward the end of an event planning course sequence.
  • Introduction to Catering: In this course, students learn the basics of catering. Coursework includes catering management essentials, such as developing and negotiating contracts, along with the fundamental culinary knowledge necessary to create menus for catered events.
  • Trade Show Management: This course will help students learn about what goes into production values at a trade show, including transportation and design principles. Emphasis is placed on proper communication techniques with vendors and personnel.
  • Intermediate Event Planning In this course, students will examine how to research options for designing an event that is suited to their client's needs. Topics include what it's like working in a team and how to manage talents and skills among the group.

Program Information

Online event planning courses are typically offered as part undergraduate or graduate certificate and degree programs in event planning or event management. Programs may be offered solely online, although some are offered in hybrid format and require on-campus participation or an in-person practicum. Individuals with training in event management may be self-employed, hired by private planning organizations to work with diverse clients or employed by specific businesses, such as convention centers.

There are many event planning course offerings online via undergraduate and graduate certificate and degree programs. Common course topics will include catering, marketing and food and beverage management, as well as planning for particular kinds of events.

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