Event Planning Professions Video: How to Become an Event Planner
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Event Planning Professions Video: How to Become an Event Planner Transcript
Event planning encompasses everything from meetings to conventions to weddings. Event planners, also known as event coordinators, handle the planning and may also provide hospitality for a large group event or a small gathering. Some planners, such as wedding planners, focus on one particular type of event. Others work in a wide variety of industries.
Event planners can find themselves working in a variety of industries, planning events like weddings, conventions, luncheons and small gatherings. Event planning professionals are charged with planning all of the details for these events--everything from determining locations and speakers, to managing budgets and vendors. It is a field of work that can be fast-paced and requires irregular hours. Travel is also highly likely for most event planners.
Job Duties and Skills
Event planners must have an eye for detail and know how to ask the right questions to determine their clients' needs. Duties include everything from choosing the event location to coordinating food, vendors and entertainment for the event. Post-event work may include surveying attendees and final budget management. The ability to multi-task and stay organized is key. Event planners must also have excellent communication skills--verbal, written and interpersonal.
Many times it is preferred that event planners have a bachelor's degree, though it is not always essential. Backgrounds in hospitality management, marketing or communications may increase one's opportunity for employment. Degrees in meeting management and hospitality are offered at many four-year schools and those who are interested in a career in event planning may consider enrolling in such programs. On-the-job training is typically offered for entry-level planners with advancement occurring as more complex responsibilities are handled. Voluntary certification is also available for event planners through the Convention Industry Council. The CIC offers a Certified Meeting Professional certification that is recognized throughout the industry.
As an event planner, be prepared to work long hours up to and during the event itself. Opportunities for a career in the business can come in working for an event service firm, a hotel, convention center or on your own as an independent consultant. Opportunities may also be available at bridal boutiques, event halls and churches as a wedding or event planner.
The field of event planning can encompass many types of events and industries. Companies big and small may use event planning professionals to help with their own seminars, meetings and conventions. Convention centers may have event planners on staff, and there is always opportunity for individuals to become independent contractors in the event planning field. It is a profession that can lead to long hours and a fast-paced work environment, but also leaves room to be creative.
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