Online event management or event planning certificate programs generally have fully online coursework but may also have some in-person requirements, such as a practicum, internship or group project. It is difficult to find anything other than certificate programs in this field online, but many employers prefer applicants who have at least bachelor's degrees and some related work experience. An online certificate program that includes practical experience is a good starting point for bachelor's degree holders who want to get the experience needed to qualify for a career in event planning. Students who want to complete a bachelor's degree can find fully online programs in related fields like hospitality business management.
Graduate Certificate in Event Planning
The only event planning programs available online in the United States are through graduate certificates. Through online graduate certificates, students learn to set up events, find clients interested in having events planned and make the event arrangements. They make arrangements for food and beverages, analyze events for potential problems, discuss solutions and handle other details. Students with bachelor's degrees are eligible for this program, which is intensive in business.
Program Information and Requirements
The event planning certificate can be completed in one or two semesters. This program can be completed entirely online. Students may be required to complete internship experiences, and they are also required to complete portfolios, demonstrating their experience built in event planning roles. Students can acquire this experience locally, although it could be arranged by the school offering the online program. Typically, students access a Web-based server, like Blackboard, to complete courses, assignments and interact with professors and classmates.
In addition to needing a computer and reliable Internet service, each student typically needs a few computer software programs, including Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash and a media player. Students must also have the ability to watch video lessons, communicate through a webcam and e-mail assignments.
List of Common Event Planning Courses
Online certificate programs in event planning include courses on hospitality and event management. Students also explore the legal sides of event planning, taking courses on risk management and professional ethics.
Management in Event Planning
Students learn how to assess the value of an event, determine employee needs for the event and make arrangements so the event goes smoothly. They arrange for food and beverages, contact vendors and hire volunteers.
Event Planning Marketing
Students develop marketing plans to use in the event planning industry. They find sponsors, choose venues and hire caterers.
Risk Management and Ethics in Event Management
Students examine safety issues involved in event management, including food preparation. They develop risk management plans that reduce risk for the event planner.
Upon completion of a graduate certificate in event planning, students are eligible for several careers in event planning and hospitality. They can find careers working at country clubs, hotels and other locations where events are frequently held. According to May 2015 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for event planners was $46,840 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Students interested in continuing their education can pursue online degree programs in business management or in hospitality. Master's degree programs in event planning are also available on-campus.
Event management or planning programs are available online and often lead to a certificate. These programs typically include an internship or practicum and provide a good launch point for a bachelor's degree in a related field, like hospitality management; this type of bachelor's degree program can also be found fully online.