Party planning courses are commonly offered at community and technical colleges. Classes can be taken individually or as part of short courses, which may require approximately 40 hours to complete. Aspiring party planning professionals can also take classes as part of an undergraduate certificate program in meeting and event planning or wedding planning. Students enrolled in a certificate program may be able to complete it in one year or less.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in party planning courses:
- Event marketing
- Food and Beverages
- Site selection
- Finance and budgeting
List of Common Courses
Basics of Event Planning Course
Success in the party-planning industry requires the ability to coordinate many variables and produce a harmonious and pleasing result. In this course, students get an overview of the steps involved in planning social and corporate events from beginning to end. Common topics include client interviews, event design and budgeting. Students also learn to create a planning calendar and have a reliable pool of resources.
Managing Food, Beverages and Entertainment Course
This course guides students through the process of obtaining and managing the aspects that bring parties and other events to life, including food, beverages and entertainment. Assessing a client's vision and needs, planning menus, setting prices and working with contracts are all topics covered in depth. Courses also discuss how to contact and hire entertainers and caterers. Some classes include event field trips for practical experience.
Financial Management of Social Events Course
Long-term success often relies on developing a party budget and operating within it. Students learn to navigate the way from ideas to dollar figures by projecting expenses and revenues, collecting data, setting goals and creating a timeline. Management techniques that lessen the chance of costly mistakes are included.
Marketing a Party Planning Business Course
Smart marketing of a party-planning business is especially important when getting started. This course provides information on promotional methods for event planning, such as what materials to use and which venues work best. Students get practical experience by creating a marketing plan that includes strategy, production and implementation.
Legal Aspects of Event Planning Course
As with any business, there are legal considerations. Event-planning students learn to read and interpret contracts, as well as to develop their own clear and comprehensive contracts. Some important issues include liability, fire protection and termination. Planners must also ensure they follow laws regarding public venues, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Wedding Planner Course
Since wedding planning is a popular option for party planners, some programs focus exclusively on wedding-planning courses. Topics include business information, such as budgeting and contracts, as well as elements of design that include wedding gowns, color schemes, music and flowers. Some wedding courses provide students with hands-on experience at real weddings.