Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Begin Your Event Planning Career

In simple terms, an event planner is a person who organizes events. Usually, when people think of events, they think of something grand and fabulous, an occasion where people get together, whether it's a wedding, festival or family reunion. But, there's almost always someone needed to ensure the event's success...and that's where event planners come in!

You don't need formal training or education to succeed as an event planner. If you're talented, creative, determined and willing to put in the work, you can definitely become an event planner extraordinaire! Here are some tips:

Learn all you can about the profession. The term "event planner" is broad and entails everything from corporate planners to wedding planners to catering/hospitality coordinators. Take some time, in the beginning, to read books, research online and talk to real event planners to figure out what areas you're most interested in and to become familiar with the expectations you'll have on the job.

Assess your talents. Successful event planners combine both great interpersonal skills and organizational ability to determine exactly what their clients desire, and they get the job done. Other important talents: resourcefulness and creativity that sets your skills apart from competitors.

Educate yourself. Although you don't need a degree to become an event planner, certain areas of study may impress potential employees and clients. These fields include marketing, public relations, human resources, advertising, business, hotel and restaurant management and hospitality and tourism. If you want to develop your skills and enhance your natural abilities, degree programs are available specifically in event management; there are also industry educational seminars and home study courses.

Develop your material. Before you begin your job search, organize your self-promotion material so they represent you at your best. If you don't have a lot of actual experience on your resume, consider volunteering to work with an event planner, you could organize a small, local event. Be sure to ask the people involved for letters of recommendation for you to show future employers or clients. Additionally, have photos of your work in your portfolio to show what you have done (and can do).

Determine who's hiring. While you're using job advertisements to look for work, you should also directly contact any organizations you'd be interested in working for. Associations, larger businesses, non-profits, universities and municipalities need event planners, and so do hotels, tourism bureaus and other organizations. Asking a simple question: "Who plans your meetings and events?," could lead to the job of your dreams.

For five more tips on becoming an event planner, check out our source: 10 Steps to a Job as an Event Planner.

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