Even as a student at school, you may find that you enjoy organizing and planning events. If this is the case, then event planning is a potential niche for your career path. Indeed, event planning can actually be extremely fun as long as you truly enjoy what you are doing.
On the other hand, planning events can be very stressful as it is a very demanding job. This is why not everyone has what it takes to become an event planner. Hence, here’s what you need to know about how to start a career as an event planner in college.
What Do You Need to Become an Event Planner?
Event planners are known for their ability to see the big picture and make sure that all of the small details come together perfectly. A successful event stems from countless hours of thought and preparation.
There’s no question that becoming an event planner requires creativity, attention to detail, and a lot of hard work. However, there are skills needed to be an event planner, and here are the skills you need to start your event planner career path.
- Organizational Skills: Obviously, you need to be a good organizer. Organizational skills are the foundation of any good event planner’s work because that’s pretty much what you will need to do – plan and organize.
- Negotiating Skills: At the same time, it’s very important to be a good negotiator and possess exceptional communication skills. Most of the time, you will need to be talking to different people, so you need to be able to persuade them to do what you want them to do.
- Budgeting Skills: A massive part of event planning is budgeting, which is why you need to be good at it. Knowing how to divide the budget between the different elements of the event is essential for you to be able to plan and execute the said event properly.
- Networking Skills: Particularly at the beginning of your career as an event planner, you will need to dedicate a lot of time to networking. However, it will be easier to get work once you have an actual client base.
- Flexibility and Adaptability: Some soft skills you will definitely need are flexibility and adaptability. These will help you get through even the most critical situations during your event planner career.
The bottom line is as an event planner, you are the face of your business and its vital center. In order to succeed in this role, you need the necessary event planner skills and qualities to balance several different things at once.
How Should You Get Experience?
As mentioned above, at the beginning of your career, it will be absolutely vital for you to network to get work. Networking is the only way you can get initial work when you don’t have enough experience or a big enough client base.
Moreover, the more experience you get, the more professional you will become at your job. This, in turn, means that you can potentially start getting more high-profile clients.
The best place to start in your journey to becoming an event planner is with volunteer work. You can help our non-profit organizations to plan their events and even participate in them by performing various tasks (anything you can get your hands on).
As you work at these events, start talking to different vendors and other guests to make valuable connections and then get actual clients.
Thanks to such volunteering, you will learn valuable event planning skills, get experience, and develop your network. However, you should also do your own research about the industry and follow the latest developments in event planning.
Another option is to find work at a hotel or convention center. Jobs like catering manager and conference services manager require many of the same skills as those needed by event planners, including working with vendors, developing budgets, negotiating contracts, and making sure that guests are happy with their experience.
You could also start planning your own events for fun. You could host parties or dinners at home and organize your friends’ birthdays or graduations; the sky’s the limit. Just start somewhere and see where it goes.
How Long Does It Take To Become An Event Planner?
Event planning can take a lot of different forms. You might be organizing small events like birthday parties and weddings or larger happenings like corporate conferences or even festivals. It all depends on what kind of event planning you’re interested in pursuing.
So the length of time it takes to become an event planner depends on the type of event planning you’re going for. It also depends on whether or not you’re going to get some certification first.
If you’re just planning on hosting smaller events like birthday parties, then there’s really no reason to go through a formal education program. But if you want to be an executive planner, you can expect to spend a couple of years learning the ropes.
Either way, though, the first step is getting your foot in the door, which you can do by volunteering for free at some events. Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, then you can start thinking about training or certification programs so that you can prove your value.
Though it may seem unnecessary, using social media to become an event planner can actually be an extremely good choice. As John Sheffield from a custom writing reviews site puts it, “Social media is perfect for growing your online presence which can be quite helpful for any professional in almost any industry.
It’s great for showcasing your past work and connecting with other professionals like yourself, among other things.
As an event planner, you will probably benefit most from Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook is regarded as the perfect social media platform for professional connections that is still casual enough. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is specifically designed to be used for professional needs.
Try both Facebook and LinkedIn, but you could probably settle for either and be successful enough with your platform of choice.
In your event planner career path, make sure to arm yourself with the skills and education that are necessary for you to be successful. Event planning is a career choice that can lead you into numerous industries and allow you to work with people from all walks of life.
To get started on this career path, use the tips in this article and make a plan for your future career.