If you believe you have the attributes to become a professional event planner – that is, you’re creative, detail oriented, and enjoy working with people – and you’d like to pursue a career as an event planner, it’s time to formulate a plan to break into the field.
Whether your goal is to become an independent, self-employed event planner, or to get an event planning position within a company, gaining knowledge and experience is a crucial first step on your career path. There are a number of ways to get the information and experience you need to join the event planning profession. Your choices depend upon the opportunities available to you.
If you’re currently employed, spend time researching the events that your company sponsors. Get a sense of both the types of events – such as small group meetings or training and larger conferences – as well as the person or people responsible for organizing those events. If your company doesn’t have an event planner on staff, it may use an independent meeting planner. Alternately, event planning may be decentralized, with individual departments organizing their own events.
Get to know an event planner
If there’s an event planner on staff, get to know them. Express your interest in event planning and enquire about the course of their career path. Volunteer to help out at an upcoming event. The event planner at your company may turn out to be the perfect mentor for you. Mentors not only help you gain experience and knowledge, but they can also open many doors for you and introduce you to a network of event planning professionals.
Offer your services
If your company’s event planning is decentralized, try and position yourself so that you can organize your department’s events. Once you gain experience, you’ll be in a position to propose consolidating the company’s entire event planning needs into one staff position. You, of course, would be the perfect person to fill that position. Likewise, if your company uses an independent event planner, once you gain experience, you will be in a position to propose bringing event planning in-house, with you as the company’s event planner.
Apply for a position
If your current employer doesn’t have event planning opportunities, consider applying for a position with a company that holds or plans events. Look for employment opportunities in marketing departments, since those are the departments often responsible for planning company events.
Organize events in your local community
Another way to gain experience is to volunteer to organize events in your community. Schools, churches, and community groups are always on the lookout for volunteers to plan fundraising events. Unpaid experience will teach you just as much as on-the-job training, and has the added benefit of giving you breathing room to learn from any mistakes you may make. There are many ways to break into the field of event planning. When considering event planning as a career, look at your options and plan your career path accordingly.
To start your career in event planning, sign up for our draping short courses!
Foundational Draping in Durban: 29-30 November 2010. This will be the last course in Durban for 2010!
Draping Advanced in Pretoria: 17 – 20 November 2010. (3 evenings and 1 full day) Remember: this will be the last course in Pretoria for 2010!
Next year we will be offering a Partly Distance Learning Events Skills certificate!!!! Keep watching our news letters for more info!