How to Become an Event Planner: Tips and Tricks

Event planning is a lucrative and exciting industry growing by leaps and bounds. There is a considerable increase in people searching for “party event planners near me.” So, if you are thinking about starting a career in event planning, this is the perfect time to do so. 

In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know on how to become an event planner. We will discuss some helpful tips and tricks on how to get you started in this field.

Key Points

  • How to Become an Event Planner
  • How to Get Your First Client
  • Our Takeaway

How to Become an Event Planner

A career in event planning is more than just organizational skills and a love of parties—although those are essential qualities to have. Here are some practical steps you can take to succeed in this fast-paced field.

Create a Plan

The first step to becoming an event planner is to create a plan. This should include setting some goals and objectives, as well as researching the event planning industry. Once you have a good understanding of the event planning field, you can start identifying your niche.

Get an Event Coordinating Degree

As we’ve said earlier, there are no formal educational requirements to be an event planner. Still, it would be good to have a bachelor’s degree in event management or a related field. If you’re not sure what type of degree to get, consider your career goals and the type of events you’d like to work on.

Gain Formal Training

While you’re completing your bachelor’s degree, it would be helpful to complete some training on how to be an event planner. This will give you very specific skills and knowledge to succeed in the field. 

Collect Certifications

Once you have your degree and some training under your belt, the next step is to start collecting certifications. This will help you stand out from the competition and show potential employers that you’re seriously considering event planning careers.

The most common certifications for event planners are CSEP and CMP. However, you can also obtain certifications from crash courses in Microsoft Office and Google Suite to level up your administrative skills.

Build Up Work Experience

No guide on how to become an event planner would be complete without mentioning work experience.

Many event planning positions will require you to have at least two years of relevant experience. If you’re new to the field, you can start by volunteering for local events or working as an intern in an event planning company.

You might not get paid for these roles, but the sacrifices you make at the initial stages of your career will pay off in the future. This tip will help you go from being an event planner with no experience to a rockstar party planner.

Learn the Latest Technology

Event planning is a fast-paced and ever-changing industry, so it’s essential to keep up with the latest technology. The event planning industry is constantly upgrading, so you need to change with it.

Becoming familiar with the latest programs and how to use them can be beneficial because some platforms allow you to automate tasks, making coordination easier. On top of this, the latest advancements in technology enable you to become an event planner, even for online happenings.

Choose a Specialization

While it’s not necessary to specialize in a specific area, it can be helpful to choose a focus. This will make you more attractive to potential employers and help you develop a robust skillset. Here are the most common specializations you might want to consider:

  • Social Event Planner

Social event planners are in charge of organizing and executing events designed to bring people together for a specific purpose. Common examples of social events include weddings, parties, receptions, and conferences.

  • Professional Corporate Event Planner

A corporate event planner is responsible for planning and executing events designed to promote a company or its products. Common examples of corporate events include trade shows, product launches, and holiday parties.

  • Non-Profit Organization Event Planner

A non-profit organization planner is someone who helps to ensure that the organization runs smoothly and efficiently. This includes developing budgets, creating marketing plans, and coordinating fundraising activities.

Non-profit organization planners must have strong administrative skills and be able to work collaboratively with others. This type of planner plays a vital role in ensuring that the organization can continue to fulfill its missions.

Join Professional Associations

If you want to become an event planner, you should be prepared to have a lot on your plate. There is a lot to think about when planning an event, from finding the perfect venue to coordinating catering and entertainment. Professional associations can help take some of the stress out of event planning by providing access to resources, networking, and educational resources.

For example, many professional associations offer discounts on event-related products and services. They also provide members with a forum to share ideas and best practices. In addition, professional associations often offer an event planner course or continuing education opportunities, which can help event planners stay up-to-date on industry trends.

By joining a professional association, event planners can save time and money while gaining valuable insights into the ever-changing world of event planning. Popular event planning associations include the International Special Events Society (ISES) and the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE).

Build a Portfolio

When you’re starting, it’s essential to begin building a portfolio of your work immediately. This will give potential employers an idea of your abilities and style. As you gain experience, your portfolio will continue to grow, which can help you establish your career and become an event planner faster.

There are a few ways to go about building a portfolio. One option is to create a website or blog where you can showcase your work. Another option is to create an online portfolio using specific creative platforms.

If you’re not sure where to start, try reaching out to other event planners in your network and asking for advice on how to become an event coordinator, or you can use these helpful tips to build your portfolio.

  • Use Creative Event Photos

One of the best ways to showcase your skills is to use creative event photos. This can include pictures of the decor and food at your events. You can also use before and after photos to show how you transformed a space.

If you’re not a professional photographer, there are a few things you can do to make sure your photos are high quality. Take advantage of natural lighting by taking photos during the day or in well-lit areas. Also, edit your photos to make them look their best using free online photo editors. These creative tips on how to be a party planner will help you fast-track your career.

  • Include Volunteer Work in Your Portfolio

If you’re just starting, you may not have a lot of paid event planning experience. However, that doesn’t mean your portfolio has to be empty. You can include volunteer work, internships, and even personal events in your portfolio. This will help showcase the skills you have.

  • Quote Client Feedback

Including client feedback in your portfolio is a great way to showcase your event planning and customer service skills. Client feedback can come in the form of letters, emails, or even online reviews. Be sure to include quotes that highlight your ability to plan and execute successful events.

Get Business Insurance 

When we think about how to become a party planner, we often overlook the need to insure the event planning business. But, it’s a crucial step. This will protect you financially if something goes wrong at one of your events.

There are a few different types of insurance you should consider as an event planner. The first is general liability insurance, which will cover you if someone gets injured at your event or if a property is damaged. The second is professional liability insurance for protection against negligence accusations.

It would be best to consider getting business interruption insurance that comes in handy if an event gets canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. By insuring your business, you’re protecting yourself, your career as a professional party planner, and your business from ruin.

Foster Connections

As an event planner, you’ll be working with many different suppliers. These relationships can be beneficial for both parties. For example, you may be able to get discounts on services or products from certain vendors. Also, they may be more likely to give your events priority over others.

If you want to foster these connections, it’s important to be professional and courteous. Be sure to communicate, meet deadlines, and pay your invoices on time. By maintaining good relationships with your suppliers, you can ensure that your events run smoothly and that you get the best possible service.

How to Get Your First Client

Now that you know how to become an event planner and build your portfolio, it’s time to get your first client. Here’s what you can do to increase your chances of success.

Start by networking with people in your industry. Attend events, join organizations,  and connect with other event planners. These connections can lead to recommendations, which can help you get your first client.

Another way to get your first client is to offer free services or a discounted rate. This will allow you to showcase your skills and build a relationship with the client.

Some event planners get started by working with a company. This can be a great way to learn the ropes, and once you’ve gained experience, you can start your own business.

How to Become an Event Planner: Our Takeaway

A lot of work goes into event planning, and it’s not as easy as it may seem. However, with the right tools and resources, you too can become a planner and create successful events.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what it takes to coordinate events and served as a guide to becoming a successful event planner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a beginner event planner?

If getting a formal education is within your means, you can start by enrolling in a school that offers an event planning degree. If it’s not possible, you can try these steps:
Develop a strong understanding of the event planning process. This means familiarizing yourself with the different event planning stages, from initial concept development to on-the-day management.
Build a network of contacts within the industry to help you source suppliers and services for your events. This includes venue managers, caterers, and so on.
Upgrade your organization skills to the next level for efficient execution of your plans.

Do event planners earn a lot?

Event planners typically earn a decent wage. With time and experience, event planners can move up the ladder and earn a higher salary. Some event planners also choose to freelance, which can be a great way to earn a higher income.
In general, event planners with more experience and expertise tend to earn more money than those just starting out. So if you’re thinking about becoming an event planner, rest assured that you could potentially earn a good wage.

What type of event planner makes the most money?

The type of event planner that makes the most money depends mainly on the size and scope of the events they plan and their location and clientele. For example, a wedding planner in a small town is unlikely to make as much money as a corporate event planner in a major city.

Similarly, an event planner who only works with high-end clients is likely to make more money than one who works with budget-conscious clients. Event planners who can command higher fees and work with affluent clients tend to make the most money.

How do I start an event planning business with no money?

While starting a business with little to no capital is possible, it will require some initial investment to get things off the ground. The most straightforward tip on how to be an event coordinator with little to no money is to keep the overhead costs low.

Here are some techniques to lower your operating expenses:

  • Hold off running a physical office and work from home at the initial stages of your business.
  • Utilize free or low-cost marketing channels like social media platforms, flyers, and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Negotiate discounts with suppliers.

How long does it take to become an event planner?

The amount of time it takes to be an event planner can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, and training. While there is no set timeline for becoming an event planner, most experts agree that it takes several years to develop the skills necessary for success.

How to become an event planner without a degree?

Many people who enter the event planning field have no related education. However, what most lack in formal training, they make up for by gaining practical work experience. Therefore, while an event planner degree can certainly be helpful, it’s not always necessary.

One way to get started and learn how to become an event planner is to get involved with a local community organization that plans regular events.

Many event planners also start by working as assistants to more experienced planners. This allows them to learn the ropes and gain hands-on experience.