How to Begin a Career in Event Planning

Event Planning

Are you an undercover social butterfly with a knack for organising? Well, Event Planning could be for you. Let’s go behind the scenes and see what it takes to become an Events Planner.

Chances are you remember an amazing event that you’ve attended at some point. Maybe it was the sophisticated lighting, the delicious catering or even the snazzy-looking dance floor that got you on your feet. Whichever way you look at it, a well-planned and executed event has the power to be memorable and breath-taking.

Event Planning

Contrary to the popular notion, working in events isn’t just related to party planning. Done correctly, good event planning can generate a good feeling that will keep your guests talking well after the event is over.

What is Event Planning?

A successful event planner is a visionary. When it comes to events, they are the ones who look at the bigger picture and pull the necessary strings required to ensure that everything comes together. An events planner can be described as the grand architect who normally gets involved in high-level decisions in order to get things done. This is often a client-facing role in which an event planner selects venues, showcases portfolios and oversees elements of catering and production.

Event Planning vs. Event Co-ordination: What is the Difference? 

Just to be clear, there is a distinct difference between the roles of event planners and event co-ordinators. Before we look at an event planner’s skills and requirements, let’s first understand the difference between event planning and event co-ordination.

 

A Snapshot of Event Planning and Event Co-ordination:

 

EVENT PLANNING

An event planner sits at the top of the decision-making chain in the realisation of an event. Some of his/her duties are as follows:

EVENT CO-ORDINATION

An event co-ordinator is the event’s action man/woman. He/she is the implementer, fixer and doer when it comes to making the event come together.

  • Refining the vision and the budget for the event based on what the client has asked for
  • Following the brief set out by a client (For example: If a client requested an underwater themed party for a five-year-old, the event planner will ensure that this happens.)
  • Making critical decisions in the event planning process. Such as identifying suppliers and talent that would suit the tone of the function.
  • Booking venues, suppliers and vendors
  • Processing paperwork for payments
  • Keeping track of money spent on the project in relation to the budget
  • Liaising with suppliers and stakeholders

 

Admittedly, if you are an entrepreneur, there will be a great deal of overlap in roles while you find your feet and employ the right kind of staff to fit your bouquet of services. The growth path of becoming an event planner isn’t always linear so even if you are a little overcommitted at first, have courage and faith that you can go the distance.

What Skills do you need to be an Event Planner?

A good event planner possesses some of the following qualities:

1. Good time management skills

Critical timing is everything when it comes to any event. An event planner needs to have vision enough to map out what is needed on a high level. Some considerations would be:

  • Briefing the events co-ordinator in time to execute his/her duties
  • How soon suppliers need to be paid in order to secure their services for the date of an event
  • What time do suppliers need to come into a venue to set up?

2. The ability to multi-task 

Think of yourself as a puppeteer. In order for the show to take place, you would have to learn the art of how to pull several strings simultaneously in order to have a cohesive puppet show. You will need to find ways to multitask and be dynamic in your thinking. While your suppliers and service providers can hardly be compared to puppets, you will still have to control all planning and briefing that will bring the event together.

3.  Business minded

Especially when you first start out in this field, it is easy to want to bend over backwards to accommodate your client’s every request. While this may seem like a good thing to do, you also have to remember to be business-minded in your dealings. You will need to make executive decisions around what can and cannot be reasonably achieved. Be accommodating, but don’t be a pushover.

4. Calm with a sense of Urgency

Remember that the event planning world is about interaction with people. Often times, clients can choose to book an event planner, based on their attitude and demeanour. Be authentic, but also know that you will need to find ways to enhance your communication skills. You will have to be an oasis of calm, treat your staff, suppliers and clients with courtesy, all while having a sense of urgency in getting things done.

5. Creative and Innovative Thinking

Fact: things often can and do go wrong in the eventing world. Even the most careful event planner will need to be creative and innovative with contingency plans if it comes to that.

How to Become an Event Planner? 

Not everybody has a clear career path to becoming an event planner. Some get into the field quite by accident. Whether you choose this path deliberately or you find yourself in it by chance, having some kind of training, in the events management field, is definitely useful.

Where do Events Planners work? 

If you are one of those people who loves working in different settings and being on the move, then the world of event planning is for you. Event planners may work from home or their own event planning company in the initial phases of landing a contract. Following that, however, planners have many site visits, meetings with suppliers and vendors as well as scouting out venues.

Careers in event planning and management:

Before you decide to get into the field of event planning/management, do a little bit of introspection about eventing. Think about which area will bring you the most fulfilment. Your passion for eventing could take you into wedding planning, fund-raiser planning, or event management for recreation, parks and tourism offices. Not everybody is necessarily looking at being a planner. You might get fulfilment from co-ordinating, supervising, communication or even being a service provider.

What Training do you need to be an Event Planner? 

Once you know more about the career path in which you’re heading, it helps to get the appropriate training that’ll take you in that direction.

Damelin Correspondence College offers an event planning qualification that covers a number of wide-reaching and dynamic areas. Some of the areas that you can expect to cover during your studies are:

  • Event sponsorship
  • Event planning and communication
  • How to start your small business or Events Company
  • Aspects of entrepreneurship and marketing that relate to the events field 

Entrance requirements to enrol for the course are as follows:

Grade 10 or equivalent or relevant work experience.

EduConnect 2Cents

The events planning and event management industry is one that has the potential to be very rewarding. If you have a flair for the social, planning and strategic elements that form part of this field, it would definitely be worth your while to get into the field. Satisfy your inner busy bee and social butterfly in the world of eventing, event planning and event management!

This could be the career of your dreams!  Fill out the form and Damelin will contact you!

  • Sponsored by Damelin Correspondence

    Calling all people from Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Gauteng - Damelin Correspondence wants to help you get a qualification today.

Related Articles

Top