Event Planning Courses & Careers
Working as an event planner is a fast-paced, detail-oriented job generally preferred by individuals who love socializing and working with the public. For those who are considering careers as event planners, nothing beats hands-on experience in the field. However, a solid education in event planning is also a necessity. While event planners of past decades may have worked their way into the trade from other vocations, today’s event planners need to hit the job market with well-developed skills in order to secure careers.
Becoming an Event Planner
Students who are considering becoming event planners have many good options when it comes to education and training. While there are no formal training requirements in place for event planners, most businesses and organizations will only hire individuals who have completed at least some college-level courses in hospitality or event planning. Employers don’t have time to train event planners, so they need to see that prospective employees already have experience working in a demanding environment and handling time-sensitive tasks.
The level of education required for event planning jobs varies from company to company, but business experts have indicated that most employers are
looking for candidates with four-year degrees in hospitality and tourism or hospitality management. Because work experience is key to landing event planning jobs, many prospective planners can benefit from pursuing distance learning for their degrees. DeVry University and Columbia Southern University offer online, four-year business degrees in hospitality management that are considered very desirable by employers.
In addition to school-based training, successful event planners also possess soft skills that simply can’t be taught in a classroom. Successful planners are highly organized and know how to organize others, but they’re not overly bossy. It’s important to have a soft touch with others and to possess excellent negotiation skills in order to get ahead as an event planner. Of course, planners also have upbeat attitudes and can make anything fun.
Gaining Work Experience
Building a strong resume is key to landing jobs as an event planner, but it can seem like a tough task for those who are still in school. Students who simply can’t work full-time jobs in event planning or a related field should consider doing an internship at a non-profit organization or volunteering to work a charity event. Internships and community service demonstrate work ability to potential employers, making them a must for event planning students.
Students who are considering studying event planning need to know not only what training they’ll need, but what their advancement prospects are like for the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that demand for event planners will be higher than average until at least 2022, meaning that there are plentiful jobs in the field. However, event planners who are focused on advancing to high-profile corporate positions may need to start out at a smaller company or organization. Smaller companies can be a springboard for event planners, especially those who have the savvy to build their business connections with career advancement in mind.