Do you have a passion for creating unforgettable experiences?

Are you drawn to the challenge of transforming blank spaces into vibrant gatherings?

Does the glitz and glamour of meticulously planned events excite you?

If so, becoming an event planner could be your ideal career path. But where should you start?

This guide is a resource for both aspiring event planners and seasoned professionals. It offers foundational advice on how to become an event planner and includes advanced tips.

One last thing before you jump into the guide – Every pro was once a beginner. With practice, you’ll not only get better; you’ll become a master.

Tip #1 – Formal Education vs Self Taught

One of the first crossroads you’ll encounter is choosing between pursuing formal education or taking a self-taught path. Deciding between formal education and a self-taught approach is a personal decision. Consider factors such as your learning style, budget, time availability, and career objectives.

Mind Game Comedy GIF by AMC Networks - Find & Share on GIPHY

Here is a quick break-down on pros and cons of both styles of event management learning

Advantages Challenges
Formal Event Management Courses Structured Learning: Formal education provides a structured curriculum designed to cover all foundational aspects of event planning, from logistics and coordination to event budgeting and vendor relations. Cost: The most significant barrier to formal education is often the cost, including tuition, books, and other fees.
Networking Opportunities: Colleges and universities often offer networking events, career fairs, and internship programs, connecting students with industry professionals and potential employers. Time Commitment: Degree programs can take several years to complete, which may be challenging for individuals looking to quickly enter the workforce.
Credential Recognition: Earning an event management degree or CMP certification in event planning or a related field can enhance your resume, making you a more attractive candidate to potential clients or employers.
Self-Taught Flexibility: Self-learning allows you to study at your own pace and on your own schedule, ideal for those balancing other commitments. Lack of Structure: Without a set curriculum, it’s easy to miss important concepts or become overwhelmed by the vast amount of information available.
Cost-Effective: There are numerous free or low-cost resources available online, including webinars, tutorials, and eBooks, making self-teaching a more budget-friendly option. Challenges with Professional Recognition: In the event planning industry, accreditation and certifications, can play a significant role in establishing credibility.
Resourcefulness: Without the resources readily available in formal education settings, self-taught event planners learn to be resourceful, utilizing a wide range of tools and technologies to achieve their goals. This resourcefulness is crucial in event planning, where budget constraints and client expectations often require creative solutions. Navigating Industry Standards: Formal education programs in event planning not only provide accreditation but also ensure that students are taught according to industry standards and best practices. Self-taught individuals must independently seek out and keep abreast of these standards, which can be both time-consuming and challenging without guidance from accredited institutions.
Innovative Problem Solving: The self-taught journey encourages learners to seek out innovative solutions and creative ideas outside the conventional boundaries set by formal curriculums.

Tip #2 – Effective and Clear Communication

Sheldon Cooper Reaction GIF by CBS - Find & Share on GIPHY

Here’s how to enhance your communication skills:

  1. Clarity and Conciseness: Whether it’s verbal instructions to your team or emails, be clear with bullet points. Don’t have long monologues or write big paragraphs
  2. Active Listening: This involves fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively hearing the message.
  3. Feedback Loops: Establishing regular check-ins with clients, vendors and your team not only keeps everyone informed but also builds trust and opens the door for feedback.
  4. Books on Communication: There are numerous books that offer insights into improving communication skills. Titles like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie or “Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson provide timeless advice.
  5. Online Courses and Webinars: Various online offer courses on communication skills taught by industry experts, covering topics from effective listening to non-verbal communication.
  6. Networking Events: Attending industry networking events not only expands your professional circle but also offers a real-world platform to practice and refine your communication skills.

Tip #3 – Manage Event Vendor Relationships and Execution

Business Advice GIF by Build Your Dream Network - Find & Share on GIPHY

Beyond Pricing – The True Value of Vendors : Securing competitive pricing matters, but the real value of vendors extends far beyond cost. The quality of service, reliability, and their capacity to perform under pressure stand out as pivotal. Seek vendors who grasp your vision and dedicate themselves to realizing it.

Streamline with Technology: Use event management software like Nunify and Trello to improve how you work with vendors. These tools make everything from getting proposals to setting up easier, saving you time and keeping everything organized. This approach with technology helps you plan more efficiently.”

Simplify Payment and Contracts: Automate contracts and payments to maintain good relationships with vendors. Software platforms like DocuSign and automated payment systems ensure contracts are managed efficiently and payments are timely.

Value of Relationships: Vendors are key helpers in making your event, not just companies you hire. Building good relationships with them can make their services better, give you more options, and bring new ideas. Try to create win-win situations where working together and being creative are encouraged.

Engage Vendors Early On: Seeing vendors as partners gives you access to lots of expert advice and resources for planning your event. Bringing them in early lets you use their know-how to plan and run things better, helping make sure your events go off without a hitch.

Tip #4 – Quick Solutions and Cool Crisis Management

Expect the unexpected!

Finish Line GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Improve your ability to think on your feet, troubleshoot problems calmly, and adapt to last-minute changes with a smile.

Thinking on the feet come down to three things: planning ahead, effective communication, and strong relationships. With these in your toolkit, you can turn any event chaos into a story of triumph.

Tip #5 – Master Time Management

Ever feel like you’re juggling a dozen balls at once, trying not to let any drop? That’s pretty much the daily life of an event planner, but imagine doing it with ease.

The secret weapon is time management

Seth Meyers Lol GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers - Find & Share on GIPHY

Lists Are Your Best Friend

Start with lists. But not just any lists—create a system. Break down your tasks into daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Tools like Asana or Trello can be lifesavers, helping you visualize everything on your plate. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking off a task as complete.

Prioritize Like a Pro

Not all tasks are created equal. Learn to prioritize by urgency and importance. Sometimes, what feels urgent isn’t really that crucial, and it’s okay to push it back. This way, you’re always focusing on what moves the needle most for your event’s success.

Embrace the Power of ‘No’

Here’s a tough one: saying ‘no.’ It might feel counterintuitive, especially when you’re aiming to please, but overcommitting is a surefire path to burnout. Be realistic about what you can handle and set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious—treat them that way.

Delegate Wisely

You’re a superhero, but even superheroes have sidekicks. Delegating tasks to team members or volunteers isn’t just about lightening your load; it’s about empowering others. Trust your team and provide clear instructions. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish together.

Tip #6 – Embrace Event Technology

Are you still tracking your event budget on spreadsheets?

Manually plotting seating arrangements?

Sending out email invitations individually?

Continuing to use paper and Excel, leading to long queues at the check-in desk?

Hearing attendees complain about not being aware of certain pre-event communications?

Looking for newer ways for event networking and audience engagement?

Capturing feedback through paper forms at the end of your events?

And still have no idea about your ROI?

If yes, then time for you to pick up one or more of these tools NOW !

Software Primary Use Case
Event Management Software Event requisition, RFPs, Vendor management, Invoicing, Budgetings, Analytics and Event ROI
Registration Software Email invites, RSVP forms, ticketing, onsite check-in
Event App Attendee communication, Audience engagement, Networking, Gamification, Paperless Event , Surveys

Tip #7 – Internships or Volunteer at Events

Offer your expertise at non-profit events, community gatherings, or even friend’s parties. Gain hands-on experience while building your portfolio and network. Get an internship with an event planning company or an event management company. Observe established experts, learn the ropes, and make essential industry connections.

Tip #8 – Build Your Brand and Portfolio

Your brand and portfolio are not just part of your business; they are your business in events.

Cara Delevingne Roger That GIF by National Geographic Channel - Find & Share on GIPHY

Create a Stunning Portfolio

First Impressions Matter – your portfolio is often the first interaction potential clients have with your work. It needs to be visually striking, professionally crafted, and tell your story before you even utter a word.

In addition to featuring high-quality photos and videos from past events, don’t miss out on testimonials. Make sure to spotlight your specialized expertise and any innovations. Let your personality shine through.

Pro Tip: Create a digital portfolio accessible through a website. This allows for easy sharing and updates, keeping your content fresh and dynamic.

Build a Social Media Presence

Doubt you need a “why” you need a social media presence writeup. So lets dive into specifics.

  1. Pick the Right Platforms: Instagram and Pinterest should be your go-tos. People look here for ideas on all kinds of events, from cocktail parties to graduation party ideas to team activities.
  2. Share Live and Behind-the-Scenes: Use Instagram Stories and Facebook Live to show what goes into planning events, share tips, and show what’s happening live.
  3. Talk to Your Followers: Always reply to comments and messages. Put up Q&A sessions and polls to get people involved. When you share something a follower has posted about your event, make sure to give them credit.
  4. Use Hashtags Smartly: Make a list of hashtags as a part of your Instagram marketing strategy. Choose hashtags that fit your brand and mix them with popular ones related to event planning. This helps more people find your posts.
  5. Run Paid Ads: Facebook and Instagram let you target your ads very specifically—to certain age groups, interests, and places. This way, you spend money on ads that reach the people most likely to be interested in what you offer.

Tip #9 – Pick a Niche

“Jack of all trades, master of none”?

Rob Mcelhenney Raven GIF by Apple TV+ - Find & Share on GIPHY

Here are some ideas to find your niche.

Hyper-local Expertise: Become the “go-to” planner for events tied to specific neighborhoods, cultural districts, or even historical landmarks. Offer unique experiences that leverage the hidden gems of these areas.

Themed Micro-niches: Cater to events within specific themes like sustainability, zero-waste, ethical sourcing, or even historical reenactments. Attract clients passionate about these values and create truly impactful experiences.

Experiential Niches: Focus on events that offer unique, immersive experiences like escape room-themed corporate retreats, interactive theater nights, or multi-sensory dining events. Push the boundaries of traditional event formats.

Storytelling Events: Become known for crafting events with a strong narrative arc, incorporating elements like live music, theatrical performances, or interactive storytelling to engage attendees emotionally.

Data-Driven Planning: Utilize your data analysis skills to optimize event logistics, personalize guest experiences, and track ROI for clients. Position yourself as the “analytical event planner.”

Multigenerational Events: Design events that cater to diverse age groups, incorporating activities and entertainment appealing to grandparents, parents, and children simultaneously. Address the rising demand for family-friendly and inclusive events.

Neurodiverse Events: Become an expert in planning events tailored to individuals with neurodivergence, like autism or ADHD. Use sensory-friendly elements, clear communication, and inclusive activities to create accessible and enjoyable experiences.

Niche Cultural Celebrations: Focus on planning authentic and respectful celebrations for specific cultural communities, drawing on your own cultural background or working closely with community leaders. Offer a platform for cultural expression and appreciation.


We hope these tips help you figure out how to become an event planner.

As 2024 unfolds, you’re now better positioned to navigate the exciting world of event planning. Remember, each step you take is a move toward realizing your dream career in event planning. Let 2024 be the year you transform those dreams.

Click to view original post

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *