If you love meeting new people, handle stress well, and pay attention to even the smallest of details, then learning how to become an event planner might be a great choice for you.

Whether you’re an experienced professional looking to make a change or a student wondering what type of degree to pursue, there are a number of paths you can use to break into the events industry.

The first step? Getting the education you need to excel in an event planner career.

Path 1: Earning a hospitality management degree

A bachelor’s degree isn’t required to become an event creator, but it’s strongly recommended — as not having one might hurt your career later on. So what’s the right major for becoming an event planner?

A degree in hospitality management is generally seen as a precursor to an event planner career. But if your college doesn’t offer the degree, there are other majors that will prepare you as well. These include:

  • Marketing
  • Public relations
  • Communications
  • Tourism management
  • Business

Whichever major you choose, your coursework should cover the following topics:

After you get your degree

Once you earn your degree, you’ll need to acquire enough real-world experience to land event planning jobs. Internships, shadowing, and relevant entry-level work can all help you do just that. Consider applying to jobs like:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Catering coordinator
  • Estate management
  • Guest relations coordinator
  • Volunteer event coordinator

Keep reading for other ways to gain critical work experience and broaden your event planning education once you’re in the workforce.

Path 2: Switching careers to event planning

If you already have an established career and you’re looking to break into the event planning business, you probably have a strong set of transferable skills you can rely on to crossover. That said, you’ll likely want a baseline in event planning education to make the switch.

Here are some methods to prepare yourself for your first round of event planning job applications and interviews.

1. Identify your transferable skills

Research the events industry and get a clear picture of how your work history and strengths will help you as an event creator. Look at what you’re very good at and the job description, then identify which matches you have.

According to specialist events recruiter Robert Kenward, “You then need to spell that out to the employer and also tell stories about any relevant experience you have that will interest them. If you’ve been involved in an event before, don’t just mention it off the cuff; tell a story about your involvement.”

2. Complete an internship

An internship can help provide a valuable, hands-on experience, as well as a taste of what event planning jobs will actually be like. Event planning is a stressful job and it’s important to make the switch with your eyes open.

Other ways to earn experience include:

  • Networking (e.g. joining Meetings Professionals International)
  • Starting small (coordinating meetings and forums)
  • Finding a mentor

3. Attend conferences

Conferences are a great way to network, get up to speed on the latest issues and trends, and better see how your transferable skills will be able to serve you in your new role as a live or online event planner. There are many events out there for event creators every year.

4. Read up on the industry

Knowing your knowledge gaps can help you better fill them in with the right books. Taking the time to educate yourself about the profession will help you talk about it in interviews and feel confident when you land your first job.

Not sure where to start? Read 20 Event Planning Guides for Every Step of Your Event.

5. Earn a certification

Depending on your interest and the type of events you would like to work on, you can find the right event planning certification to pursue.

These include:

Continuing your event planning education

Planning events can be a rewarding career, especially since it offers so many opportunities to grow. Once you’ve mastered the planning, it’s time to take the next step by continuing your education. Browse through our Event Management Courses and Certifications and select just the right courses to master the essentials for your event planning career. You’ll also find new classes in the Eventbrite Academy and our event hosting collection.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself on your path to event planning greatness with our tips for minimizing stress and increasing productivity.

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