How To Become An Event Planner

How to become an event planner

Do you know, how to become an Event Planner? I am sure most of the people, reading this article, do not even know about an Event Planner i.e. what is meant by an Event Planner, what are his duties and who can become an Event Planner. Let us first answer these questions.

What is an event:

When a group of persons gets together in one place for some celebrations, or discussions on a specific point, the activity is called an Event. The group of persons may be large or small. For example a small group meeting at a dinner in a restaurant or a large group visiting an exhibition, both are termed as events.

Who is An Event Planner:

An Event Planner means a person who has the experience and capabilities to organize different events like marriage parties, picnic parties, exhibitions, trade shows, Sales Conferences, Meetings and all those events in which some or a number of people are called to participate.

An Event Planner is a very skilled professional and can professionally deal with large parties without the risk of any mistake. He cares for each and every segment of the event and links them in such a sequence that there does not arise any panic or misunderstanding at any stage. He has to concentrate on the goal of the event and if the goal is achieved he is praised otherwise he has wasted everybody’s time and money.

Why the Client hires a Professional Event Planner:

The events can be organized by a family member for family events and by an employee of the company for a corporate event. But the results could differ if a professional Event Planner is hired. Some of the reasons for hiring a professional for such are listed below:

  • The client does not have enough time to organize the event.
  • The client feels that he or his staff or friend may not conduct it professionally and the event may end as a flop. This may create an embarrassing situation for the client.
  • The client may assess that he may spend more money on the event than the available budget which may again result in embarrassment.
  • The client wants the Event Planner to make the event a success. He keeps himself out of all stresses and problems.
  • The client benefits from the professional knowledge of the Event Planner.

A professional Event Planner knows the difference between organizing a family function or a corporate function and the difference between a Dinner Party or an exhibition. He does not drive all events with the same stick.

How to Become An Event Planner:

A professional Event Planner has the following qualities:

  • He has excellent communication skills.
  • He understands the value of time and manages his events in the given time frame. He schedules his work according to the deadlines.
  • He has the abilities to organize the event properly from start to the end.
  • He has a good knowledge of computer and can manage a database.
  • He can work simultaneously on different jobs.
  • He can effectively and efficiently supervise and manage his team
  • He can work with or without a team
  • He can work under pressure without creating any panic.
  • He can manage budgets and remain within the budget limits.
  • He can negotiate with other service providers like caterers etc.
  • He can maintain a relationship at all levels of the management of the client.
  • He has a lot of experience regarding the selection of venue, catering, entertainment, transportation, accommodation, seating arrangement, lighting, sound, production equipment, photographs, speakers and other services according to the requirements.
  • He is creative, goes into details and has a strong memory.
  • He is highly organized and understands each event and solves the problems effectively.

One can understand, how complicated is the job of the Event Planner. He has to plan the schedule, arrange for the caterers, arrange for the seating arrangement, get the invitations printed and dispatched, arrange entertainment for the guests and so on. All this has to be discussed and got approved by the client before proceeding. Remember that there could be a chance that in spite of his sincere and good efforts, the event may fail. In such a case the Event Planner is nowhere. Therefore, anyone cannot become an Event Planner by chance. The Event Planner has to work hard.

Duties of an Event Planner:

  • Event Planners are responsible for overall planning of the events.
  • They guide the clients in the selection of the venue and the timing of the event.
  • They are responsible for providing all services at the venue including seating arrangement, meals and entertainments.
  • The Event Planner should ensure that the event starts and finishes on time. There should not be any delay on the part of the Event Planner. The event should go smoothly throughout without any problem.
  • The guests should leave satisfied and happy for being well entertained and looked after.
  • Before starting to organize the event the Event Planner must sit with the relevant persons for a brainstorming session to decide what type of services are required in the event, at what time and in which sequence?
  • An Event Planner works closely with vendors to provide best services and at the right time.
  • They are also responsible for arranging the event within available budget.
  • Event Planner is also responsible advertising the corporate events to attract as many guests as possible.

How to work as an Event Planner:

When a job is awarded to an Event Planner, he may not have enough time to remember everything what he want to know from the client. A checklist may always be ready for getting the required essential information about the event. The checklist may include but not limited to:

  • Client’s place of contact, his contact number and his decision making authority
  • Major objective of the event and any other secondary purpose
  • The output required from Event Planner by the client. What is his vision for the event and whether he wants a plan of action or implementation of the vision.
  • Budget is the most important thing. The amount allocated and its availability.
  • At what stage the Event Planner has been involved. Whether he is hired from the beginning or the client has done some activity on his own. If the client has already done some of his job, he may face some limitations in his decision making. It is very obvious that an Event Planner negotiates professionally and in a much better way as compared to the client or his staff.

Do you want to become an Event Planner?

Having studied the role, duties and responsibilities of an Event Planner, you may now decide whether to opt for this profession or not. It needs a hard work, concentration and intelligence. If your answer is still affirmative and you are ready to jump into this profession, I shall guide you how to become an Event Planner.

It can be a home based business but you cannot be an expert overnight. It needs at least 3 – 5 years experience in the field. More experience will be even better. Starting the business from organizing small parties would also need experience because you have to select a number of segments of the event like venue, vendors, menus and so on. You also need to know the rate at which you will be billing your clients and the legal contract to be signed with the client for your own protection. You should study literature available in the market on this profession.

Start your work by voluntarily offering yourself for the job in some local events. Join a professional to learn everything about the job. Learn how comprehensive planning is done for different types of events. Do not go for the money, go for experience. This way people will know that you are in this business.
Become a member of an association of professional event planners. Although certification in the profession from a relevant institute, is not necessary but sometimes it helps. According to a study certified Event Planners are more competent than others.

How to Market Your Services:

  • Set up a blog/web page. If you know how to create a new blog, do it yourself, otherwise hire a professional. Provide photos of previous events, list out the services you can provide. Give references of previous clients.
  • Enlist yourself in the Yellow Pages.
  • Advertise in the newspapers.
  • Contact various vendors providing services to other Event Planners and give your business cards.
  • Offer discounts or additional free services like free album of the photographs taken during the event.

After getting understanding of how to become an Event Planner, you may now start your business but be aware of your reputation. A good reputation will make you a successful Event Planner and vice versa.