Careers in Event Planning
Event planners design, organize and coordinate conventions, conferences, corporate meetings, exhibitions, etc. In fact, there are thousands of events of every scale that need an event planner’s services. Somebody is always needed to oversee all the details and to ensure that the event happens, successfully.
Event planners are responsible for every aspect, from marketing, catering, signage, displays, translation, audio-visual equipment, printing and security. They also take care of participants' accommodations and transport. They are responsible for the financial side: setting and monitoring the overall budget for the venture.
- Political and Union events.
- Conferences and conventions.
- Trade shows.
- Company socials.
- New product launches.
- Charity fundraisers.
- Grand openings.
Typical Tasks for a career in event planning
In many ways, event management is linked to advertising and marketing. The planner needs to imagine the event is a product or brand, and then develop and promote it in a creative way. Ultimately, what’s important is that the attendees (the consumers) have a positive experience that leaves them feeling good about the organizers. The same applies whether the organizer is a business, charity or family.
Logistics is critical in the planning process, in particular the management and co-ordination of services and supplies. Every physical detail needs to be considered, from the layout and design of the venue, to lighting, sound, communications and other technical concerns. Catering and bar services must be organized, along with relatively mundane concerns such as security, parking and toilet facilities. Promotion, public relations and advertising must also be planned and executed, where necessary. Last but not least, the performers, speakers or participants need to be booked and fees agreed.
The Event Planner must cost all of these aspects (and others, depending on the specific event) in advance, checking that the budget balances. Later comes the management of the event itself, which is when the degree of success in the planning and organization stages becomes evident to all. Afterwards, they must ensure that all incoming and outgoing monies are resolved.
Would a career in event planning suit you?
Event management and planning is a career that offers excitement and a degree of glamour in return for hard work, a large amount of energy and flexibility, and a high level of organizational and logistical skills.
You need to be a well organized worker who is skilled in co-ordination, particularly with regard to logistics. Your presentation and communication skills should be excellent, and you should be able to motivate other people. Knowledge of marketing and press relations is invaluable, along with a creative approach to solving problems and ‘making things happen’. Above all, you must be a hard worker, who is prepared to put in extra hours to ensure that the job gets done within budget and on time. This work requires perfection, so you must be willing to pay attention to every detail. You also need to be capable of handling last minute mishaps that may happen despite superb co-ordination and arrangements.
Top event planners typically possess Bachelor's degrees in business administration, marketing, tourism or hospitality administration. Most do not have or need advanced degrees. However, if you wish to be involved with planning major conventions and trade shows, you may benefit from an MBA or a master’s degree in hospitality management.
Salary and Prospects for Careers in Event Planning
The international conference and hospitality industry continues to grow rapidly, while marketing and public relations are an ever more important area of business. But do bear in mind that marketing and hospitality budgets are swiftly cut when the economy goes through a downturn, so corporate event planning careers can have their ups and downs.
There could be a job for you whether you are looking for event planning careers in Los Angeles, or an event planning career in Arizona or wherever you live.
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