An event planner is someone who plans and makes the arrangements for special occasions such as weddings, birthday party and retirement parties, charity fundraisers, civic functions such as parades, and corporate conventions. Although no formal education is needed in order to become an event organiser, there are some character traits which are necessary in order to be successful in this profession. The individual must be very organized and detail oriented. He or she must also be a “people person” who is capable of working with a demanding clientele as well as the occasional no-show vendors. Most event planners are self-employed and work many nights and weekends as this is when most formal functions occur. Event companies
Here are suggestions on how to become an event Manager / Planner:
* The first step is to decide whether you will specialize in one field or dabble in everything. There are definite advantages to specializing as you would become known as the person to go to for weddings or for corporate events. An event organizer with a specialty generally earns more as he or she is considered to be an expert in that field. It is also easier to follow the trends in one specialty rather than every specialty. The downside is that you would not be considered for other types of events which could mean an occasional slow period for work. Event planning does have its high and low seasons and they vary by specialty.
* Go to the library and search online for all of the information pertaining to your chosen specialty. You need to learn things such as how to research a vendor’s reputation (especially important with caterers because you won’t have a party without food), how to negotiate and enforce a contract, payments, how to work within the client’s budget, how to develop a list of reliable vendors for different aspects of the event, etc.
* An extremely important skill to learn is how to develop a client questionnaire that will cover all of the information during the first interview. You will look unprofessional if you have to keep calling the client asking for more information. It’s fine if you want to clarify something but otherwise it makes the client feel that she is doing all of the work.
* Enroll in a small business class at your community college to learn the aspects of starting and running your own business. You will need to know how to develop a business plan because a business without goals (and a detailed way to attain those goals) will never get off the ground. The course should also teach how to set up a business in your state, basic tax and accounting needs, business liability insurance, and several other aspects of running a small business.
* As you are learning everything and taking the small business class, volunteer to help a professional event planner at a charity event. It is an opportunity to get hands on experience as well as make some contacts within your chosen profession. Ask for permission to take photos of the decorations or whatever you helped with to add to your resume and portfolio. You may also find that your level of confidence increases as you continue to volunteer while taking the small business class.
* If you have made a significant contribution to a volunteer event, then ask the event planner if he or she will write a recommendation for your portfolio. You need to have an impressive portfolio to show to prospective clients and a recommendation from someone working in the field means as much as the photos of the events.
* Most of the time you will be going to the client’s home or place of business in order to make arrangements for upcoming events. However, there will be times when they will want to stop by your office perhaps to sign a contract or drop off a check. A home office can work against you unless you live in an upscale neighborhood and do not have young children running around. If this is the case, then rent a small office in the best part of town. Remember the old real estate adage — location, location, location.
* If you are looking for work when just starting out in the field, contact the major hotels in your area. They usually have many functions going on at the same time so there is the possibility that their event planner might be willing to hire you part time to help with the overflow.
Diya is a content writer. Presently working with a Wedding Planner, event management company. For more on Event Management and event planning visit www.funfilms.in