Thinking of Becoming an Event Planner? 5 Things to Know

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You’ve always played an instrumental role in planning and coordinating your own social events and vacations. So much so that your friends and family turn to you for help planning their special events. And now you’re thinking you might have found your calling as an event planner.

Becoming a professional event planner, and launching your own business, is not going to be easy. But with the right tools, advice, mindset, and goals, you can do big things. Before you take another step in your event planning career journey, keep reading. These are the insights you need to know to help provide some clarity as you embark on this new path.

1. The Event Planner Job Description 

One of the first concepts to consider as you plan a new event planning business is your job description. Get real about what you’ll need to get good at doing each step of the way. Having a complete description of the steps you’ll need to take will help you then build and develop your resources and processes to be the most effective. The role of an event planner involves wearing many hats, too.

You’ll need to prepare for the following:

  • Conducting client calls, sales presentations, and meetings.
  • Creative event development, including concepts, themes, and designs.
  • Contract management with your clients and vendor partners.
  • Event budgeting and financial management.
  • To-the-minute schedule planning and organizing of event coordination.
  • Researching and relationship building to build a network of partners.
  • Contingency event planning solutions.
  • Software solutions for marketing and event management.

Create the list of actions you’ll want to be ready to take before you take on your first event-planning client. You’ll then be able to organize your efforts.

2. Event Planner Education and Experience

The most successful New York event planners will possess certain skill sets, experiences, and education that serve as the foundation for their event-planning prowess. These criteria, of course, aren’t mandatory for success and each event planner’s story is unique. However, these are the most common skills and credentials today’s event pros have on their resume.

  • Bachelor’s Degree (Business or Communications)
  • Hospitality Management or Public Relations 
  • Marketing Experience or Credentials
  • Minimum of two years of direct event planning experience
  • Certifications (CSEP, CMP, CPCE, CGMP, or CCEP)

If you have a chance to shadow other event planners before launching your own business, it can be incredibly insightful for you, too. Take stock of your credentials and event-planning chops, whatever they are, so you can use those strengths as a foundation for your portfolio of services and capabilities.

3. Finding Your Event Planner Niche

To really experience success as an event planning professional, you’ll need to find your niche first. There are several types of events you might be able to plan for your clients. But it’s drilling down on a niche that will serve you best. Choose a few from the vast demand for events out there and become a master at those before then branching out to offer other planning services. What kind of event planner will you be?

  • Corporate Events
  • Social Events
  • Weddings
  • Client Engagement
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
  • Product Launches
  • Fashion Events
  • Holiday Parties & Celebrations
  • Virtual Event Experiences
  • Team Building Activities
  • Production
  • Live Performances
  • Trade Shows & Conferences

4. Fridays Are Your New Mondays

Before you launch a new event planning business, you’ll want to consider the personal adjustments to make with your time, schedule, and work. Fridays are going to be your new Mondays, and weekends will be your prime working hours since many events happen on nights and weekends. Here are some other skills you’ll want to sharpen:

  • Organization is the top priority (you’ll be juggling ALL the balls)
  • Willing to adapt (be flexible about changing direction on a whim)
  • Creative (nurture your creative process ongoing)
  • Focused (there won’t be time for distractions)
  • Able to multitask (get good at tackling simultaneous tasks)
  • Good with budgeting (be a budget master)
  • An excellent communicator (be available with constant communication)
  • Composed and calm under pressure (prepare for pressure)
  • Ready to negotiate (negotiation is key to budgets)
  • Prepared to travel (you’ll always be on the go)

5. Collaborate and Form Strategic Partnerships

Probably the most important thing to consider before embarking on any new event planning journey is prioritizing new relationships. You’ll need to rely on strategic partnerships with others, including venues, catering pros, florists, entertainment reps, rental companies, and more. And even when you’re not busy planning a client’s event, you’re going to want to invest considerable time in networking and attending other events that allow you to get in the room with top professionals. No matter how great you are at all the other aspects of running an event planning business, if you’re not connecting and forming strategic relationships, you’ll stall quickly.

When you’re ready to take the leap and start an event planning business, keep these key insights in mind. And one of the best places to network, allowing you to get in the room with top industry influencers, other event pros, and key decision makers, is The Event Planner Expo 2023. It’s the #1 events industry conference of the year, right here in New York City. And you can’t afford to miss it! Learn more about participating opportunities, too, great for new event planners looking to meet groundbreaking contacts!


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