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Event planners work in various capacities to help businesses, organizations and individuals plan successful events. Event planners may plan everything from weddings and baby showers to conferences and trade shows. While a college degree or formal training isn't necessary to become an event planner, there are a variety of skills and planning tools that can help event planners run successful businesses that attract clients.
If you're looking to become an event planner, regardless of the types of events you plan, ensure that your organizational skills are impeccable. Putting together an event takes months of planning and preparation. Event planners create time lines to help them keep event details organized, from selecting a venue to reserving a caterer. They have to keep track of contracts with each vendor they work with, and keep vendors and clients informed about any changes that may impact the event they're planning.
Event planners spend a lot of time negotiating with vendors as they organize events. They work to get fair prices for their customers that are within their customers' budgets. An event planner might negotiate with a catering company, an event venue, a printing company or a graphic designer.
Research skills are helpful when planning events that are based on themes, locating the best-priced vendors or identifying which media the event's target audience gets its information and news from on a regular basis. From searching for a venue to determining ways to attract event attendees, event planners need to be skilled at conducting research.
Niche and Target Market
Event planners with niches find great success as they are able to tailor their services to meet a certain type of clientele. Selecting a niche also helps you position yourself as an expert. You have the option of planning corporate, social or political events, to name a few. Wedding planners, for example, coordinate events from engagements to wedding brunches, serving as the bride-to-be's primary resource for wedding-related events. Niche event planners establish relationships with vendors within their areas of specialization, so that they have quality vendors to suggest to their clients.
Protect your event planning business with errors and omissions insurance. In the world of event planning, mishaps with the event, location or vendors can lead to litigation. Avoid the fees and expenses associated with lawsuits by purchasing insurance for your business.
Protect yourself further by working with a lawyer to create a service contract that outlines the services you provide and details your liability.
Education and Experience
You don't need a college degree or certification to become an event planner, but education can only enhance your skill set. Many event planners learn the industry by researching it, working as interns and starting out with entry-level event coordination positions. Education in event planning, marketing, management, operations, public relations and mass communications can help you become an event planner.
Miranda Brookins is a marketing professional who has over seven years of experience in copywriting, direct-response and Web marketing, publications management and business communications. She has a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Towson University and is working on a master's degree in publications design at University of Baltimore.