Easily the most common question I am asked is, “What kind of event planning courses do I need to become an event planner?” And a few years ago, my answer was different than it is today.
Up until recently, event planning wasn’t really considered to be an actual career path. Special events were planned by volunteers and committees with only a few paid positions, and corporate events, meetings, and incentives were passed off to the marketing department or an administrative assistant.
As a result, there also weren’t any options for formal training or event planning courses available. Most of us “old timers” had to learn by the “school of hard knocks”; sink or swim, trial-and-error, learn as you go. It was painful and it wasn’t pretty; but thankfully, times have changed.
As more companies learn the value of professionally organized events, there is an increasing need for formal training in event planning. And, as the industry continues to grow more competitive, training and education will give you an edge over others who have no training at all.
Not to mention, it’s just common sense that you need to understand the basics of the job before you get a job!
The most important piece of advice Events by Emma can give you…
GET EDUCATED & GET EXPERIENCE
The most important thing to potential employers is your educational background and experience level. Event planning courses, university and college education, or training will give you the foundation you need to understand how to do the job; but hands-on experience will show that you can!
Potential employers do want to know what training or education you’ve had; but also, they want to know what kind of events you’ve been a part of, and what your role was in planning or executing them.
As a side note: I don’t want this to sound harsh, but please do not count the fact that you’ve planned your own wedding or helped plan three friends’ weddings as experience. This does not qualify you an as an experienced and trained event planner.
Volunteering and participating in intern and mentorship programs will give you the essential experience you need to secure a job, but it will also give you a chance to see if you really enjoy the work. The perception of event planning is very different than the reality; so use this time to figure out if you truly enjoy it before dedicating your life toward it. And, if you truly enjoy it, then volunteering won’t be much of a “sacrifice” at all!
Events by Emma has embraced these philosophies and practices and has created the following opportunities for those interested in the event industry:
- Intern & Mentor Programs
- Educational Seminars, Workshops and Classes
- Design Consultation
- Annual Industry Conference