If you are looking to get into the event planning, well look no further, this post is for you. Being in the event industry, it is not an easy thing to do. Some people think that the event industry is fun and easy – full of travel, chair ties, and big screens. They see captivating social media posts from other event planners, and they feel they would like to do it too. Many people aspire the luxurious, and exotic destinations, but rarely do they see the event planning war room.
Seriously, I have no doubt that if applying yourself in the right way, anyone could jump into the industry be very successful. But keep in mind that it does take hard work and dedication just like any other profession. There is a lot to learn, and different ways of approach to get in. Here are some suggestions to on how you can breakthrough into event planning.
I must say, I am very impressed and proud of the event planning industry. We now boast a variety of degreed programs that are available at many universities and technical colleges across the globe. There are also many programs that offer event management certifications too.
If you choose to go the route of higher education, you can expect dynamic, hands on classes, that teach you a broad scope of event planning. Another advantage are the internships that are available, offering you hands on experience in the industry. When you are completed with your education, you will have a foundation of knowledge about the event industry, which is very important. Knowing a baseline of information before you go into the workforce, only works to your benefit.
Entry Level Position
Some individuals find it advantageous to secure a role in entry-level position in event planning right away. If you are in a position where your lifestyle can support an entry level position, go for it. Learning the basics of service, are key takeaways from securing these types of roles. There are several access points that welcome many people without experience in the industry. Here are a few ways that you may want to consider.
The hotel industry has many different entry level areas in which someone can get into. Many aspiring event planners start at the front desk, banquets, restaurants, or even catering areas. There are even some unique roles in a hotel to also consider. By demonstrating your competence at this level you will make a way for quick promotions into other areas of the hotel to include management. It has even been suggested that hotels search cast a wide net and employee goes without experience, so this works to you benefit.
Event Management Companies
Third-party event management companies often have entry-level positions, especially if a person can prove that they are organized and detail oriented. There are roles in attendee management, web design, limited planning, accounting, administration, and other areas of interest. Again, in this swiftly moving industry, it will not take long to make your mark and move upwards.
Non-profit organizations / fundraising event
Many times, there are local non-profit organizations that need help in their organization. Although compensation can vary, getting involved can provide you with some unique hands-on experiences that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. If you have the time to contribute to one of these organizations, you can be a part of a rewarding experience. You also will have the opportunity to put your experience on your resume for your next role in the industry.
If you don’t have any experience in the industry yet, volunteering is a great way to accumulate some hands-on experience. You’ll find that there are many ways to volunteer and many events happening in the community that can use an extra hand. Whether they are publicizing the need for help or not, definitely give them reach out and inquire if you can assist them in any way. Once you help out for an event, try to get more involved at the next event to build up your experience.
Event Industry Organizations and Connections
Joining industry organizations can open you up to some great opportunities like networking, jobs, and connections. When you join industry events you can speak directly to people that make hiring decisions in their company. This helps to make useful networking connections for future. Organizations such as MPI also boast student rates that every student should take advantage of.
There are so many bright and talented individuals that have taken the specific challenge of being an entrepreneur. To do this, you do have to ensure that the path of entrepreneurship is one for you. This route is very challenging but extremely rewarding if done the right way. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, having a good handle on business basics is a good thing to invest in. Being an entrepreneur demands dedication and confidence so if this is the route you take, do so in stride.
When you don’t have direct experience in the area of event planning, a direct referral does go a long way. Getting a direct recommendation from the person that you know, helps others understand your true abilities. If you do not have a direct referral try to establish a referral by some strong networking. Always remember, the event industry is a tight knit industry, so make sure to not burn any bridges should things not work out.
So for those that want to break into the industry, take heart, there is a way. If you are a fellow event planner, and you have some additional ways that could help a newbie to the industry, let’s keep the conversation going!