The Path to Becoming an Event Planner: There Isn’t One
I remember knowing that I had to switch college majors, but not knowing how. I didn’t even know where to begin to make my dreams a reality.
I remember searching the internet for hours, hoping to find information on the perfect educational route for an event planner.
I remember e-mailing local event planners, asking them for their educational background, hoping for some direction and insight as to how to enter the events industry myself.
There isn’t one right answer or one right path to becoming an event planner. Seriously, we all have such different backgrounds; however, if you’re looking for somewhere to start, here are a few tips to begin your event planning journey:
Photo by KLEM Studios
1. Job shadow
Shadowing an event planner can benefit you in more ways than one. Not only will you learn more about the area of work you’re interested in, but you’ll also make connections with local people in the events industry. You’ll quickly learn that being successful in this field of work has a lot to do with the connections you make and the impact you leave on the people you work with. Who knows, if you leave a lasting impression on the person you’re shadowing, you might open up the door for a future internship or job!
I never understood how entry-level jobs could require experience in the field of work at hand. The answer? Volunteering. There are so many opportunities out there to volunteer in the events world! Start building your resume by volunteering for local events – you might even be able to help with the behind-the-scenes planning… bonus! This volunteer experience should help you secure an entry-level events-related job position. My favorite resource for finding volunteer opportunities? VolunteerMatch.org.
3. Get some experience as a banquet server, event assistant, or set-up/clean-up crew member
Any job that gets you in and around events will benefit you in some way. This area of work is all about experience, and although some event jobs might not be glamorous, they will help you achieve your end goal.
4. Talk to someone in the industry
Again, there isn’t one “right” way to become an event planner. I’ve worked with planners who don’t have a college degree at all, who have a four-year degree in a completely unrelated field, who have a two or four-year degree in an events-specific program – we all took our own path to get here, and you’ll have to choose the path that is right for you, too. Talking with someone who has experience as an event planner might help guide you to the perfect path; if nothing else, he or she will be able to give you some valuable advice on how to become a leader in this field of work.
It’s never too late to make your dream job a reality. If becoming an event planner is your ultimate goal, go make it happen.
Have specific questions about working in the wedding and events world? Send me a message – I’d love to help in any way that I can!