The event planning profession is experiencing a positive growth trend, with an estimated 18% increase in employment opportunities over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the world recovers from the pandemic recession and the demand for professionally planned meetings and events rises, the outlook for event planners remains highly favorable. Read more career blogs at college49.
Who is an Event Planner?
In simple terms, an event planner is a central figure in organizing and coordinating all aspects of a meeting or event. They handle tasks such as venue selection, transportation management, and on-site administration. Event planners work closely with clients, hospitality staff, event attendees, and volunteers. Common personality traits of successful event planners include being enterprising, energetic, and optimistic. They draw on their past experiences to ensure the smooth execution of large-scale occasions, overcoming any obstacles that may arise.
What does an Event Planner do?
An event planner also referred to as an event coordinator or event specialist, is a professional who takes on the responsibility of organizing and coordinating a wide range of meetings and special occasions for individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and other groups. These professionals may work either for a company or as freelancers, and their expertise is applicable across various industries such as hospitality and tourism, recreation, arts and culture, sports, fundraising, corporate marketing, and non-profit sectors. Some examples of the events an event planner may oversee include:
- Corporate gatherings
- Trade shows
- Black tie galas
- Fashion shows
What Do Event Planner Skills Have?
Successful event planners possess a common set of skills, including:
- Creativity: Thinking outside the box is essential for event planning, as innovation is what sets events apart and makes them memorable.
- Quick Thinking: Despite meticulous planning, unforeseen issues can arise during events. Event planners remain calm and find solutions promptly, often before guests or clients even notice any problems.
- Organizational Skills: Event planners thrive on structure and organization. They keep their team, including vendors and staff, informed about event-related matters at all times.
- Time Management: Events have schedules for a reason. Setting up and adhering to a well-planned schedule is crucial for ensuring a smooth flow and successful event.
- Effective Communication: Excellent communication skills are vital for event planners to engage with various stakeholders, from CEOs to waitstaff. Being a good listener is equally important, as event planners need to understand and meet their clients’ needs.
- Stakeholder Management: Event planners prioritize their clients’ requests and strive to fulfill them with a can-do attitude. They put the client’s interests first, ensuring their satisfaction and confidence.
- Negotiation: Negotiating skills are essential for keeping event costs within budget. Experienced event planners master the art of negotiation through practice and self-assurance.
- Multitasking: Event planners often find themselves juggling
What is the Eligibility to Become an Event Planner?
The eligibility criteria for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in event management differ based on the degree level
For Undergraduate Degree:
To pursue a BBA/BA in event management, candidates must have completed their 10+2 education with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks.
Admissions are typically merit-based, but some institutions may require candidates to clear a basic aptitude test or entrance exam as part of the selection process.
Candidates from all academic streams are accepted for undergraduate event management programs.
For Postgraduate Degree:
For admission to a postgraduate degree program in event management, candidates are usually required to have a minimum of 55% to 60% marks in their bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree in any discipline is generally accepted, although a degree in mass communication or management studies is often preferred.
Admissions for postgraduate programs may be based on merit lists or entrance tests such as MAT, CAT, NMAT, or other relevant entrance exams.
Please note that the specific eligibility criteria may vary depending on the institution and its requirements.
Entrance Exams for Event Management:
While most colleges offering undergraduate event management courses do not require an entrance exam, entrance exams are commonly conducted for admission to MBA programs in event management. Here are a few notable entrance exams:
CAT (Common Admission Test): CAT is an online entrance exam conducted annually by various IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) and other prestigious business schools in the country. It grants admission to MBA programs.
MAT (Management Aptitude Test): MAT is a national-level entrance test conducted four times a year by the All India Management Association (AIMA). It is used for admission to MBA and PGDM courses.
NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test): NMAT is a national-level entrance test for admission to MBA programs at NMIMS (Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies) and other top business schools in the country.
What are the different types of Event planners?
Some of the main corporate event types include:
- Conferences: These large-scale gatherings focus on a central theme, product, or service. Conferences feature speakers, exhibitions, displays, networking opportunities, and catering. They can be held in convention centers or virtually.
- Trade shows: These events cover an industry or theme rather than a single company. They showcase exhibitions, displays, showcases, speakers, and entertainment. Trade shows are typically held in convention centers and require physical presence.
- Seminars: Similar to conferences, seminars emphasize learning, training, and imparting information. They often involve smaller groups for more effective training sessions and provide opportunities for socializing and networking. Seminars can be held in various venues with both small learning spaces and larger socializing areas.
- Company meetings and off-sites: These events range from board meetings and executive meetings to stakeholder meetings, off-site training, and company relaunches. The venue depends on the size of the company, ranging from upscale restaurants or banquet halls to entire conference centers.
- Team building: Team building events focus on strengthening teamwork and collaboration. They can range from small-scale activities with a few dozen participants to larger events with several hundred attendees. Team building events can involve outdoor activities, indoor competitions, seminars, presentations, and physical or mental challenges. Venues can vary widely, from outdoor centers or forests to concert halls or stately homes.
- Company parties: Company parties are diverse in nature and scale. They can range from small-scale dinners to hiring entire nightclubs for corporate clients. Event planning for company parties may include themes, performers, talent management, transportation, or securing restaurants and catering. Unique purpose-built venues also specialize in hosting such events.
- Product or service launches: These events are more promotional in nature, similar to parties or conferences. Product launches aim to create a buzz and generate excitement around a new product or service. The venue selection depends on the size and scope of the company, ranging from golf courses to industry-specific venues like hotels, factories, or stadiums.
Aside from corporate events, event planners may also be involved in planning non-corporate events such as weddings, festivals, exhibitions, charity events, sports competitions, fashion shows, and red carpet events. Each type presents its own unique challenges and requires specific expertise in event coordination and management.
How to Plan an Event?
Certainly! Here’s a written version of the provided event planning tips:
- Start Early: The key to successful event planning is to begin as early as possible. For large events with over 500 attendees, aim to start planning at least four to six months in advance. Even for smaller events, give yourself a minimum of one month for planning. Early planning allows for more options in terms of venue selection, speakers, sponsors, marketing strategies, and more.
- Define Purpose and Goals: Before committing to an event, determine its purpose and goals. Understand why you’re hosting the event and what you hope to achieve. This clarity will help shape the type of event and establish measurable objectives. Set specific, quantifiable metrics for your goals to track progress and ensure attainability.
- Establish a Budget: Estimate your budget early in the planning process. While it doesn’t need to be set in stone, having a budget outline is crucial. Consider expenses such as venue rental, catering, decorations, entertainment, marketing, software, labor costs, and contingencies. Update the budget as you secure vendors and track actual spending for evaluation.
- Identify the Target Audience: Define and understand your target attendees. Gather information on demographics, behavior, and motivations for attending your event. Identify potential obstacles that may prevent registration or draw attendees to competing events.
- Choose the Ideal Venue: For in-person events, venue selection is crucial. If possible, allow 4-6 months for planning and consider factors such as school holidays, national and religious holidays, and availability of key participants. Research potential venues once the event date or timeline is roughly determined.
- Create a Written Event Plan: Develop a comprehensive event plan as a roadmap for success. Include elements such as venue, logistics, catering, speakers, schedule, entertainment, promotion, registration management, sponsorship, and volunteer responsibilities. Use past event data if available and don’t underestimate the importance of a written plan for coordination and accountability.
- Build a Strong Brand: Make your event stand out by creating a unique and memorable event name. Consider the event’s unique value proposition, purpose, and main components, and check competitor names. Create a strong logo and, if desired, a tagline that encapsulates the event’s essence.
- Establish an Event Team: Share the workload by assembling an event team, even for small events. Designate an Event Manager/Project Manager to lead and supervise the team. Assign roles and responsibilities, and consider positions such as venue management, speakers/talents, catering, publicity/marketing, and staff/volunteer management. Utilize event management platforms for efficient team management.
- Secure Sponsorships: Develop a target sponsor list and conduct thorough research on each company. Look for sponsors who understand the value of event sponsorship, have a similar target audience, or offer complementary services. Tailor personalized proposals with custom sponsorship packages and unique benefits.
- Create a Marketing Plan: Divide your event marketing efforts into phases, including pre-launch, early bird sales, headliner announcements, additional speaker announcements, last call, registration closing, and post-event follow-ups. Utilize various channels such as advertising, social media, press releases, and email marketing to generate buzz, build awareness, and drive registrations.
How to Become an Event Planner in India?
To become an event planner, you can follow these steps:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree: Pursue a bachelor’s degree in meeting and event management or related fields such as business management, marketing, public relations, communications, or hospitality management. Courses in these programs may cover topics like human resource management, event sales and sponsorships, financial accounting, agreement negotiation, and relationship management.
- Gain hands-on experience: Put your classroom knowledge into practice by planning events on your own or participating in internships at event planning companies. Volunteer for event planning activities at your school or assist in organizing company meetings at your job. Nonprofit organizations also provide opportunities to gain hands-on experience in event coordination.
- Learn industry technology: Familiarize yourself with the software and tools commonly used in the event planning industry. These may include project management software, customer relationship management systems, and sales and marketing software. Examples of specific programs include Marketo Marketing Automation, Microsoft Project, Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge, Convention Industry Council CIC APEX Toolbox, and Active Network EventRegister.
- Choose a specialization: Consider specializing in a specific type of event planning to differentiate yourself in the industry. You can focus on weddings, birthdays, business meetings, conferences, fundraisers, mall events, corporate retreats, or other niches based on your interests and skills.
- Create a portfolio: Develop a portfolio that showcases your event planning skills and accomplishments. Include photographs, press clippings, testimonials, and event brochures or invitations to demonstrate your capabilities. Highlight any challenges you faced and how you successfully overcame them, showcasing your ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines or budgets.
1. What does an event planner do?
An event planner is responsible for organizing and coordinating various aspects of an event, such as selecting venues, managing budgets, securing vendors, arranging logistics, and ensuring a smooth execution of the event.
2. How do I become an event planner?
To become an event planner, you can start by gaining relevant experience, such as volunteering for events or obtaining a degree in event management or a related field. Building a network, acquiring organizational and communication skills, and staying updated on industry trends are also beneficial.
3. How much does an event planner charge?
The fees charged by event planners vary depending on factors such as the type and scale of the event, the services provided, and the location. Some event planners charge a flat fee, while others work on a percentage basis or an hourly rate.
4. How far in advance should I book an event planner?
It is recommended to book an event planner as early as possible, especially for large-scale events. Ideally, you should start the planning process at least six months in advance to ensure availability and ample time for preparation.
5. Do event planners handle event promotion and marketing?
Event planners can assist with event promotion and marketing, but their primary focus is on the planning and execution of the event itself. They may collaborate with marketing professionals or provide guidance on promotional strategies.
6. Can event planners help with budget management?
Yes, budget management is a crucial aspect of event planning, and event planners are skilled in creating and managing budgets. They can help allocate funds appropriately, negotiate contracts with vendors, and ensure that the event stays within the designated budget.
7. What qualities make a good event planner?
Good event planners possess excellent organizational and time-management skills, strong attention to detail, effective communication and negotiation abilities, creativity, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work well under pressure.