Whether it’s a big sporting event, a festival, an art exhibition, a Formula 1 race or a sell-out concert, any event you go to must have been organised by somebody! If getting things done is your thing, then a career as an event planner might be just your cup of tea…
Working as an event planner , assistant or manager can make for an exciting, diverse and vibrant career which could take you all over the world and which could see you making the most of both your creative and practical skills.
What does an event planner do?
An event planner organises the smooth running of all sorts of happenings, from medium-sized social gatherings like weddings or new product launches and promotions, to big art exhibitions, massive sporting events and large-scale music festivals like Glastonbury.
To be a successful event planner, you’ll need to have great organisational skills. You’ll be helping clients to identify exactly what they want to achieve – and then you’ll have to make it happen. This means researching venues, sourcing temporary staff and finding services such as catering companies, amongst many other things. An event planner will also have to meet deadlines, negotiate prices and work to tight budgets.
A big part of being an event planner is ensuring that everything goes well on the day. You will need to be brilliant at remaining unfazed when problems arise – and at making those problems go away – so that the event is as successful as possible for your client. You’ll be working in a team with other people and you’ll need really good communication skills so that everybody is in the right place at the right time, doing what needs to be done.
How do you get to be an event planner?
It isn’t necessary to have a specific qualification to become an event planner but experience is vital. You could enter a career as an event planner after studying business, marketing or hospitality. There is also an intermediate marketing apprenticeship that provides a route into a career as an event management assistant.
HE qualifications in marketing and event management include HNCs and HNDs, Foundation degrees and honours degrees. If you want to consider being an event planner, you could study some of these qualifications at FE college, where work placements often make up part of the course.
On a degree course, you’ll learn about the practical side of life as an event planner and also the theory involved in the event planning industry, like business and finance, project management and experiential marketing, which is all about creating brand experiences. You’ll also learn about the importance of social media for an event planner which you’ll use to promote events and as a marketing tool, during and after an event.