Are you pondering on how to become an event planner? If taking a career in event planning has been on your mind for long enough, then it is high time you took the steps to make it happen. Whether you are just starting out after high school or university, or are just yearning for a shift in career, this post will help you know what it takes to be an event planner.
But first, what’s an event planner anyway?
An event planner is an individual who gets paid to organise events. You will work on an array of events, which can either be on the same portfolio, or different ones.
An event planner has various roles, but they are primarily three and include:
In-House Event Planning
In this role, the event planner is tasked with organising internal conferences as well as customer-facing events for a specific organisation. It can ideally include planning the organisation’s presence and booth at trade shows and exhibitions throughout the year.
Agent-Side Event Planning
In this type of event planning, you get to work for an agency that usually works with many different clients and on varying events throughout the year. This can be anything from conferences to festivals and roadshows to pop-ups, or Christmas party venue hire in East London. In this kind of role, you are required to be fast-paced and it’s geared towards pleasing the client, often a brand, so that they can appeal to their target audience. As you may have already guessed, it’s not a role for the faint-hearted.
Event Company Event Planning
Here, you will be working for an event organiser. Popular event organisers in the United Kingdom include Media 10 and Centaur. They organise exhibitions like Marketing Week and Grand Designs Live. Sometimes, you’ll be in charge of a single exhibition that you will work on throughout the year, or may be tasked with a portfolio of exhibitions that are in the same niche.
So, how do you become an event planner?
Once you have decided that event planning is the career path you wish to take and have built a portfolio of event experience, read on to know how you can start your career:
Pick Your Preferred Role in Event Planning
As mentioned earlier, there are three primary types of event planning; in-house, event company and agency. Determining which role will best suit you is vital in narrowing down the kinds of jobs to apply for.
Follow Event Organisation and Seek Experience
An excellent way to get opportunities and stay abreast of the trends in the industry is to follow the event managers and companies that are known in the industry. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter make this easy as you will quickly get news regarding events. Industry blogs and case study examples are also great sources of information. Jobs are usually posted on an organisation’s own social media page before doing so on the job boards, and this can give you a chance to apply early and get the position.
Build Your Portfolio
When it comes to event planning, you will need experience, whether you hold a degree in event management or not. As such, take the time to garner examples of your contributions in events whether it is helping your local football club organise their annual awards day or volunteering in any other kind of event. A portfolio is essential in securing a position as an event planner.
Talk to Industry Experts
Going to conferences and exhibitions within the events niche is an excellent way to build connections. More often than not, the speakers at an event will give a chance to ask questions and even face to face meetings with the attendants after the presentation. This provides an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself, ask questions and even leave your business card or CV for future opportunities.
Last but not least is to apply for a job. You can look for open positions on newspapers, company websites and social media platforms. Send your application and ensure you highlight any relevant qualifications and experience first.