The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online event planning course, and because we do, we like to offer free tips for event planners. Enjoy!
So you want to become an event planner? Who can blame you. The special events industry is booming. From tradeshows and conferences, to birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and sweet sixteens, qualified event planners are in high demand.
And as the economy continues to improve, that demand is only expected to increase.
So what do you need to do to become a professional event planner? Do you need to go back to school and get your degree in event planning?
The short answer is no. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are no universal requirements needed to start a career as an event planner. Unlike other industries that require certain credentials, anyone can call themselves an event planner if they wish to.
But it’s not that simple. Just calling yourself an event planner does not mean that people will hire you to plan their events.
So what should you do?
Instead of spending a boat load of money on a degree program, you can try starting with a simple certificate or diploma course like the one offered by the New York Institute of Art and Design. If an online course isn’t for you, you can research community colleges and other programs in your area.
A certificate course will not only cost you far less than a degree, but it will provide you with the basic skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed in this growing field. They will introduce you to the wide array of positions in the event planning industry, and give you a chance to find the area that’s right for you.
You can specialize in just one type of event or learn how to do them all. You can work for an established event planning firm, or set out on your own. Most people will choose to start out as an employee working for an experienced planner or planning organization. There, you will gain valuable on the job experience and learn what it takes to be a successful event planner.
In addition, you should look into available professional organizations in the events industry, such as the International Special Events Society, a leader in the space. There, you’ll receive valuable continuing education and networking opportunities, that will help you grow as a professional.
And that’s it. It will take hard work and dedication, just like anything else in life worth doing. But with jobs in this field expected to grow by 44% by 2020, that again, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it should be a very rewarding journey.