How to Become the Best Possible Event Planner
Event planning is a rewarding career. Those already within the industry will undoubtedly tell you that when a large-scale event such as a wedding comes together perfectly, seeing the look on the happy couple's faces is incredibly fulfilling. Plus, it pays relatively well and helps you develop a wide range of transferable skills, particularly in the field of project management.
So if you're interested in entering this enriching career path, what do you need to do to make yourself the best possible event planner?
Start By Educating Yourself
As is the case with most careers, you need to start by investing in education relating to the world of event planning. That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to have a degree in event planning. However, there are plenty of adjacent fields that will set you up perfectly for this profession.
Degrees or relevant qualifications in the following fields will help you make the transition to event planning:
- Business management
- Project management
- Public relations
- Hospitality management
Secure Some Hands-On Experience
You can only stay in the classroom for so long. Eventually, you are going to have to get in the thick of it by attending events. It’s the only way to learn how they operate and ideally you will gain experience working under the stewardship of highly-skilled event planners to see how it's done properly.
One way to gain valuable event planning experience is by securing an internship at an event management company. Alternatively, you can volunteer with event planning groups to help organise events such as charity fundraisers, student union concerts, or sporting events.
Learn the Equipment and Technology Inside and Out
Pulling off a successful event is akin to pulling several different pieces together to complete a perfect end product, much like you do when working through a jigsaw puzzle. As you make your way through the industry, you’ll find that successful event planners know every piece of the large-scale event jigsaw puzzle like the back of their hands.
From instinctively knowing how many fairy lights would be suitable for a wedding to understanding and deciphering the rider requirements of a live band, you will need to put in the work to learn all the ins and outs of event equipment and technology to ensure you succeed.
It's not just physical equipment, either. You will need to get to grips with software too. There are many cloud-based project management tools you will need, and it would be handy to learn how to use Microsoft Excel to its full potential too. The good news is that most software solutions in this industry offer a free trial to familiarise yourself.
Choose an Event Specialism
While event planners can and do take on all manner of occasions, it's best to focus on a particular niche and work hard to become the best possible planner within your chosen event space. It doesn't matter whether that's wedding planning or festival organising. By honing in on one type of event, you can develop a reputation within the industry of being the best at what you do.
It will also shorten the time it takes to complete the above step of familiarising yourself with every single aspect of your chosen event industry.
Build Your Event Portfolio
From the minute you decide you want to become an event planner, you need to start making a record of the events you have been a part of. Once you have earned a position of responsibility, ask clients or colleagues for testimonials regarding your skills and keep marketing materials and other related media (such as press mentions) to build a formidable portfolio.
An extensive portfolio of successful events will help you gain an edge over less-experienced competitors when meeting with potential clients.
Forge Relationships with Event Suppliers
No matter whether you have chosen to specialise in birthday celebrations or weddings, certain elements are common across most large-scale events that you will need to source from event suppliers time and again.
From PA systems to event lighting (check out our event lighting services here) and catering, you need to forge close relationships with event hire companies who you can rely upon to take care of their specific aspects while you focus on other vital elements of each occasion.
Having them take a load off your shoulders ensures that you don't spread yourself too thin and gives you the space to focus on what you do best while technicians and engineers are busy working on your behalf in the background.
At QOKO Events, we work with dozens of event planners on a regular basis, supplying and installing all manner of event production equipment for their events across Sussex and the South East.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you become the best event planner in your chosen sector, head over to our event services page to learn more.