What Is the Job Outlook for Event Planner Careers?

Event planners design meetings, weddings, conventions, trade shows and other special events, whether they work for corporations or are self-employed. Read on to find out how the job outlook and trends for this career may fluctuate with the economy, as well as what you can expect to earn. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

In putting together an event, planners generally follow a process of research, design, organization, execution and assessment. They often coordinate every detail of an event, from arranging for audio-video equipment to reserving accommodations. For a professional to successfully plan a small meeting or large convention, he or she must identify the purpose of the event and visualize the final product through the client's perspective.

Event planners don't work the typical 9-to-5 schedule. Instead, they work long, irregular hours while planning and at the actual event. These professionals might work on weekends or holidays and sometimes travel for business.

Important Facts About Event Planners

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, organization
Work Environment Office setting, event locations
Similar Occupations Administrative service manager, lodging manager, travel agent

Job Outlook

In 2014, there were 77,940 meeting, convention and event planners employed across the country, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). At that time, the BLS predicted that employment opportunities for these professionals would grow by 10% from 2014-2024, which is an increase that's much faster than the average. This will result in 9,900 new positions being created over the decade.

The BLS reports that an increase in company events is a major factor of this growth. When companies have employees that work in offices that are spread out geographically, in-person meetings are often desired.

Ways to Improve Your Prospects

According to the BLS, large event planning firms often give preference to job applicants with a combination of formal training and experience. A bachelor's degree is required. Event planners who earn a Bachelor of Science in Event and Meeting Management may get jobs with resorts, hotels, trade associations, convention centers, cruise lines or municipal governments. Possessing the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential can also set you apart from other job candidates. To become a CMP, you'll need to have recently worked in a position related to meeting management and have gained three years of experience, as well as meet continuing education requirements.

The BLS also notes that you may have better prospects if you work in the healthcare industry. To stay licensed, healthcare professionals may need to attend certain events, so there will be a need for planners. You can also improve your prospects if you know how to use social media and are proficient with virtual meeting software.

Salary Information

According to the BLS, meeting, convention and events planners earned a median salary of $46,490 in May 2014. Most of these professionals made between $25,940 and $82,060 annually. Many worked in the traveler accommodation industry, or for professional, labor, political and similar organizations.

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