What Are My Career Options in Event Planning?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in event planning. Read on to learn more about career options along with education, training, and certification information. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is an Event Planner?

Event planners work with couples, businesses, and vendors to help prepare and execute events. They work closely with these clients to understand the purpose and vision of the event, establish a budget, and find out important details like location and time. Then they coordinate with venues, food services, and other service providers to make sure the event runs smoothly. The table below provides information on entering this career including degree options and job duties.

Degree Required Associate's or bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Management, foodservice and hospitality, marketing, communications, business, and publications
Key Responsibilities Coordinate events, contact vendors, and plan ceremonies
Certification Voluntary certification available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% for all meeting, convention and event planners*
Median Salary (2015) $46,840 for all meeting, convention and event planners*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Careers Options in Event Planning?

As an event planner, you might coordinate and execute events such as conventions, meetings and weddings. You might plan events for a single business or group, or you might work with a convention center, hotel or wedding venue that serves a large number of clients. Working for an event planning company or as a self-employed consultant are also options.

What Would I Do as a Convention or Meeting Planner?

As a convention or meeting planner, you might do everything from plan agendas and menus to hire keynote speakers and entertainers. You'll likely serve as a liaison between the group holding an event or convention and the vendors involved. However, your major responsibility will be bringing together all the details to put on a cohesive and smooth event.

What Would I Do as a Wedding Planner?

As a wedding planner, you'll work with engaged couples, as well as vendors including florists, photographers, videographers, printers, caterers and musicians, to plan all aspects of a ceremony and reception while staying within a budget. You also might work with clergy or other officiants.

What Education and Characteristics Might I Need?

Many employers prefer applicants who have either an associate's or bachelor's degree. Relevant majors include event management, food service and hospitality, marketing, communications, public relations and business.

Additionally, you'll need attention to detail and communication skills to succeed in this field. The ability to remain calm while juggling multiple details is another important trait. You also need a flexible schedule and the willingness to work long hours, particularly on evenings and weekends.

Is Certification Available?

You could obtain the voluntary Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential from the Convention Industry Council. The CMP exam covers areas such as event logistics and strategic planning, budgets and contract management. You also must meet professional experience requirements. Additionally, the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants offers wedding planner courses that can lead to a certificate of completion.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You may also be interested in working as a fundraiser. These professionals plan events or various campaigns to raise money for organizations and causes. Fundraisers must possess many of the same skills as event planners in terms of being detail-oriented and able to communicate well; they also need a bachelor's degree in most cases. For individuals who only possess a high school diploma, you could seek work as a travel agent, which involves planning trips for individuals and groups.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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