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Columbia Southern University

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Capella University

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Southern New Hampshire University

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Grand Canyon University

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Online Event Planning Courses and Schools

Online courses in event planning are available, and they can help you become a certified meeting professional. Get program and career information. See what you'll learn in your classes, and find out how to earn professional certification.

What You Need to Know

Professionals with degrees in hospitality and meeting management are more in demand today than their counterparts with only on-the-job training. Many continuing education programs offer online courses in event management, and topics covered in these programs include event planning as well as tourism marketing.

Courses Special event planning, marketing, budget planning
Certification Meeting Professional Certification
Online Programs Continuing education programs, Certificate programs, Bachelor's degrees, Master of Tourism Administration degree

How Will Event Planning Schools Help Me?

Continuing education programs offer special event courses online. Web training will help prepare you to plan events or even open your own consulting business. Online certificate programs in event management and design or in meeting and event management will give you step-by-step strategies for everything from selecting venues to publicizing events. You'll also learn to negotiate contracts with vendors.

However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employers are increasingly seeking meeting and contention planners with bachelor's degrees, and an employer may give you greater responsibilities if you have a degree in hospitality or meetings management. One route you could consider is a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in hospitality management. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you can pursue an online Master of Tourism Administration degree with a concentration in event and meeting management. A program may require you to participate in a short internship in order to apply the theoretical knowledge you've acquired to real events. Such internship experiences also provide you with networking opportunities.

Where Can I Take Online Programs for Event Planning?

Some schools that offer online certificates in event planning or bachelor's and master's degree programs in hospitality management, event management and tourism administration or management include:

  • San Francisco State University
  • University of Iowa
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Washington State University
  • Everglades University
  • Florida International University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Central Florida

What Courses Will I Take?

You can learn how to organize different types of events from small corporate meetings to large music festivals. You may take courses in special event planning that teach you how to choose a theme, select a location, develop a menu, book entertainment and decorate a venue. Alternatively, you might focus on the marketing aspect of the hospitality and tourism industry and study ways to boost convention sales for hotels. Some popular online courses cover:

  • Event coordination and operations
  • Event sales
  • Event promotion
  • Convention and exhibition management
  • Event entertainment management

Can I Become Certified?

If you're a meeting or convention planner with three years of experience, you can obtain the Certified Meeting Professional credential from the Convention Industry Council upon successfully passing a certification exam (www.conventionindustry.org). While not required, the BLS reports that certification is highly regarded by employers and may result in professional advancement. Additionally, the BLS reported that job prospects for meeting and convention planners were on the rise and were expected to grow faster than the national average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026.