How to become an event planner

A step-by-step guide to launching a successful event planning career

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Are you interested in breaking into the world of event planning? Now is a great time to start, as events are making a comeback with the easing of pandemic restrictions. From small parties to large-scale events, careful planning is essential for their success. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced professional, this guide provides useful tips on how to make money through event planning. 

How to become an event planner with no experience

Event planning is a diverse field that requires many skills. You wear many hats and problem-solve on the go. But with no experience, how do you become an event planner?

There are no qualifications to start an event planning business, but a full-time role may require formal qualifications. Regardless, some training and experience will be beneficial. While how long it takes to become an event planner can vary, there are ways you can get there faster.

We’ve outlined a few steps to get into an event planning career.

Step 1: Take an event management course.

Focused man in headphones and watching online lesson on laptop, taking down notes from event management course

While a degree is not required for all event planning positions, it can demonstrate your dedication to the field and provide you with valuable event management skills. 

It’s a good thing then that the range of education you can get is wide. A degree in hospitality or even an event management course online will do. Whatever you choose, you’ll be on your way to an event planner career path. 

Here are some examples of courses you can take: 

  • Degree in events and meeting management 

  • Degree in human resource management

  • Event sales and sponsorships programs

  • Logistics

Confident volunteer event planner using checklist while examining delivery of crockery and decorations while positive movers unpack boxes

Experience is an invaluable asset when it comes to event planning. That said, getting that experience can take a while. One way to gain experience faster is to volunteer for event planning positions. It can be for non-profit organizations, small events, or music festivals.

You can also apply for internships in event planning agencies or shadow experienced event planners. This is a good way to get your feet wet and be on your way to becoming a beginner event planner.

While volunteering is not the most financially rewarding at the start, it does pay off in the long run. 

Step 3: Plan events for friends or family.

Start with planning events for people you know. Not only will this allow you to practice your skills, but it will also allow you to see firsthand how your events unfold and improve your craft. By planning events for friends and family, you’ll be able to build your portfolio.

Step 4: Build your event planning portfolio.

Your portfolio can serve as your business card and proof of your expertise. An impressive portfolio demonstrating your skills and actual work, so you can attract clients even if you’re just starting out. So, make sure to gather testimonials and photos of your amazing work.

Step 5: Find event planning jobs online.

Airtasker can be a great resource for finding new opportunities and building your career as an event planner.

Once you’ve gathered some experience and are ready to take on jobs, create a profile on Airtasker and browse event planning jobs in your area. You can filter your search by location and type of job to find opportunities that match your expertise and interests.

Step 6: Join a notable event planning organization.

As an event planner, it’s important to have a strong professional network to support you and your business. Joining a reputable organization can help you build credibility and attract clients. It can also provide valuable resources and connections as you grow your business. 

You can register for industry associations, such as the following: 

Step 7: Get an event planning certification.

Event planning certification concept, Diploma with other icons on foreground and woman using tablet

Once you have a few months or years under your belt, it’s wise to get a certification as an event planner. There are institutions out there that offer certificate programs that help boost your credibility. An example is the Professional Certificate in Event Management from the GW School of Business. 

There are also certificates and training courses available online if becoming an event planner from home is what you want.

Extra tips for building your event planning business 

This section provides some extra insights and strategies to help you grow and succeed in your event planning career. Read on to learn the importance of choosing a niche, outsourcing tasks, and building an online presence.

Choose a niche.

Kids’ birthday party event planning, Unicorn birthday party

There are countless types of event planners out there, from wedding planners to social media event coordinators. So it makes sense to steer into a niche to set yourself apart from the competition. It can be whatever piques your interest. As long as you utilize your resources and knowledge for that community, then you’ll be all set.

Here are some types of event planning services you can offer:

  • Birthday parties 

  • Corporate retreats 

  • Conferences

  • Experiential events

  • Wedding planning

  • Holiday party planning

Outsource tasks. 

The ability to efficiently utilize your connections and resources can help you earn more in the long run. By outsourcing tasks to professionals in the field, you can get more things done and focus on what you’re great at.

Here are some examples of tasks you can outsource:

  • Hiring support staff

  • Delegating to caterers

  • Acquiring website designers

Build an online presence.

Person using laptop for social media interactions with notification icons from customer in social network with like, message, email, mention and star above screen

Maximizing your reach is essential to making money as an event planner. Leverage platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Or better yet, set up your own website to establish more professionalism. 

Word-of-mouth recommendations are always valuable, but the internet is a powerful tool that lets you promote your services to a vast audience.

Ready to start your event planning business?

Event planning can be a fulfilling and lucrative career that allows you to create memorable events for clients. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can start your own event planning business and make money in this exciting field. 

Use the tips in this guide to get started and sign up for Airtasker to connect with potential clients who need your event planning skills.

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FAQs on becoming an event planner

It’s difficult to determine which types of event planners make the most money, as it depends on factors such as location, experience, and market demand. Some event planners who focus on high-end or luxury events, such as weddings or corporate events, may be able to charge higher fees. This may be especially true for wedding planners who specialize in luxury or destination weddings and event planners with expertise in virtual event planning, which has seen increased demand in recent years.

You don’t need a specific license to become an event planner, but it’s important to check your state’s official website, as some states may require you to have a business license. Additionally, you may need to obtain relevant permits for your event, such as a liquor license, noise permit, or building permit. 

One way to get started is to set up small and manageable events as an independent event planner. It can be a birthday party, a picnic for a couple, a small live gig, or a wine tasting. Whatever it may be, make sure it’s something you can handle and finance, whether through sponsors or from materials you have on hand.

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