How Much Does an Event Planner Earn Yearly?
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Life is filled with various milestones and special occasions from birthdays to weddings to baby showers. In some cases, those special occasions are marked with a party or organized event, which is where an event planner comes in.
An event planner is an individual that organizes, designs, and runs various types of functions and events from weddings to corporate events. Both small and large details go into planning an event. Event planners take care of everything from the concept of the event to the cleanup and everything in between. They may be involved with all different types of events, such as parties, fundraisers, and conferences. Event planners may be self-employed or work for companies, corporations, or event planning firms.
Planning a special event, such as a party, may sound fun. But being a professional event planner is also hard work. Event planners handle all the details of the event. The exact duties may vary depending on the type of event being planned. But regardless of the occasion, several things go into planning an event. Below are the common responsibilities of an event planner.
One of the first responsibilities is to design the event. Event planners need to communicate with their clients, ask questions and run ideas by them to work out details.
Event design may vary depending on the input from the client. But it often involves scouting and selecting the right location or venue, planning decorations and in some cases, coming up with a theme. Event planners also deal with the small details related to an event, such as selecting the style of tableware, centerpieces, and other details to make sure everything is perfect.
A big part of the job of an event planner is to solicit bids, hire, and coordinate and supervisor all the vendors involved in an event. Depending on the type and size of an event, exact duties may vary. But usually, event planners hire catering crews, entertainment or speakers, and transportation. Depending on the event, planners may also need to hire bakers, bartenders, and decorating staff. In some cases, planners may invite special guests and manage the invitation list.
Event planners also often deal with the financial aspect of planning an event. Managing and overseeing the budget for an event involves more than just writing checks to vendors. For example, managing finances may include confirming a budget, negotiating contracts, and finding creative ways to handle extra expenses when they come up. Event planners also make sure they track all expenses and stay within the client’s budget.
Certain types of events may require planners to do promotional work or marketing. For example, a fundraising event may require promotional activities, such as writing press releases, social media campaigns, and networking to get the word out about an event.
The day of the event, the event planner is also on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly and as planned. For instance, they may coordinate with vendors to make sure all equipment and supplies have arrived. Event planners handle small and large details, such as making sure the tables are set properly, the food is hot, and the decorations are just right.
Organizing and running and an event involves many tasks and responsibilities that take a certain expertise and skill level. Event planners have the knowledge to plan, organize, and run an event.
Whether it is an anniversary party, a team-building conference, or a corporate event, planning and running an event can be stressful and time-consuming. Lots of planning and management goes into making an event go well. Companies and individuals may not have the time to get everything in place. They may also not have the knowledge and skills to keep everything organized.
The bottom line is event planners are needed to take the stress and work off the client. They handle all the details required behind the scenes to make an event go as envisioned.
When you think of what an event planner does, you may think they mostly plan parties. But there are all types of event planners and specialists within the field. Although, it is not a complete list, below are the most common types of event planners.
Corporate event planners design and plan various types of events for companies, corporations, and businesses. There are several types of events that a corporate event planner may be involved with. For example, corporations may have motivational activities, team-building events, and conferences.
Educational and nonprofit event planners organize events for organizations, such as schools, charities, and nonprofit agencies. Responsibilities may include selling tickets to fundraisers, soliciting donations, and finding sponsors for the event.
A fashion event planner organizes events, such as fashion shows, store openings, and trade shows. Responsibilities may include hiring makeup artists, entertainment, and musicians. Depending on the type of fashion event, planners may also hire catering staff, plan a menu, and arrange for interviews for designers and models.
Some event planners specialize in planning children’s events. Kid event planners organize and coordinate a variety of events geared towards children including birthday parties, baptisms, and graduation parties. Kid’s event planners need to understand what the latest fads and entertainment for children involves.
Online event planning is a relatively new area for event planners to specialize in. Online event planners may organize online events, such as fundraisers, social media campaigns, and product launches. A virtual event may not require the same duties as an in-person event. Online events often require event planners to be involved in promotion and marketing of the event.
Sports event planners play a role in marketing for a team. They may also arrange the lodging for team, coordinate transportation, and run special team events for fans.
Wedding planners are one of the most common specialties for event planners. Wedding planners arrange the venue, entertainment, and catering. They may also organize transportation and other wedding details.
It’s difficult to state the exact working conditions of an event planner since they can vary significantly. Some work may be performed in an office during typical business hours. But coordinating events may also require working long days and traveling to various locations. Many events may be held on weekends, evenings, or holidays.
Event planners may work outdoors if they are running certain types of events. The job may also call for spending a lot of time on the phone and the computer to coordinate services.
There are no specific formal education requirements to work as an event planner. Individuals that are self-employed may be required to get a business license depending on the state they live in.
Although it may not be a requirement, most employers usually prefer to hire event planners that have at least an associate degree. The responsibilities of an event planner are becoming increasingly complex, which means formal education in a field related to event planning is helpful.
Someone interested in becoming an event planner may pursue a degree in event management. But keep in mind; degree options for those interested in working in event management also include a degree in hospitality management or business.
An associate degree in event management is considered an entry-level degree for the field. Usually, a high school diploma or GED is required for admission. Most event management associate degree programs take about two years of full-time study to complete.
Typical classes may include tourism and leisure management, accounting, and event planning and budgeting. Although the number of credits required to earn the degree can vary, most associate degree programs in event management require completion of 72 credits.
Bachelor degree programs in event management are also available. Admission requirements typically vary but include a high school diploma. Grade point average requirements for admission also vary by the school. Most bachelor’s degree programs in event management take about four years to complete and require about 130 credits.
Typical classes may include marketing, event protocol, and finance. Most event management bachelor’s degree programs also require completion of an internship in the field. Students may complete an internship at event management firms, large-scale hotel chains, or public relation agencies.
There are no specific master’s degree programs in event management. But those who want an advanced degree could benefit from a master’s degree in hotel and restaurant management or hospitality management.
Earning an event planner certification is another way to show expertise in the field. Although certification is not mandatory, it may improve employment possibilities and opportunities.
There are several professional organizations that offer certification in event planning. For example, the Events Industry Council offers a Certified Meeting Professional Certification. To earn the certification, applicants must have three years of professional experience in event planning and pass a written exam, which covers topics, such as strategic planning, risk management, and facility operation.
Another option is the Certified Government Meeting Professional Certification offered through the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. Certification can be earned after completing an online course and passing an exam.
The Convention Industry Council offers the Certified Special Events Professional Credential. It is for people that have at least three years of experience working in event planning. Applicants must pass a multiple-choice exam covering topics including developing an event plan, risk assessment, and budgeting.
The information learned in an event management degree program may vary depending on the school. Although it is not a complete list, typical courses may include the following:
Event planning is a career that involves a vast amount of responsibilities, which can change from event to event. To be successful in the field, it’s helpful to have the following skills, traits, and qualities.
An online event management degree involves taking classes virtually. Online event management degree programs may be either associate degree or bachelor’s degree programs. Some schools also offer online certificates in event management. Most online event management programs offer classes similar to a traditional school, such as marketing, administration of events, and budgeting.
The structure of an online event management program may vary by school. For example, students may view live lectures online or watch lectures at their own pace. Some programs may involve written lessons and videos that are completed at a student’s own pace.
An online event management program may be a good option for students that are looking for a flexible school schedule and the convenience of attending school from home.
Although it is often a lot of hard work, event planning can also be an exciting and fun career choice. There are several benefits to working in the field including the following:
Although event planning can be a great career, it’s important to understand that not every aspect of the job is wonderful. Like most careers, there can be some disadvantages of working as an event planner including:
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of event planning is expected to grow by about 11 percent through the year 2026. The need for event planners does fluctuate depending on the strength of the economy. When the economy takes a downturn, companies, as well as individuals, may not have the money to pay for a professional event planner.
Jobs for event planners also tend to be more plentiful in large cities where there are more companies and businesses that could use their expertise. Individuals with experience in online event planning may continue to see job prospects grow as that specialty becomes more popular. As the field becomes more complex, event planners with a bachelor’s degree in event management or hospitality management may have the best prospects for employment.
Event planning in a career that involves a lot of organization and creativity. But it’s not the only career that offers that type of work. Below are several other jobs that are similar to event planning.
Fundraisers organize various events to help raise money for an organization, such as a school, non-profit agency, or charity. Fundraisers may design, plan, and organize all aspects of an event. A degree in marketing or business is helpful to get started as a fundraiser.
Recreation coordinators develop, organize, and implement various types of activities, such as sports and educational and community events. They may work for hotels, city government, and health programs. Usually, a recreation coordinator needs a minimum of an associate degree in recreation to work in the field.
Cruise directors plan and implements all activities and entertainment on the ship. Activities may include games, lectures, and deck parties. The exact path to becoming a cruise director is varied. But education and experience in business, marketing, or tourism are usually needed.
Resort managers run hotels and resorts. Responsibilities may include hiring staff, planning resort activities, and managing the budget. Having a degree in hospitality management is helpful for those entering the field.