What Is an Event Planner? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.
Event planners oversee the details for organizing and executing a professional event. Here’s what to know about an event planner’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.
What Is an Event Planner?
Event planners are responsible for arranging all the details of an event or gathering. In addition to monitoring processes leading up to an event, event planners also make changes when needed during the event itself.
What Do Event Planners Do?
Event planners oversee the entire event process, from brainstorming event concepts to organizing logistics the day of.
Event Planner Responsibilities
- Understand clients’ needs and event preferences.
- Outline event guidelines, including location and expenses.
- Find and scope out event venues ahead of time.
- Prepare any equipment or technology, especially for online events.
- Coordinate logistics like hotels, meals and transportation.
- Monitor events and make adjustments when needed.
Day-to-Day Responsibilities of an Event Planner
- Meet with clients to discuss event needs and expectations.
- Visit locations of interest to determine the ideal event venue.
- Enforce event budget and review payments for approval.
- Contact local establishments to arrange housing, food and other amenities.
- Test technology to confirm all equipment is in good condition.
Event Planners Within a Company
Event planners are some of the top professionals within the event management hierarchy. While they sometimes rely on event coordinators as assistants, they often ensure event managers, client service event managers and event assistants execute their vision for an event. Event planners report to the director of events or the CEO.
Importance of Event Planners
Event planners are not just in charge of the event itself, but also the details that go into envisioning, organizing and setting up an event. Without these leaders, companies and their clients would struggle with developing event ideas and taking the concrete steps needed to translate these ideas into realities.
What Skills Are Needed to Be an Event Planner?
Qualifications to Be an Event Planner
- Background in business, marketing, event planning or a similar discipline.
- Experience working with customers online and face-to-face.
- Ability to remain calm within high-pressure environments.
- Skilled in multitasking and keeping track of various details.
- Proven success managing long-term projects.
Event Planner Prerequisites
- Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications or a related field.
- Event planning certifications (not required, but helpful to have).
- One to two years of relevant professional experience.
Event Planner Hard Skills
- Business acumen for budgeting and managing expenses.
- Troubleshooting skills for prepping tech and equipment.
- Knowledge of online platforms for hosting virtual events.
- Ability to organize logistics details like food, housing and room setup.
- Research skills for finding and evaluating possible venues.
Event Planner Soft Skills
- Creativity for developing unique event ideas.
- Strong communication skills for interacting with clients, venue hosts and local businesses.
- Flexibility for adopting changes to event programs on the fly.
- Cool demeanor for remaining calm under unpredictable circumstances.
- Meticulous attention to detail for overseeing every stage of the event process.
Tools and Programs Event Planners Use
- Online video platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.
- Customer relationship management platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot and monday.com.
- Project management platforms like Asana, Trello and Airtable.
- Event management websites like Eventbrite, Ticketmaster and Meetup.
- Graphic design tools like Canva, Adobe Spark and Pixlr.
How to Become an Event Planner
Event Planner Education and Experience
Event planners set themselves up for success by earning a bachelor’s degree in business, communications, marketing or a related field. While it’s not required, additional certifications can help one stand out from the rest of the candidate pool. Incoming professionals then work one to two years before becoming event planners. An entry-level role like event assistant is ideal for an event planner role, but other positions like marketing coordinator and PR specialist can also provide relevant experience.
Event Planner Certificates and Courses
- Leadership training programs for overseeing event processes.
- Event planning certifications like the Certified Meeting Professional certification.
- Certifications from groups like the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.
- Tech-based certifications like the Digital Event Strategist certification.
Event Planner Career Path
Professionals may spend at least two years working in an event planner position before moving on to a higher level role. Those who exceed expectations as event planners can transition into an event coordinator or director of events position.
Event Planner Salary and Job Outlook
Aspiring event planners have an exciting future ahead of them since the number of event planner jobs is set to increase by 18 percent between 2021 and 2031.
The full compensation package for an event planner depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average event planner salary.