- Area: Business
- Program: Business Mgmt
- Type of Writing: Essay (Explorative)
- Course Level: 1000
- Year: 2017
- Paper ID: B.B.M.E.1.2.8
Term Research Paper: Event Planning
The life of an event planner is very face-paced and often stressful as deadlines must be met, even if that comes at the cost of long and non-traditional hours. There are many different subcategories to the title of event planner, and each specialty requires different skills and duties to create the perfect event for the customer. Event planners in general, however, are in charge of making sure that the event they have planned runs smoothly and that if any problems do arise, they have a plan and are able to move past it with little damage done to the schedule and overall appearance of the event. “It’s a lot of data and detail”, said Elizabeth Conway in an interview (Editor 2013), regarding the networking, setting up of events, and checking up to make sure everything is going accordingly that is required of the job. While managing all these responsibilities on-site, there are many more that demand attention prior to the actual event. Planners are responsible for marketing their event planning services, and bringing in their own clients to get new projects started. In order to be successful, it is important for the individual to determine what kind of a target audience they are trying to reach. Do they want to focus more on luxury/high-class events, or reach out to other clients on a smaller/more economical budgets. This will save a lot of time and money, and create a more specific name and association to your company. After being hired by a client, planners are to prepare a business budget that both they and the client can agree with. This allows the planner to know where to search out partnering vendors for the event, and prioritize materials needed. Here, it is important that the planner previously makes professional business friendships with various vendors and services in order to offer options to the client. After the budget is set, planners must then actively reach out to sponsors, vendors, and services needed to make the event happen. The client should be at ease in this process as the planner knows more than they do and should merely be able to come forward with different plans for the client to give input on and approve.
At the end of this process, it can often be difficult to match the budget price exactly and can either go over or under as different vendors have different asking prices for their services. This then requires the planner to have good deduction and balancing skills in order to meet the budget as closely as possible to come back to the client with the estimated total cost and act accordingly to the result. Planning entertainment also falls in the lap of the planner. This does not only include a band or DJ, but often expands out to the finding of a speaker or representative for the event (often specified by the client). This is very important and, again, a place where good connections and a good reputation become very important. The event planner cannot put on an entire event by themselves. Hiring help and training a staff for the particular event is crucial to the success of the event. This is something that the planner also makes time for as they are the one that knows what needs to be done and what help is needed in those particular projects. As the event creation is then set in motion and committees are set to work, the planner must check in and make sure all is being done correctly. They are the ones with the vision from the client and must convey that vision in such a way that everyone involved can also see this vision coming to life through their different projects. While these projects are in motion, the planner must make sure all activities and materials at the event are in line with local laws and regulations. If something is, it is then their job to find an alternative source of that specific material or activity and then check with the client to keep them included in the entire process. Throughout the entire process, the maintaining of financial records is very important to stay on top of. The planner must either manage this themselves, or hire someone with financial experience to make sure the budget is met and maintained, as well as making sure services used are recorded.
As the date of the event comes closer, planners must send out the invite list provided by the client, manage the RSVP list, and eventually follow up with the client to get a final count. Once a final count is set, it is then their job to go to the venue and plan the layout and setup of the event itself. This includes the location of the entertainment, catering setup, decoration, tables, lighting, and anything else included in the planning with the client to create a smoothly-running event. Once all projects have been completed on time and are ready for assembly, the planner must provide means of transportation and make sure enough hands are on deck (including their own) for the actual setup of the event. This is a big project and is timed accordingly to make sure the final deadline is met. Once everything is organized and meets the satisfaction of the client, the event planner then stays and oversees the process of the event and makes sure everything is set and runs according to plan. After the event has ended, planners have one last responsibility to close off the day with, and that is the tear-down and transporting of the all equipment, materials, and other services used at the event. After this has been finished, the event is checked off and counted as a success. (S. 2010-2017)
As it is clearly seen, event planners carry so much responsibility as each event requires various duties of the planner. This is no easy job and cannot be done alone. Marketing and networking is crucial to an event planner’s success and each individual seeking to pursue a career in the event planning field should take the respected time to become very familiar with the description of all the tasks and requirements demanded of an event planner.
General Education Experience
Similar to the general career pathway for an event planner, the general education requirements are very open-ended. There are classes that can be taken that are more directly focused on the event planning side of business, but anyone can become an event planner. Whether they are a stay-at-home mom, or a person with a PhD, event planning is a very creative field and can be accomplished with a love for creative planning and organizing, and creating the perfect memory for another person. Online classes are offered online for anyone interested in learning more and becoming certified in the event planning field. It is a great way to learn more and decide if it is the right plan for you.
While no formal requirements are demanded by the event planning industry, some education suggestions are made that may help an individual find a better job at an established company, or simply to appear more desirable to clients. A bachelor’s degree in hospitality, management, marketing, public relations, communications, or business; as specified in the article, “How to Become a Certified Event Planner”. All these different areas could be very beneficial to an up-and-coming event planner as it shows official knowledge in the field, and reaffirms the person’s place in the event planning industry.
General Career Path
The general career path for an event planner is very open-ended. Becoming an event planner is a very entrepreneurial career pathway. Building a resume is the best way to start out. Whether experience is gained through volunteer work, internships, events for family and friends, or working for an already established business, it is all very useful because overall experience is what clients will look at when deciding what event planning agency to use. Another approach to experience that can be taken is by starting out in a related job field such as catering, floral design, or interior design. These are all areas of experience that will be beneficial to a future event planner. Any kind of experience is the key to being a successful event planner. Without it, there is no proof of your success, and clients will quickly move on to a more established organization with more credentials to display.
The average salary for an event planner in 2015 was $46,840 (“How to Become a Certified Event Planner”), therefor averaging close to $4,000 a month. This is a life-sustaining salary, but is not set in stone. Higher levels of experience are more desirable to clients and could potentially sway the decision of pay. However, marketing and credibility play a big role in the income an event planner receives for their events.
Different companies target varying demographics of clients. One planner could be successfully planning million-dollar events, while another individual focuses on planning events for small businesses that average couple thousand dollars. This difference in cost and focus on target clients for each event shows a difference in the income for both individuals. Events that cost more pay more.
The career outlook for an event planner could either be very successful and lead to a big-name corporation, or could remain very small and local. A lot of the success gained from this job comes from the individual’s focus on the satisfaction of their clients, and the joy of creating something special for that person, no matter what the event is. If a person can do this job and do it well, they will be successful. There are always events to be planned and people are always searching for help. It’s a lot of work, and finding someone specialized in the field can be incredibly useful to companies or individuals that do not know how to effectively accomplish such time-consuming work.
This may not be the most secure long-term career, but even as a second job or merely just a hobby, the work is always available and satisfying. It is also a very lenient job as far as time commitment because the planner gets to choose to take on jobs and makes the schedule depending on each event. Because of this, and everything else mentioned, it is a great job for anyone interested in creating their own platform for a business that can be made small-scale, or large.
Bio of Someone in the Event Planning Business
I currently work at an event planning agency and decided to interview my boss, Amanda Hansen, about her current position in the business, and some history on what it took to get her to where she is today. She has been working in the event planning business since 2001 at Decoration Inc.. I began by asking her what a typical day of work was like for her and what it entailed. “First thing, make a phone call to check in with staff for any question on urgent projects.” This is a very important thing to do at the beginning of the day because it creates a solid foundation for the day and clarifies expectations to decrease the chances of mistakes occurring. “Second, go to the office and meet with project managers about upcoming projects and work on proposals for potential jobs/clients. Check in with the floral studio to see what accounts they are working on and how the flowers look…[and] make samples of each item we are providing.” This allows her to physically be present at the shop for any on-the-spot questions and shows her investment in the projects and presence throughout the process. As stated in the job description, it is the job of the planner to make sure all projects come out according to the initial vision.
Next, I asked her why she chose this career, knowing all that would be demanded of her from designs to late hours. Her response, “I kind of fell into it. I was doing prop styling for photographers…then it lead to working for Decoration Inc….I learned as much as I could and wanted to take on more and more responsibilities. It felt right because I could be creative, but also allowed for business-minded thinking. I eventually got to the point where I was running the business and bought my boss out.” This just shows how different the opportunities are that exist in this career field.
Starting out as an employee or partner is a great way to make a name for yourself and build from there. She studied Physical Therapy in college. Nothing very creative or aimed at her current career, but she said, “past work experience helped me the most to understand how to give good customer service and work smart…apprenticing under someone was my education for this job.” As previously discussed, this is the most beneficial way of studying and proves that former education in a specific field does not determine one’s qualification for the job.
This entire interview was very enlightening to me as I am interested in this career path. Hearing about her own life and how she got to her current position really taught me a lot about the field and what was needed to be successful. It was also very helpful to get a better look into what she does versus what I do as an employee. I learned a lot more about the job and am even more excited to see where I end up after a few more years of experience.
Pros and Cons
Throughout my research, I have been able to identify many pros and cons related to a career as an event planner as it is a very versatile career. I will discuss three of them. First, you get to be creative with every project and have almost complete freedom with it. In contrast, all resources may not always be available and slow seasons can bring your business down and create problems without previous networking to create backups when needed. Second, hours are flexible and don’t always require the planner to be at the shop. On the other hand, you are working for a client who has their own schedules to manage that may require extra of the event planner. Also, deadlines are created and must be met, even if you are left working on last minute projects until 5am.
Third, it is a relatively easy field to get involved in. Because of this, however, there is always competition and someone that can offer something you don’t, or have more experience that you don’t have. It can be hard to build up a solid foundation for your company, but with the proper marketing, networking, financial planning, and determination, success will mirror your work and dedication. Pros and cons come with being an event planner as the steps leading up to an event are constantly full of uncertainties and variables. Taking the risk, however, is worth it as long as you are prepared and flexible so progress can continue. Being creative is very useful in helping to turn cons into pros when possible, and is therefore a necessary characteristic to have in order to be a successful event planner.
My Personal Fit With This Career
While researching this career, I found that I was very well-suited for this job. I am a very organized person with good management skills and a background in business. I am currently working part-time under a well-accredited event planner and have learned a lot from the different experiences at each event. I was very fortunate to have found this job and already become a successful employee that is treated well and recognized for the different tasks I carry out. I love what I do because I get to work with different people with different backgrounds, learn more about floral design, become familiar with various collaborating services and venues, and learn the ins and outs that would not be available to me if I wasn’t currently experiencing the work first-hand. I am a very creative person and have always been interested in a job where I can connect personally and socially with other people, and still have the freedom to design the perfect event for someone else. Interior design has always been an interest to me, but a degree in business has always been my educational goal as it allows me to expand my horizons and have many different career opportunities available. Not only would I be able to bring a creative aspect to my company, but I am also very experienced in other fields required to keep a business running, such as, financial planning, business management, accounting, and marketing. These would all be very useful and help me start and run a business efficiently. Event planning is a great potential career path for me as it offers lot of what I want in a future career, as well as highlights most of my personal qualities and characteristics that would be most beneficial to me in this line of business.
Amanda Hansen. Phone: 801-xxx-xxxx Email: email@example.com Address: xxx South xxx West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Editor, T. M. (2013, February 05). How to Break Into Event Planning. Retrieved October 18, 2017, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-break-into-event-planning
Hard, R. (2017, March 05). Why Event Planning Isn’t About Throwing Parties. Retrieved October 18, 2017, from https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-an-event-planner-1223579
How to Become a Certified Event Planner. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2017, from http://study.com/articles/How_to_Become_a_Certified_Event_Planner.html (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2017, from http://www.americasjobexchange.com/event-coordinator-job-description
S. (2010-2017). How to Become an Event Planner. Retrieved October 18, 2017, from https://www.academicinvest.com/business-careers/business-administration-careers/how-to
Reitmeyer, J. (n.d.). Here Are Some Helpful Tips On How to Start a Wedding Planning Business. Retrieved November 16, 2017, from https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-start-a-wedding-planning-business-1223903
Woodward, M. (n.d.). 5 Event Planning Skills You Need for Success. Retrieved November 22, 2017, from https://www.thebalance.com/successful-event-planning-skills-4051976
Keywords: Job Description, Education, Salary, Career Path