There is a huge misunderstanding about what event planning certification is, who needs it, and what it can do for you.
The biggest misconception is that "getting certified" is a shortcut to success. Many event planner hopefuls believe that all it takes to break into the industry is to take a course, get "certified," and you'll automatically be so high in demand that your career will skyrocket from the mere mention of your certification alone.
While many online courses make such promises, the reality is that there aren't any reputable "certifications" for beginners or anyone hoping to start their career in event planning. There is not one "beginner's" certification program out there that will automatically open doors for you by taking the course alone.
Most of the schools promising you a "certification" are just hoping to make some money off you; and the certification will mean nothing in the meeting and event planning industry.
So what does "certification" mean? Event planning certification is a measure of what you already know about the industry; it's a badge of honor to show that you do know the field and you are an expert. Once you become certified, it is a designation you can put after your name and title to show your expertise and years of experience in the field.
Therefore, most true, qualified event planning certifications require that you have at least three to five years of experience before taking the test to become certified.
See, that's the point. That's part of the misunderstanding. You don't need to be "certified" to start a career in event planning. Yes, you need to learn the basics. Yes, you need to get some hands-on experience. Yes, you need to network like crazy. But don't confuse those with the need for event planning certification. Don't think that a certification is a short-cut to learning, getting experience, and networking.
What you DO need to do is, as I mentioned, learn the basics. You can't get a job without knowing how to do the job, right?
And therein lies the catch-22 that many of you are experiencing: employers want you to have knowledge and experience before they'll hire you (even for an entry-level position); but if you can't get certified, how are you supposed to start?
The key is to learn everything you can about the industry,and then getting some experience to learn even more!
That is a very, very good question! And one that, up until recently, I didn't have an answer for. But now, I do.
For the first three years of running this website, I spent countless hours investigating courses to recommend to my readers; until I realized a very sad fact. There simply aren't any online event planning courses out there that I felt comfortable recommending for you to learn from.
Sure, there are plenty of "certification" courses that teach you how to plan weddings and parties. But trust me, you'll never make a living as a party planner, and wedding planning is a very difficult path to choose (I'll explain more in a minute).
If you truly want to make a living as an event planner, you need to go where the money is. And the money lies in two areas of event planning: large scale special events, and corporate meetings, events, and incentive trips.
So why can't I find a single course out there that actually teaches you what you need to know to start your career?
Honestly, I don't know.
And so, I've created my own online event planner course. It pushes past the BS and teaches you what you truly need to know, at a fraction of the insane cost that these other courses charge you.
To read more and to start your career in event planning today, please visit Event Planner Course: How to Plan Events.
If you'd like to read more about event planning courses and education, read the following pages:
Once you gain a few years of experience, then there are only a couple of reputable certifications that are widely recognized in the industry.
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
The CMP is the most recognized certification n the meeting and event planning industry; and is the only certification that is widely recognized and reputable. However, candidates must have three years of event planning experience and currently have a full-time job in the industry in order to apply.
Certified Special Events Professional
The CSEP is the only other openly recognized certification in the event planning industry; but focuses more on special events than meeting planning. Just like with the CMP, candidates are required to have had three years of experience in the industry and must be currently employed or have been employed in the special events industry in the last twelve months.
Therefore, as a beginner, there aren't any options for getting "certified" that are openly recognized in the industry. While this seems contradictory at first, remember that certification is a test of how well you know the industry.
** Therefore, any program that promises you that you can "become certified" simply from taking some online courses and passing a test, without having years of experience actually planning events, is merely trying to sell you their course. **
In summary, be sure to not only research the options carefully, but have realistic expectations of what an online course has to offer you. My products offer "fluff-free," honest, applicable information that you need to know in order to start a career in event planning.
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Learn Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Career!
You simply cannot get your start in event planning without knowing the basics of the industry and how to plan events. To learn everything you need to know, from writing resumes and cover letters that get noticed to every last detail on how to plan your first event, please click here to read about the Complete Event Planner Toolkit.
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For the cost of a cup of coffee, you can have all of your preliminary questions about event planning answered; including how to break into the industry, why you're not getting calls on your resume, how to find the jobs, and what you simply must do in order to succeed as a planner!