Maybe you've decided you want to become an event planner, but you're not sure what the "day-to-day life" of an event planner looks like. After all, event planners can't always be at an event; there has to be some planning involved, right?
This page will look beyond the typical event planning job description and will, instead, give you a "behind-the-scenes" peek at what it's really like to be a planner.
As I always say, event planning is much more than just pretty decor, fun entertainment, and good food. Then, you might ask, what is it really about?
The short answer?
An event planner creates, organizes, and supervises every element
of an event, meeting, or incentive.
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?
But that's just the event planning job description. The reality is so much more.
One thing that I want to clear up right away is a big misconception about the life of an event planner. More than anything else, I hear people say "I want to become an event planner because I don't want a desk job."
Well, I have some surprising news for you:
99% of event planning is a desk job!
It's called event planning for a reason….you'll spend about 99% of your time planning an event, and only 1% of your time is spent at the event. The exception to this is if you become a corporate meeting planner, in which case you'll spend a lot more time at your events; because most meetings last 2-5 days.
The planning side of event planning is very much a desk job. It will feel, at times, like your computer or your laptop is attached to your hip at times. You will have hundreds of emails to keep on top of, lists to cross-check, research to do, schedules to create, and budgets to continually update.
However, there are times when you have to be "out and about" too. You will have to do site inspections to check out venues, meetings with vendors, meetings with clients, meetings with caterers, decor to pick out, and on and on!
So in that sense, event planning is not your typical "desk job." It's not a job where you never get to leave your desk. Plus, the work is different every single day; unlike many "desk jobs" where the work is pretty repetitive from day to day. I just like to clarify this, so that before you commit to becoming an event planner you understand that a lot of your time is spent at a desk.
Another misconception about the life of an event planner is that you "get to party for living."
A lot people, when they envision the life of an event planner, picture her at her event; in an elegant party dress, smiling while she mingles and soaks up all the compliments for putting on this fantastic party, meeting, or gala. She's simply basking in the glow of a job well done, wine glass in hand, and loving that she's getting to party for a living and not sitting in a cubicle.
Again, the reality is slightly different!
When you're at your event, you are running around like a headless chicken....putting out fires (figuratively and, sometimes, literally!); making sure the vendors all provided what they promised; wondering where your keynote presenter is or why the entertainment is at the bar; following up with the caterer to see why they have beef when you ordered fish; handling questions from your attendees or the VIPs or the venue; and trouble-shooting all the millions of last-minute problems. It's hardly the glamorous life as portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in "The Wedding Planner"!
So, now that we've clarified a few things that event planning is not, let's look at what it is!
First of all, a lot of people often ask how long an event takes to plan. That, of course varies greatly; depending on the size of the event, an event can take three months, six months, even a year to plan. Larger events can take even longer to plan. For example, they are already working on choosing the city for the 2024 Olympics.
Why does it take so long? What has to be done so far in advance of the event? Here's a really basic overview of some of the elements that have to planned fairly far "out" prior to the event:
As you can see, there are a lot of important elements that need to be factored into your event. Quite often, you'll find the "perfect" element (venue, band, presenter, florist) only to find they are already booked on your event's date. So the more time you have to plan, the better!
So what does an event planner do every day during the three, six, or twelve months prior to her event?
Here's a bit of a "day in the life" of an event planner:
Of course, every single day is different as an event planner; and that's why many of us love the job! That's what most people mean when they say they "don't want a desk job"….if you want variety, excitement, and no two days that are ever the same, then you will LOVE your career in event planning!
But there's one more area of the life of a planner we still need to consider…what's it like on the actual day of your event??
So, of course, the whole reason most people want to become an event planner is the excitement of working the actual event!
After months of preparation, of planning, of dreaming of this day, it's finally time to switch from "planning" mode and jump into "on-site" mode….it's time for your event to go live!
PHEW! Finally, it's over. It's about 3:00am, and you can finally think about going to bed and resting your feet.
Of course, there is still the final billing and the "post-con" meetings….but otherwise your event is done. Until it's time to start planning for next year….
If you are starting to think that being an event planner isn't quite for you, don't despair! There are plenty of other opportunities that still allow you to work in the exciting world of events, without having to be the one in charge of the chaos!
There are many, many other ways to be involved with events, in jobs where you're almost always on-site at an event, and not at a desk.
For instance, you can work for the caterer, a decor company, transportation, production, or in a hotel. In each of these jobs, you can still be a part of large, exciting events, without having to be the one to coordinate every last detail. Some people prefer to be a piece of the pie instead of the chef, and that's perfectly ok.
For a more thorough explanation of the many opportunities to find jobs and careers related to event planning, check out my free four-part video series, Three Steps to Become an Event Planner.
If, on the other hand, you read all about the traits that make a successful event planner and you are excited because it sounds just like you, then keep reading!
Of course, for many of you, this sounds exciting and fun; and if this is you, then you've found your perfect career! It can be very rewarding, and it's always unique and exciting.
However, it's not easy to break in. The industry is getting more and more competitive and difficult to break into. You can't just send out a bunch of resumes, especially if you don't have any experience, and expect to land a job. That's because companies don't have the time or the resources to train beginners like they used to.
Therefore, you simply must take it upon yourself to learn the basics of the industry before even trying to apply for jobs. Otherwise, it's just a waste of your time.
So how do you do this? When I first started this website, my readers would ask me to recommend a good course. I spent months researching the options, until I realized a sad fact...there aren't any good courses out there. Not any courses that will teach you the truth about the industry and how to truly make a living, anyway. Sure, there are plenty of courses that teach you about party planning or wedding planning.... but in my free four-part video series, I explain why I recommend against considering wedding planning or party planning as a career choice.
And so, I decided to create my own course. I grew tired and angry of the crap that's out there, people just trying to make a few bucks off unsuspecting and hopeful people like you. They sell you lies about "becoming certified" and "starting your own business" even though you've never planned an event before....and that just blew my mind.
And so, I created my own online Event Planner Course to teach you everything you really need to know to truly start a career in event planning. I teach you the lingo and language you simply must know in order to even get your resume looked at, as well as how (and where) to find work, what types of events you can work in, and how to charge for your time. I teach about contracts, budgeting, and managing vendors...and of course, I teach the basics of planning any large event or meeting.
If you're ready to truly begin your career, this is the fastest way to learn the most applicable, necessary information you need to begin. So click here to read more about the Event Planner eCourse and begin your career today!