But First, Let's Clear Up Some Misconceptions….
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"!