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Event Planning Courses

Decide What Event Planning Education
You Need to Succeed

Cartoon figure scratching his head looking confused

Easily the most common question I am asked is, "What kind of event planning courses do I need to become an event planner?"  And a few years ago, my answer was different than it is today.

Up until recently, event planning wasn't really considered to be an actual career path.  Special events were planned by volunteers and committees with only a few paid positions, and corporate events, meetings, and incentives were passed off to the marketing department or an administrative assistant.  

As a result, there also weren't many options for formal training or event planning courses.  Most of us "old timers" had to learn by the "school of hard knocks"; sink or swim, trial-and-error, learn as you go.  It was painful and it wasn't pretty; but thankfully, times have changed.  

As more companies learn the value of professionally organized events, there is an increasing need for formal training in event planning.  And, as the industry continues to grow more competitive, training and education will give you an edge over others who have no training at all.  

You see, there is one very important thing to understand as someone who wants to break into event planning:  companies no longer have the time or the resources to train you, even for entry-level positions. They want someone who knows enough to hit the ground running; and in such competitive times, they can afford to require this.  It makes it quite easy, actually, for them to weed you out and to give that entry-level position to someone who understands the lingo and the basics of planning.  

That point is so important that I'm going to say it again:

***You simply can not get a job (even an entry-level one) in event planning
unless you already have learned the basics of event planning; because
nobody has the time or resources to train you.***

So if you've been sending out dozens (or hundreds) of emails and resumes saying things like "I just know that I am meant to be an event planner, and I would appreciate you giving me a chance"....then don't expect a call back.  It's quite possible that you were truly born to be a planner; but until you learn the basics, no one is going to give you a shot.  

Not to mention, it's just common sense that you need to understand the basics of the job before you get a job!  

If you're ready to learn more about how to learn about event planning, then click here to read about the Planning Events Course.  

In the past, education wasn't required to begin a career in event planning. However, times have changed; as event planning is taken more seriously, and as the industry becomes more and more competitive, education, training, and event planning courses are the only way to start your career in event planning!

Types of Event Planning Courses

As I mentioned, the event planning industry is still evolving; and therefore, there aren't any steadfast rules when it comes to event planning education and training.  It's not like becoming a doctor, or a teacher; where there are established, set guidelines for what education you need.  

Therefore, determining which type of event planning education to pursue is going to depend on where you are in life, and what you want out of your career.  

The following are the different paths you can take to begin your event planning training.  Click on the links to see which one is right for you.

  • Online Event Planning Courses
    "Which online courses should I take?" If you have already graduated from a college or university and/or university is not an option for you, then taking online Event Planning Courses is most likely the best path for you. This is usually quicker and more affordable than going back to school; and the right online event planning courses can give you the foundation you need to start your event planning career.

  • Event Planning Schools or Universities
    "Which university should I go to?" If you are young and have not yet chosen a university (or are going back to school and have the freedom to choose which school), there is a small number of event planning schools or universities that offer classes and/or degree programs in event planning. And some of these universities offer online event planning courses as well.

  • College Classes
    "I'm in college; what classes should I take?" If you are already in college or university, or don't have the option of going to one of the schools listed above, then don't despair! So few schools offer degrees in event planning that it's not yet a standard requirement in the industry. However, there are certain classes and degrees that can further your career path; so be sure to check out this page for the path that I recommend you take.

  • Certification
    "What about certification?" There is a huge, huge misconception among people who want to pursue a career in event planning; and that is that they can simply take an online event planner certification course and then suddenly be qualified to become an event planner. And, unfortunately, there are plenty of companies out there willing to take advantage of this misconception by taking your money; then handing you a "certification" that is basically meaningless in the industry. Read this page to learn more about this scam and the reality of certification.

  • I don't know where to begin!
    "What if I don't know whether I should go back to school or not?" If you are unsure which path to take; whether to take a few online event planning courses or to go back for a full-fledged event planning degree, then this page might be able to help guide you in the right direction.  

Once You Learn the Basics….


The single most important thing to potential employers is your experience. Event planning courses, college education, or training will give you the foundation you need to understand how to do the job; but hands-on experience will show that you can!

As a side note: I don't want this to sound harsh, but please do not count the fact that you helped plan three friends' weddings as experience.

In some ways, it is experience; but when you have to count this as "experience," it actually magnifies the fact you have none. If a potential employer receives your resume and your only experience listed is, "Helped plan my best friend's wedding" and "Organized my parents' 50th wedding anniversary," then your resume is going in the trash.

Volunteering for a bona fide event shows you truly want to work in this industry, and that you have had enough hands-on experience to know what you're doing.

Volunteer and get some true hands-on, real life event planning experience; and leave the weddings and Christmas parties off your resume!