Event Planning Education

What Kind of Education Do You Need to Become an Event Planner?

Once you decide you want to become an event planner, the next logical question is "what event planning education do I need?"  This is a fair and legitimate question; after all, there is a lot to learn and you want to make sure you take the right steps that will most benefit your future and ensure your success.  

However, the answer is not the same for everyone.  

The main choices when choosing which event planning education you need, usually consist the following options:

  • you need to learn anything; after all, how hard can event planning really be?
  • teach yourself by reading books 
  • take an online event planning course
  • attend a college or university for a degree

Let's look at each of these in a little more detail:

Option 1:  Unfortunately, a large amount of beginners believe that they fall under the first option; that there really isn't that much to event planning, and so they can just head out on their own and wing it.  Of course, these are the ones that don't get very far; and eventually either realize they need some training, or give up on the industry out of frustration because they went about it the wrong way.

Option 2: If you are disciplined and someone who can learn well by reading, there are many event planning books online and in bookstores.  

Option 3: The quickest, cheapest and most efficient method is to take an online course.

Option 4:  But, for the right person, going to college or university might be a good option.  

Do you need to go to college or university for an event planning degree?

For many people, the question of whether they need to go to school or university is cut and dry; either they do, or they don't.

If you already know that going back to college or university is not for you, then don't worry!  Taking the right online course will teach you everything you need to know (click here to read more about the online event planning courses that I offer).

But for many other people, the decision to invest in further event planning education isn't so clear.  Should you invest the time and money to go back to college?  Or will an online course be enough to get you started?

Before we go any further, however, please let me emphasize one thing. The event planning industry isn't like many other industries, where your degree can make or break you. In the world of event planning, nothing counts more than experience.  

It's not like if you want to become a doctor, or a teacher, or an engineer; for all of those industries, a degree and what type of degree is vitally important.  

However, in event planning, overall having a degree doesn't matter at all.  

After twenty years in the industry, I can honestly say not one person has ever asked me if I even went to college, much less if I have an event planning degree. 

I think one of the main reasons for this is that, until recently, event planning wasn't really even considered a legitimate career path.  And until recently, almost no colleges or universities at all offered event planning programs, much less event planning degrees (there are still very few schools that offer event planning programs).  And therefore, it's not really that important.

The most important thing in event planning is that you completely understand how to plan events, and that you have some experience.  

So nobody cares about your degree.  Unless you haven't ever gone to school and want to get a degree (which is always advisable), it's not necessary to go back to school to pursue event planning education.

Therefore, my overall advice is this:  learn as much as you can about event planning as thoroughly, as efficiently, and as quickly as possible. Then get out there and get some experience!   (I show you how in my event planning certificate course, Event Planning Essentials).  

should You Pursue Event Planning Education at a College or University?

The steps below are a good first step to help you determine whether going back to college is necessary for you, or if you can learn what you need from online courses.  However, keep in mind this is only a guideline; only you can decide what path is best for you.

Candidates for Going to College or University

You should consider taking courses or going back to school for your event planner education if you:

  • are young and have not yet finished college, or are a recent graduate and are not sure of your career path
  • have no event planning experience at all
  • are seriously considering a life-long career in event planning
  • know that you want to work as an event planner (and not just one of the many support roles in event planning)
  • think that you might want to start your own event planning company someday
  • need a structured environment in which to learn
  • have the time and money to invest   

Those for Whom College or University Might Not Be Necessary 

You might not need to get an event planning education or degree if you:

  • have already graduation from college and have been in the workforce for a few years
  • have any event planning experience 
  • only want to "dabble" in event planning to see if you like it
  • are interested in working for a DMC, a catering company, or as an on-site coordinator 
  • are not interested in starting your own business
  • have good self discipline are are a good self-taught learner
  • have no time or money to spare
  • are self-motivated and can learn by taking an online course and applying the things it teaches you

If you have decided that you do want to go to college or university and are curious as to what degrees would most benefit your future as an event planner, click here to learn more about event planning schools and what courses to take.

So basically, pursuing event planning education through a college or university is only advisable if you don't have a degree at all and were already considering going to school for a degree.  

For everyone else, taking an online course is enough to start your event planning career.  The most important thing is to learn as much as you can, as quickly as you can, and get out there and start planning!