So you want to be an event planner…are you sure? Here are some personality questions and ways to go about entering the field. (These are mostly just my humble opinions and unscientific thoughts)
Are you organized to the point of almost craziness? Do you love lists? Can you think on your feet which are in 4 inch heels, when 5 people are asking you questions? With a smile? (The gentlemen readers might not be in heels.) Can you smoothly move from plan A to plan Z without letting your guests know you are changing the plan? Do you love to work on projects that begin as simple ideas and end as grand events? Are you willing to work until “it” is done, whatever “it” might be? Are you creative, innovative and willing to think outside the box? Can you be a bookkeeper, publicist, chef, day laborer or motivational speaker at any given moment? How about thinking independently and working corporately? Remember no one person can make an event happen but one person can make it fall apart...or at least require a plan change.
If you answered yes to these questions, well come on down and join the ranks of the event world. But be warned it is not the glamorous life you might think, and the skills I have listed above are just the tip of the iceberg of what will be required to make you successful.
Two things I try to always remember: first, smile and move forward when faced with a difficult situation, at lest you are moving forward and “There is no crying in event planning.” Second, keep a notebook and pencil next to the bed so when you wake up in the middle of the night you do not have to get out of bed to write down your thoughts.
OK, so you have decided event planning is your life calling. What area? Do you want to help brides make their wedding dreams come true? Have a soft spot for non-profits? The cooperate life made for you? Maybe you cannot live without sports? Or is it all in the family that makes you complete? Can’t decide? Volunteer.
Choose a non-profit whose message rings true with you. Call them or their event planner and ask to help with their fundraiser. Volunteer at a local running group’s race, high school or college football, basketball or baseball games. Ask lots of questions. (Note: the person with the clip board is usually the person who can answer most of your questions.) Keep an open mind and be willing to try anything.
This is how you will learn what is truly involved with the planning of the event or what is needed to make the event a success. Offer to direct your friend’s wedding. Plan a friend’s baby or bridal shower. Offer your services at a local hotel or convention center to see if meeting planning is your passion. Are you a mom with school age children? Volunteer to serve on the events committee of your child’s PTO/PTA, you can get some great experience and knowledge while helping your child’s school. If all else fails, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will put you to work.
FYI: this is the definition according to Wikipedia: "Event planners' work is considered either stressful or energizing. This line of work is also considered fast paced and demanding. Planners face deadlines and communicating with multiple people at one time. Planners spend most of their time in offices, but when meeting with clients the work is usually on-site at the location where the event is taking place. Some physical activity is required such as carrying boxes of materials and decorations or supplies needed for the event. Also, long working hours can be a part of the job. The day the event is taking place could start as early as 5:00 a.m. and then work until midnight. Working on weekends is sometimes required, which is when many events take place"
And you though my definition was the result of week after event brain? It wasn't.