Choosing the right event planning program that works best for you can prove to be difficult, particularly with the abundance of new programs being offered each year. As the field of Event Planning becomes more established as a professional career, it has also become more competitive for event planners. In the past there was never a demand on event planners to have both training and certification. However, we have seen a great deal of change in this area, as companies and even private clients, will often seek out planners with not only an impressive portfolio, but also certification that proves their skills and professionalism. Here are a few tips to consider when choosing the right event planning program for you:
1. EVENT PLANNING CERTIFICATE
These programs are usually short in duration ranging from 6 months – 2 years. They provide a useful venue for learning tips and tricks of the industry in a short amount of time, and the ability to earn a certificate of training upon completion. These programs are great for new planners, or existing planners seeking to expand their skills and expertise in other areas, for example a corporate planner wishing to learning more about social event planning.
2. ONLINE EVENT PLANNING PROGRAMS
If you are an existing planner working full-time or someone looking to change career paths with little time to attend classes, these programs are great. They provide all the benefits of an event planning program without the in-class component. If you are a busy professional, one option is to select a program that is self-paced, allowing for greater flexibility and learning at your own speed.
3. EVENT PLANNING COURSES
If you are exploring the event planning field as a career option and are not sure this is the path for you, one option is to take an event planning course. While these do not provide a certification at the end, it provides the benefit of getting a “taste” of what event planning is about, and if this is the right career for you. This is also a sensible option if you are already enrolled in college or university.
Established planners/coordinators with years of experience in the industry might not need to take courses or go through a program; however, applying for an event planning designation will provide a competitive edge, and let clients know that you are professionally recognized within the industry. Some examples of these are CMP (Certified Meeting Planner) and CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) designations.
Choosing the program that is right for you is not always an easy decision. Take the time to research each program and option to see which works best for your schedule and lifestyle.