As parties and weddings seem to keep getting bigger and more extravagant with time, they start to really require an event planner to keep things running smoothly. While some choose to DIY their own event planning, it’s nice to sit back and leave it to the professionals. Considering a leap into the event planning business? It can be a very rewarding career, with job flexibility and the perks that come with an event planner salary. Let’s break it down.
What does an event planner do?
Obviously, an event planner plans the event. But this term is too simplified, as an event planner’s job is so much more than just throwing parties. To begin, they must determine the goal of the event by communicating with the client what their needs, vision, and budget are. From there, the event planner needs to start conceptualizing how they will use this information to achieve that goal.
This can include a variety of things, including planning the location, coordinating the participants of the event, organizing the equipment and decor needed, and more. They will handle all the client and vendor communications, as well as keeping a close eye on the budget.
Do I need a degree to become an event planner?
The short answer? No. While there are degrees that can help you with an event planning career, like Hospitality or Public Relations, none are required. Instead, you should focus on gaining experience. Plan and coordinate events for family and friends, and learn from any mistakes made, while documenting your process. If you continue building on this, those gigs will start to turn into paid ones, and before long, you’ll have a portfolio of successful events to showcase.
In addition to experience, other key skills you should have and hone are organization, time management, communication, and leadership. All of these will ensure your success and grow your event planner salary to where you’d like it to be!
Is event planning a good career?
Like every career, event planning comes with pros and cons. As you might imagine, it can be a stressful job, with time consuming hours on weekends, dealing with difficult clients and people, and an uncertain climate with the results of the pandemic.
However, the pros can greatly outweigh the cons – the work is fun, you can set your own hours to some extent, and the work is varied and never boring! Not to mention, there’s a lot of opportunity for your personal and financial growth.
How do I become an event planner?
Whether you’re starting with a college degree or not, the first thing you need to do is the same – educate yourself! Learn as much as you can about the industry, how to work on the skills you need, learn about the needs for event planners in your area, what types of event planners there are, etc. The best thing you can do to start is learn everything you can get your hands on. You can start here – we offer a number of resources and courses to help get your foot in the door!
Then, it’s time to nail down the type of event planner you’d like to be: wedding, social, or corporate. A wedding planner is an event planner who solely focuses on weddings. A social event planner handles parties for any occasion – birthday, reunion, anniversary, and more! Finally, a corporate event planner focuses on events in the corporate world. This could be conferences, company parties, or even company retreats!
Once you’ve nailed all that down, it’s time to get experience. But how do you get experience without any event planning background? Volunteering at local events near you, planning events for family and friends, or even finding an internship somewhere are all great ways to learn and gain experience! While the jobs may be unpaid, you’ll be on your way to building a foundation to get paying clients.
You can also consider taking online event planning courses and certifications to continue to hone your skill. All of this will look great on a resume and instill faith in someone looking to hire you. Once you have a portfolio of events in hand, it’s time to decide if you’re looking to work with an event planning business, or start your own!
What is the average event planner salary?
So what can you expect to make as an event planner? An event planner salary will vary based on demand, the type of event planning you’re doing, your state’s income threshold, and more. ZipRecruiter has rounded up a few of the top event planner salaries by state:
- Hawaii: At the top of the list is the average event planner salary in Hawaii, coming in at an annual salary of $56,436. A popular destination wedding location, event planners are in higher demand to plan things when the clients are out of state.
- Massachusetts: At $56,425, this East Coast state comes in at a very close second. This area of the country tends to be pricier in general, raising costs of services.
- Rhode Island: In the same area as Massachusetts, Rhode Island’s average event planner salary is $54,482.
On the flip side, Mississippi comes in at the very bottom, sitting right below $40,000. These rural areas will unsurprisingly have less demand and less need for coordination of multiple vendors. When choosing to start your event planning business, keep your location in mind!
While these salaries won’t make you rich alone, remember that you can control the output you want to give! More events means more money, but if you’re just looking to make some extra cash, you can stick to just a handful a year. With event planning, your financial growth can be up to you.
It’s no secret that event planning is a booming industry right now – with social media trends and Pinterest, the desire to add creativity to an event is top of mind. And the best part is, it’s not too late to get started! There’s still plenty of room for more planners in most areas. So get learning, start building that portfolio, and launch that business! If you want to get started but don’t know how & where to start, book a call with me, today.