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How to become an event planner

Becoming an event planner can be a fulfilling and exciting career path. With the right skills, passion, and strategic planning, you can turn your love for organizing events into a successful profession. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

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What does an event planner do?

An event planner specializes in organizing and coordinating events to create seamless and memorable experiences. Event planners handle everything from developing unique event themes to managing budgets, securing venues, coordinating vendors, and overseeing logistics and scheduling. They ensure events run smoothly on-site and manage post-event tasks such as vendor payments and client feedback. Event planners work closely with clients to fulfill their vision for a wide range of events, including community gatherings, festivals, trade shows, and more.

Who should become an event planner?

Event planning requires a unique blend of skills and personality traits. Consider becoming an event planner if you:

  • Are highly organized: Event planning involves managing multiple details simultaneously. Strong organizational skills are a must.
  • Have excellent communication skills: You’ll need to effectively communicate with clients, vendors, and team members.
  • Are creative: Creativity helps in designing unique and memorable events.
  • Can handle stress: Events can be high-pressure environments, and being able to stay calm under pressure is crucial.
  • Enjoy problem-solving: Events often come with unexpected challenges. Being able to think on your feet and solve problems quickly is essential.

Develop your skills and knowledge

Before diving into the business, it's essential to ensure you have a solid foundation in event planning. This includes obtaining the necessary education, gaining practical experience, and earning relevant certifications. Here’s a detailed guide on how to develop your skills and knowledge:


A strong educational background in event planning or a related field can provide you with the theoretical knowledge and skills needed to succeed. Consider the following options:

  • Formal education: Pursue a degree in event planning, hospitality management, tourism, or a related field from a community college or university. These programs often cover a wide range of topics, including event design, project management, marketing, and financial planning.
  • Online courses: Numerous online platforms, such as Coursera, Udemy, and edX, offer courses specifically tailored to event planning and management. These courses are often flexible and can be completed at your own pace, making them ideal for those with busy schedules.
  • Workshops and seminars: Attend industry-specific workshops and seminars to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices in event planning. These events also provide excellent networking opportunities.


Practical experience is invaluable in the event planning industry. It allows you to apply your theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios, develop your skills, and build a portfolio. Here are some ways to gain experience:

  • Internships: Seek internships with established event planning companies, hotels, or event venues. Internships provide hands-on experience and an opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals.
  • Volunteer work: Volunteer to plan events for non-profit organizations, community groups, or local businesses. Volunteering helps you gain practical experience and expand your network.
  • Freelance projects: Start by planning small events for friends, family, or local organizations. Even small-scale events like birthday parties or local fundraisers can help you build your portfolio and gain valuable experience.
  • Part-time jobs: Consider taking part-time jobs in related fields such as catering, hospitality, or venue management. These roles can provide insights into different aspects of event planning and help you understand the industry better.


Earning industry-recognized certifications can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your commitment to the profession. Certifications also provide structured learning and help you stay updated on industry standards. Here are some certifications to consider:

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP): Offered by the Events Industry Council, the CMP certification is highly regarded in the industry. It covers various aspects of event planning, including strategic planning, risk management, and stakeholder management.
  • Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP): Offered by the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the CSEP certification focuses on all aspects of event management, from planning and design to execution and evaluation.
  • Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM): Offered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the CMM program is designed for experienced professionals looking to enhance their strategic decision-making and leadership skills.
  • Certified Festival & Event Executive(CFEE): Offered by IFEA, this course offers intensive core classes that teach you about sponsorship revenue, project management, marketing and media relations, and more. This course will give you industry experience to prepare you for all your event management needs. 
  • Event planning certificate programs: Many universities and online platforms offer certificate programs in event planning. These programs typically cover the basics of event planning, project management, and marketing.

Investing time and effort in developing your skills and knowledge will not only prepare you for the challenges of running an event planning business but also give you a competitive edge in the industry.

Identify your niche

Event planning is a broad field with many opportunities, and choosing a niche can help you carve out a unique space in the industry. Specializing in a specific type of event allows you to tailor your services and marketing efforts to meet the needs of a group of clients. By focusing on a niche, you can develop expertise, build a reputation, and stand out from the competition. Here are some niches to consider as an event organizer:

Community events

Corporate event planners organize professional events like conferences, seminars, product launches, and company parties. This niche requires a focus on professionalism and attention to detail. Corporate clients often have larger budgets and may need ongoing services to provide steady business.


Plan large-scale festivals with multiple activities, entertainment, and vendors. This niche requires strong organizational skills and the ability to manage complex logistics.


Specialize in organizing conventions that bring together professionals from specific industries for trade shows, exhibitions, fandoms, businesses, and more. Conventions require meticulous planning of schedules, breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and exhibitor logistics. Attention to detail and the ability to create a seamless attendee experience are vital  in this niche.


Focus on planning fairs that feature shows and entertainment for a diverse audience. Fairs often require coordinating with numerous vendors, managing booth placements, scheduling performances, and ensuring a vibrant atmosphere. Strong logistical management skills and creativity in curating attractions are essential for success in this niche.

Build your professional brand

Your professional brand on LinkedIn is crucial for how potential clients perceive your business. Here’s how to cultivate a strong brand identity:

Design a distinctive logo

Invest in a professional designer to craft a logo that embodies your brand’s essence and values. Your logo should resonate with your target audience and convey professionalism.

Create an engaging LinkedIn profile

Craft a compelling LinkedIn profile that highlights your expertise, services, and achievements. Use a professional headshot and optimize your headline and summary with relevant keywords.

Network and engage

Connect with professionals in the event industry space and target market on LinkedIn. Participate in groups, share valuable content, and engage with your connections to build a robust network.

Showcase your work

Regularly update your LinkedIn profile with examples of successful events you’ve organized, along with client testimonials. Visual content such as photos and videos can be particularly impactful.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll establish a compelling brand presence on LinkedIn that resonates with potential clients and showcases your expertise in event planning.

Network and build relationships

Networking is crucial in the event planning industry. Build relationships with:

  • Vendors: Establish connections with caterers, florists, photographers, DJs, and other service providers. Reliable vendors can help ensure your events run smoothly and can refer clients to you.
  • Venues: Build relationships with local venues to secure preferred rates and availability for your clients. Familiarity with venues can also help you plan events more efficiently.
  • Other event planners: Networking with fellow event planners can lead to collaboration opportunities and shared resources.
  • Potential clients: Attend local events, trade shows, and community gatherings to meet potential clients and spread the word about your services.


Consider an all-in-one event management platform

Managing all the details of an event can be overwhelming. An all-in-one event management platform can help streamline your processes by providing tools for:

  • Mapping: Create customizable maps that have booths, event spaces, seats, and more for your attendees.
  • Volunteering: Centralize your communication through a messaging platform to ensure consistency with volunteers.
  • Organizing sponsors: Have a trackable platform that allows you to invoice and keep track of sponsor deliverables in one spot.
  • Artist, vendor, and exhibitor applications: Create separate forms for different vendors, artists, exhibitors, and more for all your different needs in one place.
  • Registration and ticketing: Create different types of tickets for attendees and offer QR check-ins for a quick check-in process. Check out how Eventeny helped streamline the process in this  AMKE case study. 
  • Scheduling: Create day-by-day schedules for attendees to get an insight into what to expect from your event. 


Becoming an event planner requires careful planning, dedication, and a passion for creating memorable experiences. By following these steps and continually honing your skills, you can build a successful and fulfilling career in event planning. Remember, the key to success is providing exceptional service and continuously striving.