What does an Event Planner do?
Meeting, convention, and event planners organize a multitude of events that include business conventions, weddings, educational conferences, and other events. They ensure all details of the events meet client specifications such as transportation, meeting locations, food service, lodging and other areas like finances. They work in their offices, onsite at hotels, convention centers, and travel to attend events or prospective meeting locations.
How to Become an Event Planner
Meeting, convention, and event planners typically require a bachelor’s degree with work experience in planning or hotels because of the increasing complexity of work responsibilities. Some colleges offer bachelor’s degrees in meeting and event management or the studies in tourism management and hospitality.
There are colleges that offer continuing education courses in meeting and event planning. The applicant who has a background in hospitality and event management may begin their employment with greater responsibilities than others. Certifications are voluntary, however, it may give an applicant an advantage for a job as it demonstrates knowledge and competence.
The Certification Industry Council offers the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential and is widely recognized in the industry. Other certifications include, the Certified Meeting Professional-Healthcare (CMP-HC) certification and the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation. There are a few other certifications such as the American Association of Wedding Planners and the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants.
Job Description of an Event Planner
The duties of a meeting, convention, and event planner may vary. However, they typically begin with meeting prospective clients to gain an understanding of the expectations and needs of the event or meeting. They evaluate the size and scope of the event such as cost, time, and location.
Event planners solicit bids from potential service providers and venues and inspect the venues to ensure they meet all necessary requirements of the client. He or she has the task of coordinating the meeting or event services like food service, lodging, and transportation.
Event planners may need to arrange entertainment, activities, and speakers. During an event, a planner handles the logistics such as guest registry and organizing audio/visual equipment. The planner monitors the event to ensure customer satisfaction. He or she has the job of examining event bills and approving payment.
One in this career field requires excellent communication skills, negotiation and organizational skills, professional composure, and problem-solving skills.