What Is An Event Planning?

This question breaks down into two questions: What kinds of events are we talking about? And, what is event planning?

First things first. Generally speaking, special events occur for the following purposes:

Celebrations (fairs, parades, weddings, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries)
Education (conferences, meetings, graduations)
Promotions (product launches, political rallies, fashion shows)
Commemorations (memorials, civic events)
This list isn’t an exhaustive one, but as the examples illustrate, special events may be business related, purely social or somewhere in between.

Now we move to the second question: What is event planning? Planners of an event may handle any or all of the following tasks related to that event:

Conducting research
Creating an event design
Finding a site
Arranging for food, decor, and entertainment
Planning transportation to and from the event
Sending invitations to attendees
Arranging any necessary accommodations for attendees
Coordinating the activities of event personnel
Supervising at the site
Conducting evaluations of the event
How many of these activities your business engages in will depend on the size and type of a particular event, which will, in turn, rely on the specialization you choose.

Why Do People Hire Event Planners?
This question has a simple answer: Individuals often find they lack the expertise and time to plan events themselves. Independent planners can step in and give these special events the attention they deserve.

Who Becomes An Event Planner?
Planners are often people who got their start in one particular aspect of special events. Business owner Martin Van Keken had a successful catering company before he decided to plan entire events. Many other planners have similar stories. This explains why planners often not only coordinate entire events but may, also, provide one or more services for those events.

Event planners may also have started out planning events for other companies before deciding to go into business for themselves. Joyce Barnes-Wolff planned in-house events for a retail chain for 11 years and then worked for another event planning company before striking out on her own.

Becoming Certified
Consider getting a degree or certificate from a local university in event planning or management. A list of colleges and universities offering educational opportunities in this field is available from Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

Also, consider working to become a CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) or CMP (Certified Meeting Planner). These designations are given out by ISES and MPI, respectively. Many corporations, and some members of the general public look for these designations when hiring planners. Because of the research and study, it takes to become a CSEP or CMP, clients know that these planners are professionals.

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