Steps to Becoming a Professional Event Planner

Steps to Becoming a Professional Event Planner

Are you passionate about bringing people together and creating memorable experiences? Becoming a professional event planner may be the perfect career path for you. In this article, we will outline the essential steps you need to take to kickstart your journey towards becoming a successful event planner. From gaining relevant experience to building a strong network, we will cover everything you need to know to excel in this exciting and dynamic field.

Education and Training

When it comes to becoming a professional event planner, education and training are essential. Here are some steps you can take to enhance your knowledge and skills in the field:

Obtain a degree in Event Management or related field

One of the best ways to kickstart your career as an event planner is by obtaining a degree in Event Management or a related field such as Hospitality Management or Marketing. These programs will provide you with a solid foundation in event planning principles, budgeting, marketing, and logistics. Additionally, many employers prefer candidates with a formal education in the field.

Attend workshops and seminars to gain practical skills

While a degree can provide you with theoretical knowledge, attending workshops and seminars can help you gain practical skills that are essential for success in the event planning industry. Look for opportunities to learn from experienced professionals, network with industry insiders, and get hands-on experience in event planning.

Pursue certification in event planning

Obtaining certification in event planning can help you stand out in a competitive job market and demonstrate your commitment to professional development. There are several organizations that offer certification programs for event planners, such as the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation. By earning a certification, you can showcase your expertise and dedication to the field of event planning.

Gain Experience

To become a professional event planner, gaining experience is crucial. Here are some steps you can take to build your experience in the industry:

Volunteer at events to build your portfolio

One of the best ways to gain experience in event planning is to volunteer at events. This could include helping out at charity events, community gatherings, or even weddings. By volunteering, you can start building your portfolio and gaining valuable hands-on experience in the field.

Intern at event planning companies

Another great way to gain experience is by interning at event planning companies. This will give you the opportunity to learn from professionals in the industry, gain insight into how events are planned and executed, and build connections that can help you in your career.

Work as an assistant to experienced event planners

Working as an assistant to experienced event planners is another valuable way to gain experience in the field. By shadowing professionals and assisting with various tasks, you can learn the ins and outs of event planning, develop your skills, and build a strong foundation for your career as a professional event planner.

Develop Key Skills

When it comes to becoming a professional event planner, there are several key skills that are essential to master. These skills not only help you succeed in the field but also set you apart from the competition.

Communication skills

One of the most important skills for an event planner to have is strong communication skills. This includes the ability to effectively communicate with clients, vendors, and team members. Clear and concise communication is crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the event runs smoothly.

Organizational skills

Organizational skills are another essential trait for a successful event planner. From keeping track of deadlines to managing multiple tasks at once, being organized is key to staying on top of all the details that go into planning an event. Without strong organizational skills, it can be easy to overlook important details or let things slip through the cracks.

Problem-solving skills

In the world of event planning, unexpected challenges are bound to arise. This is where strong problem-solving skills come into play. Being able to think quickly on your feet, come up with creative solutions, and adapt to changing circumstances is essential for overcoming any obstacles that may come your way. By honing your problem-solving skills, you can ensure that you are prepared to handle whatever comes your way in the fast-paced world of event planning.

Build a Network

Building a strong network is essential for becoming a successful event planner. Here are some steps to help you expand your network:

Attend industry events and conferences

Attending industry events and conferences is a great way to meet other professionals in the event planning industry. It allows you to learn about the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in the field. Networking at these events can help you build relationships with potential clients, partners, and collaborators.

Connect with vendors and suppliers

Establishing relationships with vendors and suppliers is crucial for event planners. These connections can help you secure the best deals on venues, catering, decorations, and other essential services for your events. Building strong relationships with vendors and suppliers can also lead to repeat business and referrals.

Join professional organizations

Joining professional organizations such as the International Live Events Association (ILEA) or Meeting Professionals International (MPI) can provide you with valuable networking opportunities. These organizations offer events, workshops, and conferences where you can connect with other event planners, industry experts, and potential clients. Being a part of these organizations can also help you stay updated on the latest industry trends and developments.

Start Your Own Business

If you are passionate about event planning and want to take your career to the next level, starting your own event planning business can be a rewarding and exciting opportunity. Here are some steps to help you get started on the path to becoming a professional event planner.

Create a Business Plan

The first step in starting your own event planning business is to create a comprehensive business plan. This plan should outline your business goals, target market, services offered, pricing structure, marketing strategies, and financial projections. A well-thought-out business plan will serve as a roadmap for your business and help you stay focused and organized as you launch and grow your event planning business.

Register Your Business

Once you have a solid business plan in place, the next step is to register your event planning business. This involves choosing a business name, registering your business with the appropriate government authorities, obtaining any necessary licenses or permits, and setting up your business structure (e.g. sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC). Registering your business will give you the legal standing and credibility you need to operate as a professional event planner.

Market Your Services

With your business officially registered, it’s time to start marketing your event planning services to potential clients. This can involve creating a professional website, setting up social media profiles, networking with other industry professionals, attending industry events and conferences, and promoting your services through online and offline marketing channels. By effectively marketing your event planning business, you can attract clients, build your reputation, and grow your business over time.


Becoming a professional event planner takes dedication, hard work, and a passion for creating memorable experiences. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can start on the path towards a successful career in event planning. Remember to continually educate yourself, network with industry professionals, and gain hands-on experience to hone your skills. With determination and perseverance, you can achieve your goal of becoming a top-notch event planner in no time. Good luck on your journey!