What does an event planner do?
As an event planner, you will be tasked with the logistical management of public and corporate events. The main role of an event planner revolves around organizing facility details such as catering, décor, transportation, entertainment, location, equipment, invitee list, special guests, promotional material, and much more. In other words, the job involves responsibilities such as choosing locations, hiring caterers, liaising with entertainment vendors, and other aspects that will ensure that an event is successful.
Examples of tasks
An event planner must come up with a design and execute production within the set time limits. You will be working with clients intending to identify their needs, thus ensuring customer satisfaction. You have to gather information through market research, negotiate contracts, and close deals while providing periodic feedback reports to stakeholders.
While doing all these, you are required to ensure compliance with safety, health, and legal obligations. An event planner works toward improving the event services quality by providing ideas and handling any arising issues as well as troubleshoots emergency problems during the event. You will coordinate staff activities and specify their requirements and work with PR and marketing to publicize the event. You need to carry out pre- and post-event assessments and report their results.
What is the average salary of an event planner?
The salary of an event planner varies widely depending on which state you're located and the company you are working for. It also varies depending on factors such as certificates, education, experience, and additional skills. As of 2020, the average salary of an event planner in the U.S. was $51,560 annually, but the salary ranges from $38,460 and goes up to $67,250. Some of the best-paying cities for event planners include Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, Boston, and Washington.
You can improve your earnings as an event planner over time by learning everything that you require to know concerning event management. You have to build a portfolio to make an impression and take advantage of every arising opportunity to gain experience. Keep an eye on the other companies out there and be in the loop of the trends at the top of the game.
Working as an event planner
An event planner is used to juggling many tasks to create experiences and bring a vision to life. The typical functions of an event planner range from soliciting bids, scouting locations, managing vendor relations, facilitating client communication, and managing budgets to creating and negotiating contracts. Typical event planners spend most of their time in the office talking to clients, structuring an event, and coordinating all the moving parts.
Event planner job description
The responsibilities of an event planner differ from one company to the other depending on the size, type, or nature of the business. Besides managing and overseeing the event's day, they are responsible for identifying clients’ expectations and requirements for the event. This is made possible by brainstorming event concepts and themes and implementing them. An event planner is responsible for researching and booking venues while organizing staff, caterers, suppliers, and entertainment.
As an event planner, you are required to coordinate all logistical elements of an event, including pre-event marketing, preparation of the budget, finding cost-cutting opportunities, and processing invoices. You are supposed to anticipate the attendees' needs and make preparations against potential risks and work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure every item arrives on time. The setup, tear-down, and cleanup operations are all to be done under the management of an event planner.
Working with management
Event planners are expected to provide management with oversight and the direction of vendors that provide support for meeting the plan. They monitor event activities and ensure compliance to all the applicable laws, resolution of any problems that may arise, and satisfaction of the participants. It is their role to supervise the staff during the event, provide directions, and assign duties. Once the event is over, they conduct post-event data analysis to provide strategies for future events.
What type of equipment do event planners use?
Event planning is a job that requires serious multitasking, thus there is certain equipment that you need to have with you all the time. You need to be highly organized, thus the reason why there are numerous apps in the market for event planning. Some tools you can use for event planning include Skype/Slack, Monday.com, Stay Focussed, GoTo Webinar, Google Drive, Trello, and Swift Digital Event Management Software. Besides these tools that make event planning more manageable, there is the following equipment that you will be using all the time.
- Cell Phone – A cell phone acts as a mission control wherever the event planner is at. It helps in coordination by providing interactions between internal and external stakeholders.
- Laptop – You may have a desktop in the office, but a laptop is required so that you can work with it while in the field, during the event, or wherever else that you may be to make presentations.
- Business cards/brochures – Business cards will help you generate new clients as you never know the people you meet might need an event planner.
- Internet/cloud storage – Event planning software is cloud-based, thus you will need fast, reliable internet to access your data and do anything else that relies on the web while in the field.
- Car – A car is important for an event manager as it will help you move around easily while scouting venues and meeting clients.
What is the work environment of an event planner?
Event planners typically work in their offices and on-site at conference centers or hotels. They often need to travel a lot to visit meeting sites, meet clients, and attend events. This is a full-time job and during conventions or meetings, event planners may work more hours than usual. These extra hours can include evenings and weekends since events usually take place during these times. They often have tight deadlines to meet, thus the extra hours allow them to handle last-minute changes and unexpected issues.
Remote work environment
Although it is an office job, you can work from anywhere, including your home, if you have the right tools and equipment. Since event planning software is available on cloud storage, all one needs is a fast and reliable internet connection. Having the right equipment is important as you can organize some events remotely and only have to drive over to the venue to ensure everything is in place. With a cellphone and a laptop, you can have many contacts and be able to coordinate everything with trusted stakeholders.
Who are your colleagues as an event planner?
Event planning is a complex undertaking that you cannot carry out without collaborating with other departments in an organization. Some of the people that you will collaborate with include executive assistants, personal assistants, IT support technicians, account managers and project managers. The event will require marketing to publicize it, and you will need the cooperation of the finance guys for your budget. Procurement and transport, as their names suggest, are for making sure that you have all the supplies that you need and that equipment at the venue gets to and from there respectively.
What is the work schedule of an event planner?
Most of the event planner’s time is spent in the office speaking to clients and vendors via the phone, email, or in person. You will spend most of your time finding new clients, negotiating contracts with venues and suppliers, coordinating catering services, and creating budgets that reflect each event’s unique expenses. Sometimes, the venue might need to be searched for and inspected, thus you will have to allocate time for that to ensure the smooth running of your plan. Some vendor facilities might also require visitation for quality assurance to ensure customer satisfaction.
With such an amount of workload, event planners work full time and sometimes in the evenings and weekends to ensure they meet their deadlines. Organizing an event requires you to be ready for any unforeseen issues, thus you will be working from the initial planning to the end of the event. Last-minute changes and applying some finishing touches might see you leaving the venue much later than usual. Since most events take place in the evenings and weekends, you will be on the job at that time as well.
What is the career outlook for an event planner?
The demand for event planners is growing, and it is projected to increase by 18% from 2020 to 2030. An average of about 16,400 openings for event planners are estimated each year. These openings are a result of the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or retire. As an event planner, you can advance your career by dealing with larger and more demanding events. As you gain experience, you will be able to handle extra responsibilities and maybe eventually open your own business. You will also have the opportunity to move to other related fields such as marketing or public relations.
What are the advantages of working with Spherion as an event planner?
Whether you are serious about finding a job or you're just checking out the job market, Spherion is the ideal place to start. Spherion will assist you to find an event planner job that matches your skills. Spherion is among the renowned staffing companies that have connections in many businesses. You will get networking opportunities with Spherion and connect with the right employer for your work style.
Working via Spherion offers you the following advantages:
- Weekly payment
- A contact person you always can fall back on and ask for help
- A lot of training opportunities
- A range of jobs in your area
What education do you need as an event planner?
To become an event planner, you will require to have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, public relations, event management, marketing, business, communications, or any other related field. The relevant coursework includes:
- Hospitality management
- Event planning
- Hospitality law
- Hospitality business management
- Marketing and sales
- Hospitality accounting
Skills & competencies
Event planning is not an easy task, and you'll require attention to detail to make sure the event runs well. Besides negotiation skills to land the best deals, here are some other skills that will make your work easier:
- Communication – Communication skills are important in conveying ideas to vendors, clients, and other team members.
- Organization – You will often have many tasks to complete, so you need to be very organized.
- Networking – Event planners need to be network-savvy since the industry is based on close relationships.
- Interpersonal skills – The events industry is people-driven, so you need to be sociable to deal with vendors, teammates, and clients.
- Leadership – As an event planner, you will be managing the staff and other stakeholders, so you'll need to exhibit good leadership qualities.
- Problem-solving – Problems often arise at a very critical stage of the planning; you need this skill to provide swift and efficient solutions.
- Marketing – This will be part of your training.
- Multitasking – You will be handling many tasks and many people at once thus.
- Budgeting – Budgeting will help you close deals very fast if you can come up with cost-cutting strategies to arrive at a favorable rate.
Do you aspire to become an event planner and don’t know where to start? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about becoming an event planner.
Is event planning a good profession?
Yes, it is as the industry is growing. It is predicted that job openings will increase by 18% by 2030. There is also the option of venturing into other career paths like marketing and public relations.
What qualifications do you require to become an event planner?
The basic requirements for one to become an event planner are a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, business, marketing, public relations, communications, or any other related field. Experience in project management will be an added advantage.
Is event management a good career choice for me?
It is a good career as it doesn’t require huge amounts of investment. This job offers you flexibility and independence, and there is the possibility of increasing your income by tackling larger events. You can also move from this career into marketing or public relations.
How do I apply for a job as an event planner?
Applying for a job as an event planner is easy with Spherion. You can search for event planner jobs on Spherion.com by job title and location. If you don’t see the perfect role, you can submit an open application. Once you submit your contact information and resume through Spherion’s open application, a recruiter from the office closest to you will reach out with details about potential event planner roles that fit your skill set and professional goals.