How to Become a Certified Event Planner
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According to the International Special Events Society the special events industry is
worth an estimated $500 billion Worldwide, with profits continuing to rise. If youíre
just about to graduate from college and havenít yet decided on a career, or youíre fed
up with your sedentary 9 to 5 job and need a line of work where you can interact with
people rather than just a keyboard, then you might want to become a certified event planner.
These well paid and highly in-demand professionals plan social events for hotels,
corporations, theme parks, cruise lines and non-profit organizations.
Becoming certified as an event planner requires some creativity on your part since there
are no statewide or nationally recognized certification programs in the United States. However,
with personal initiative and advance planning, you can become a certified event planner by
following these steps.
1. Decide what kind of event planner you'd like to become. Think about whether you want
to be known as a generalist event planner (you're willing to help people plan any kind of event),
or whether you'd rather specialize in certain types of events (such as weddings, high end corporate
events, sports events, etc.). The latter choice allows you to develop a specific expertise
in one field whereas the generalist approach will enable you to select across a broader range
There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches that you should consider - for example,
generalist work means that you will have a wide range of events available to possible booking
of your services but you won't necessarily be able to distinguish yourself as being unique;
whereas, specialist work would enable you to become renowned for certain types of events but
unless you are prepared to travel across the country or you live in a big city, this could
limit the options for your services being booked.
• Attend trade shows where you can get feedback from professionals on
the pros and cons of the industry.
• The types of events include weddings, fashion shows, corporate sponsorship
events, diplomatic events, celebrity parties, conferences, fundraisers, openings and Open Days,
sports events (for example racing cars and horses, football, tennis, etc.), business and product
launches, travel accommodation, birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations of people and companies,
commemorations, government sponsored events, etc. It is also expected that you will be able
to organize any type of meeting.
2. Learn more about event planning before you invest money and time in training. Make
sure you know exactly whatís involved in this highly specialized line of work.
• Research the profession to identify a certified event plannerís job
duties. These duties include locating sites for events, working with caterers, entertainers
and decorators, creating lists of attendees, designing invitations, supervising mailings, managing
technology, and making special accommodations for guests when necessary.