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How to Become a Certified Event Planner

Event Planning is a $500 billion industry
Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco

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 of events.

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.

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