The Pros and Cons of an Event Planner Certification
Are you considering taking the plunge into the fabulous world of event and wedding planning, but are unsure whether you want (or need) an event planning certification? To help you make an informed decision, here’s an overview of the pros and cons of getting certified!
PRO: Builds Confidence
An event planning certification course is a highly valuable tool for any planner. They’re particularly important if you have little-to-no previous experience in the field. Professional training in the industry helps ensure that you are a well-rounded planner with the ability to work with various clients. Most programs are comprehensive and cover a wide range of topics that you may not be exposed to if you are just planning events on your own.
Although there are ample career opportunities in this field, it is also highly competitive. As a budding event planner, you’ll have competitors who’ve been in the field for years. Some of these planners will be well-known within your local industry and already have a strong client-base. But having comprehensive training backed by a certification will help you burst onto the scene with confidence and know-how. You’ll enter the field feeling prepared and accomplished, ready to take your competition by storm!
CON: Unregulated Industry
The event and wedding planning industry is largely unregulated worldwide. This means that there is no legal requirement for a degree or certification in order to work in the field. If you have prior experience planning events, a strong portfolio and a well-developed client-base, then you may not need the certification. However, if you’re looking to start planning specialized events such as destination weddings, festivals, or conferences, you’ll want to strongly consider additional training. If you try to branch out into something with no experience, your client’s review could harm your reputation for years to come.
PRO: Preferred by Clients and Employers
Although the event planning industry is unregulated, an event planning certification is definitely preferred by clients and employers. For both parties, your certification indicates that you have more than just a solid foundation in event planning. It demonstrates an ability to follow through on commitments, manage deadlines, negotiate, and meet pre-determined goals for your events! In many ways, your physical certificate is a symbol of your passion for your career and your drive for success.
Additionally, clients and employers need to be confident in the planner they choose for their events. Being a certified event planner helps gain their trust and gives you the edge of being an “industry expert.” Your planning certificate makes you more marketable for this reason – you can use it as an additional selling feature to help set you apart from your competition!
CON: Ongoing Fees to Keep Your Certification
While QC Event School does not charge annual fees to remain certified, there are schools that do. When you’re researching your school options, find out if there is an annual cost for maintaining your certification. This will help you determine the long-term cost of receiving your event planner certification. You can do this by multiplying any annual fees by the number of years you estimate you’ll work in the field, then adding the course cost for a grand total. Just be aware that some schools may increase the price of your certificate as the years go on.
PRO: Memberships with Professional Associations
Many associations will only accept members who have planning certifications from a reputable school. A membership with a professional association lends credibility to your business as well as access to many exclusive industry benefits!
Each association will provide slightly different benefits. In general, you can expect a business listing on the association’s website, opportunities to network with your peers, access to member discounts and continuing education, newsletters, resource libraries, annual conferences, and much more!
Keep in mind that memberships will come at a cost. Associations usually charge annual fees for the privilege of membership. However, most do offer discounted rates to students!
CON: Diverts Focus
Some event planners rely too heavily on associations and certifications. It is equally important to spend time putting together a solid event planning portfolio, doing market research, building vendor relationships, networking within the industry and establishing a client-base. Do not assume the certification is either a shortcut to success or a guarantee of employment. It does not replace the legwork required to get your business off the ground!
That being said, your certification will provide you will everything you need to get started. If you want to start an event planning business, make sure that your course has business training! If you’re looking to practical experience so you can begin working right away, ask your school if their assignments focus on real-life scenarios. Once you earn your certification, you’ll have the knowledge you need to start working.
Now that you have a better idea of the pros and cons of an event planner certification, you can make an educated decision about whether becoming certified makes sense for you!