Working as a Corporate Event Planner: How to Get In
An event planning career is much more dynamic than it looks! While many professionals become wedding planners with their event planning certificate, others choose to become social and corporate event planners (and this is a thriving career path to take!).
So how do you get started as an event planner who focuses solely on corporate events? Follow this complete guide on how to get in and be successful as a corporate planner!
Determine if it’s the right fit
It’s no surprise that event and wedding planning is a highly rewarding career – you’ll meet tons of new people, coordinate the most important days, and build a sparkling reputation for yourself!
However, not all event planners are cut out to plan weddings. And that’s fine! In fact, it’s excellent – if you prefer to organize and manage events such as conferences, seminars, and award ceremonies, you’re in luck! Corporate planning is one of the most lucrative areas of event planning you can get into, and you’ll wear several different hats, including that of a high-end event and party planner.
Like any important decision, you should take some time before completing your event planning certificate, or after your event planning classes, to decide whether a career in corporate event planning is right for you. You won’t be planning big weddings or birthday parties, so if you have your heart set on destination wedding planning or DIY projects, you will be disappointed.
While working on corporate events, you’ll be focused on details such as logistics, catering, and presentation. This means that a strong marketing background is a serious asset. Some event planners love the marketing and business side of planning – so if this sounds like you, an event planning career in the corporate world is a great choice.
Show you’re certified
Now that you’ve determined that a career as a corporate event planner is right for you, you’ll need to figure out what’s required in order to make it happen.
In general, event planning is an unregulated industry, which means that you don’t need a formal license to work in the field. That being said, it’s in your best interest (and your clients’) to get an event planning certificate. Employers will appreciate that you’re professionally trained and they’ll have a great deal of confidence in your ability to plan successful events. Taking event planner training also shows your discipline and commitment to the job.
We can appreciate that it’s tough to find time to attend an in-class event planning school. That’s why online event planning courses are such an amazing option! You learn on your own terms, save money, and improve your skills and knowledge – all while keeping your full-time job and other responsibilities.
While the majority of event planning schools will offer wedding planning, event décor, and other specialized courses, it’s common to have units focused on internal and external corporate events such as product launches, client appreciation parties, and meetings. Be sure to choose an event planning certification course that focuses strongly on planning corporate events.
It’s also important to choose a course that will improve your interpersonal skills! You’ll need a complete understanding of different event aspects such as logistics, catering, and marketing, all which involve working with new people. So when you’re looking for an event planning course, keep these details in mind. The more services you can offer as a corporate event planner, the better.
Enrolling in a course that teaches you the right skills for your career in event planning is key!
Get your foot in the door
With your goal of becoming a corporate event planner in mind, and your event planning certificate in hand, it’s time to really launch your career!
There are a few steps that will propel you to success in the industry. The first is networking, which will do wonders for getting your name out there. By networking, we don’t necessarily mean attending trade shows and conferences (although these are extremely valuable!). We also mean connecting with other planners in online forums and social networks, or seeking out local professionals that might want to work with a corporate event planner.
When you’re just starting out, a great idea is to make a list of all the companies you want to work for, and then contacting them to see if they’re hiring a corporate event planner. You never know, and it pays to take initiative and reach out!
Your long-term success as a corporate event planner will depend on the experience and service you provide to your clients. And the best way to go about honing your skills is by gaining industry experience – we recommend volunteering, working as an assistant, or helping an established corporate event planner with their current workload. Not only will this look fantastic on a resume, you’ll gain new contacts and get referrals!
As we’ve discussed, corporate event planners differs significantly from wedding planners in many ways. With small-scale clients, planners can get by with a Facebook page and some references. However, aspiring event planners who want to work for a big corporation need two key items – a professional website and a reputable brand. In addition to having these items, businesses will want to hire planners that project the right image for their own brand. Be as professional and polished as you can, and demonstrate your skills and experience in an organized and appealing portfolio.
Finally, when searching for a corporate event planning job, it’s important to be both patient and assertive. Don’t be discouraged if it takes weeks or months, and keep learning as much as you can in the meantime!