How Can a Party Planning Certification Help You?
Are you an organized, outgoing person with a keen eye for detail? This may sound like the type of description you’d find in a job application, but it actually paints a very real picture of an event planner. Your love of planning events has led you to think seriously about becoming certified, but perhaps you’re not entirely sure what’s involved, and how a party planning certification can truly benefit you and your career.
Becoming certified as a party planner may be just the beginning, but don’t underestimate how important it is to get trained. Join us as we delve into the many advantages of party planning certifications, and why you need one!
Party planning 101
What do party planners do? Well, it’s a common question that has a few explanations…
As a career, party planning is pretty self-explanatory – planners spend time organizing events, getting to know clients, and delivering outstanding results by listening to their unique needs. When you think of party planning, perhaps birthday parties come to mind first, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there is much more to what a certified party planner can offer — business meetings, product launches, milestone parties, and even holiday parties round out the list! There’s never a dull moment in a dynamic role like this, and it takes a very energetic, outgoing individual to be successful.
That being said, however, certified party planners can choose to specialize in the types of parties they enjoy most – if you love planning bridal or baby showers, make this your niche! Alternatively, if you’re motivated by the idea of putting together luxurious events for high-end clients, you can make these your focus. It’s up to you, and a specialized event planning certification can get you there.
When it comes to choosing which event planning certification classes to pursue, you have so many choices!
An International Event Planning Professional (IEPP) certification will teach you each aspect of planning an event, from prioritizing the budget to day-of coordination, and the course itself is perfect for those who are not interested in planning weddings and aspire to work as an internal event planner for a corporation.
You can even start your own party planning business with the letters IEPP after your name, so it’s really an exciting certification to pursue. Birthday parties, charity galas, tradeshows and corporate events are examples of what you’ll work on, and you’ll be able to get your foot in the door by working as an assistant or volunteering. Networking is always a valuable use of your time anyhow!
Another certification similar to IEPP is an International Event and Wedding Planner Professional (IEWP), which focuses both on party planning and wedding planning. You’ll learn how to plan milestone parties, business meetings, and industry events as well as beautiful weddings, and you’ll be fully prepared to work in the field when you graduate.
Pro tip: Obtaining your International Event and Wedding Planner Professional (IEWP) certification will set you up to achieve maximum earning potential – you’ll know how to plan all types of events. Even if you have your heart set on parties (and niche events down the road), knowing how to organize and execute a wedding is a seriously impressive skill to have. Consider learning as many skills as you can and earning your IEWP, and check out some of the benefits of earning your certification online!
While it’s important to understand the different certification options available to aspiring event planners, as well as what a party planning certification really is, we know you’re after the specific benefits. After all, you’re not going to invest time earning a certification that won’t positively impact your event planning career!
In general, event planning is an unregulated industry, which means that you don’t need to be formally licensed in order to work in this field. There is the option of starting in an entry-level role and working your way up, but your career will progress much faster if you already have the training!
A party planning certification will open up some amazing doors, including access to professional event planning associations and conferences, discounted ticket rates, and the opportunity to network with other professionals! Some associations you can join as a certified event planner are The Event Planner’s Association (EPA) and The Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP), both of which can take you around the world for a specialized meeting or conference, and give you access to valuable planning resources.
- Higher salary:
Now, we’re going to be totally honest – it takes a great deal of work to get your event planning business off the ground. Like any other type of business, you’ll need to start from the bottom and work your way up. That being said, however, working your way up in the industry is easier when you’re properly certified. It’s one thing to explain that you know how to plan events, but it’s quite another to have a professional designation behind your name. Clients will have more confidence in your skills as a planner if they know that you’ve completed training and can be trusted to go above and beyond.
- A killer portfolio:
For party planners who are just starting out in the industry, it can seem like an impossible feat to gain clients without any experience. When we say experience, we really mean a visual showcase of the parties you’ve planned, and this comes in the form of a portfolio. Throughout your event planner career, your portfolio is your story – it shows potential clients what you can do for them.
So how do you go about building a portfolio with limited experience? Your party planning course is your stepping stone, since it will teach you how to organize a styled shoot, encourage you to offer services to friends and family, and motivate you to hone your skills at every opportunity. Taking clear, professional photos of these moments will allow you to start building an impressive portfolio that shows what you’re capable of.
Once you earn your party planning certification, you’ll be able to add to this collection.