A Day in the Life of an Event Planner

Many events are short occurrences that are the culmination of months or even years of meticulous planning. Everything, from the lighting and decorations to the seating arrangements and entertainment program, is the result of an event planner's hard work. Planning events is a fun, challenging career. Do you think you could be the mastermind behind memorable events? Take a look at an event planner's typical experience.

The Basics

In a nutshell, "An event planner creates, organizes, and supervises every element of an event, meeting, or incentive," according to a guide by EVENTful Ventures. That often means starting from scratch, beginning with discovering the specifics of what a client wants. It involves juggling every element of the event, so it comes together to form a smooth experience that accomplishes its goal, whether that goal is to generate sales or create a memorable, picture-perfect ceremony.

Event planners are usually present at the events they plan so they can tackle unexpected issues and make any needed last-minute changes.

There are several types of event planners. They may plan small parties, weddings, religious ceremonies like bat mitzvahs, fundraisers, themed parties, or corporate events.

The Unexpected

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Image via Flickr by Sarah_Ackerman

At a glance, event planning seems like it's all glamour and glitz, but it involves a lot of office work. Event planners have bottomless email inboxes and receive constant phone calls. They must keep a well-organized to-do list and make sure no client or aspect of an event slips through the cracks.

The necessary tasks that lead up to an event can be tedious and exhausting, and trying to plan the perfect event within the bounds of a snug budget is a challenge. However, if you have the personality for it, event planning results in personal satisfaction and rich experiences that expose you to a wealth of different types of people and places.

The Needed Skills

Do you have what it takes to be an event planner? Here are some of the key skills and traits needed to succeed in this career:

  • Sharp communication skills. Because event planners must negotiate contracts, problem-solve on the spot, and deal with a wide range of personalities, a master's degree in communication management is helpful to anyone who chooses this career.
  • Creativity. Sure, event planners may have designers and decorators on their teams, but they need to have a solid vision of what a client wants.
  • Physical stamina. The day of a big event, the planner may do a lot of walking and standing.
  • The ability to see the big picture. Event planners have to be able to see how the elements makeup the whole, and they must keep on top of even little details, like transportation for event attendees.

The Pay

The median annual salary for event planners is approximately $46,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Around 10 percent of event planners make $79,000 or more per year.

Event planning is not a career for the unadventurous; it requires an energetic, fun-loving personality. If the prospect appeals to you, you can start out on the right path by attending and observing events and honing your communication skills.