Event Planner Job Listings

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Contributor, Benzinga
September 1, 2020

Are you a social butterfly who loves planning parties for your friends and family? If so, consider becoming an event planner. Many different industries employ event planners, so you can choose the one that best suits your interests. We’ve researched job descriptions, salaries and places to look for event planner jobs, so read on to learn more. 

Overview: What Does an Event Planner Job Entail?

Some event planners work independently and run their own event planning business. These business owners build up a client list of contacts and charge on a per-event basis. Others work exclusively for a large corporation and plan everything from small meetings and conventions to holiday parties and seminars. You might:

  • Collaborate with clients on event details and preferences
  • Set a date, time and location for the event
  • Send out invitations or advertise if it’s a public event
  • Coordinate guest speakers and audio/visual equipment
  • Arrange catering, decorations, entertainment and music

An event planner negotiates and communicates with vendors, such as deejays and caterers on behalf of their clients. 

Do I Need a Degree to Work in this Field?

A college degree isn’t a necessity if you’re looking for an event planner job if you’re targeting a larger company. A degree in communication, marketing or hospitality, plus email marketing courses, would be ideal. Some community and online colleges offer 2-year certifications in event planning, too. A master’s degree would probably not be necessary unless your goal is to be an event director. 

Types of Event Planner Jobs and Titles

There are several different types of event planner jobs and titles. Let’s take a look at some examples and job descriptions.

Entry-Level Event Planner Jobs

An entry-level planner is someone new to the business, usually a college student or recent graduate. The entry-level stage is the ideal time to learn on the job. Even if you don’t have any experience, you can assist someone who’s already established in the business to learn the ropes. Typical tasks might include meeting with clients, researching venues and caterers, compiling to-do lists and creating a budget plan.

Sample job titles: Entry-level event planner, junior event planner, event planner assistant

Wedding Planner Jobs

A wedding planner is a specialized event planner who’s responsible for coordinating wedding logistics. Examples include meeting with clients to discuss their needs and securing vendors such as deejays, bakeries and caterers. Wedding planners build up credibility with each successful wedding they plan. They often work independently and promote themselves through a website and a portfolio with examples of their work.

Sample job titles: Wedding planner, wedding coordinator, wedding organizer

Party Planner Jobs

Party planners specialize in coordinating different kinds of parties such as children’s, retirement and office parties. It’s a good idea to choose one area of focus if party planning is your specialty. Typical job functions include meeting with clients, choosing a party theme and overseeing the party set up.

Sample job titles: Party planner, children’s event planner, children’s party planner

Corporate Event Planner Jobs

Corporate event planners can work independently, as business owners or as part of an extended corporate team. Large corporations often have many events throughout the year, from seminars and training sessions to retirement banquets and parties. Corporate event planners coordinate all details of these events and ensure that they go off without a hitch. Corporate event planners might find venues, order food and determine a budget.

Sample job titles: Corporate event planner, corporate meeting planner, corporate event coordinator

Activities Director Jobs

An activities director coordinates activities for groups of people, such as those in hotels, on cruise ships or in nursing homes. They’re responsible for creating events that are fun and engaging. Typical tasks might include meeting with guests to find out their interests and coordinate events such as bingo, game night and movie night. Most activities directors are full-time employees — on staff to coordinate events year-round.

Sample job titles: Activities director, cruise activity coordinator, hospitality event coordinator

Fundraiser Planner Jobs

Event planners who specialize in organizing fundraisers for individuals and nonprofit organizations are known as fundraiser planners. They’re in charge of meeting with clients to determine fundraising goals, securing sponsorships from local business owners and coordinating logistics. They might also be in charge of giving assignments to volunteers and promoting the fundraiser.

Sample job titles: Fundraiser planner, fundraiser coordinator, fundraiser organizer

Salary Ranges and Expectations for the Event Planning Field

The average annual pay for event planners is $49,400, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This 2018 figure is based on those who have a bachelor’s degree. A few things to consider: Since most event planners work for themselves, long hours are the norm. It’s not a 9-to-5 gig. You can make more money if you specialize in a certain type of event. For example, if you’re a fundraiser planner, your expected annual salary is $57,000. You can set your hourly or event rates when you run your own business, so the sky’s the limit.

Projected Growth Rate of Event Planning

The projected growth rate for event planner jobs is 11%, faster than other occupations. An additional 12,700 jobs are expected to be added from 2016 to 2026, so if this job appeals to you, there should be plenty of opportunities to choose from. 

How to Get a Job in Event Planning

If you’re starting to look for an event planner job, here are some tips to help:

  • Create a website. Make a website using services such as Wix for about $10 a month to advertise your services. 
  • Spread the word. Tell everyone in your circle you’re a professional event planner and offer discounts to family members and friends. If you have a website, share it on social media.
  • Start a blog. Write a blog on event or party planning tips and share it on social media and LinkedIn.
  • Network. Join a professional organization such as the National Organization for Catering and Events or a Facebook or LinkedIn group to connect with other event planners. 
  • Volunteer. By volunteering your services for a local church, nonprofit group or friends, you’ll gain experience you can add to your resume and portfolio.
  • Specialize. You’ll be more marketable to clients if you specialize in a particular area such as corporate event planning. 
  • Research the industry. You can find valuable information by reading blogs, watching TED Talks on YouTube and reading magazines like wedding magazines. Take notes and develop a plan of action so you can target your job search.
  • Freelance. Sites such as Upwork can provide opportunities for freelance event planning, so give them a try.
  • Apply for an internship. If corporate event planning is your goal, you might be able to secure an internship. Make a list of companies you’d like to work for, then contact their HR representative to see if they offer internships.
  • Make sure your resume shines. Highlight any parties or events you’ve planned, including budget and number of attendees to give employers an idea of your skills.

Related content: The Best Event Planning Classes

Top 10 Skills to Be Successful in Event Planning

What are some traits that are desirable to employers if event planning is your chosen field? Here are the top 10 skills you’ll need to be successful.

1. Communication Skills

As an event planner, you’ll need to meet with clients and vendors and communicate effectively, so good communication skills are a must. You should be friendly and approachable, with an outgoing personality.

2. Organizational Skills

Event planners need to be highly organized, as wearing many hats will be necessary. You’ll need to coordinate lots of different moving parts to make sure events run smoothly.

3. Time Management Skills

Most events you’ll plan will be time-sensitive, with short turnaround times and deadlines. If you can coordinate events that are executed on time, you’ll establish credibility with future clients. 

4. Negotiation Skills

Negotiating will be an important part of your job as an event planner. You may need to negotiate prices of vendors or contracts of event sponsors, so you need to be a strong negotiator.

5. Creative Skills

Your clients want their events to stand out, so you’ll need good creative skills to incorporate unique elements. From catchy music to imaginative themes, you’ll be expected to bring your creative “A” game.

6. Project Management Skills

As an event planner, you’ll be overseeing and executing multiple mini-projects at once, so you need to be an expert project planner. You should create project plans for each event you coordinate and check off milestones as you go.

7. Technical Skills

You may be tasked with setting up A/V equipment or using computer programs to track the events you plan, so you’ll need strong technical skills. You should be proficient in Skype, Excel and PowerPoint as well. 

8. Problem-Solving Skills

You can expect the unexpected to happen no matter how well organized your event plan is. For example, what if a deejay is late or a cake is smushed? You’ll need to think fast and come up with a solution, so good problem-solving skills are essential.

9. Social Media Skills

Be comfortable promoting events on social media and use it to invite people to attend. Use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram regularly as an event planner, so if you’re not that familiar with them, you might want to invest in a social media marketing book.

10. Research Skills

Each event is different, so expect to receive some special requests from clients. No matter what they request, you’ll likely need good research skills to find just what they’re looking for.

Get the Party Started!

You can coordinate the types of events you want and work in any industry you choose. With the right personality and creativity, you can orchestrate memorable events that’ll secure a plan for retirement and keep clients coming back again and again.

Related content: Best Event Planning Courses

Laura Hipshire

About Laura Hipshire

Expert-level knowledge of Medicare Advantage plans and regulatory guidelines