How to become an event planner

Job description: What does an event planner do?

Event planners are the creative minds behind a successful event. They plan and organize various events, such as classical concerts, sporting and company events, or unusual wedding celebrations. They take on all organizational and commercial tasks, from content and time planning to marketing and cost accounting.

Event management combines planning, sales, advertising, and project management. The individual activities of event planners are correspondingly varied. Your work usually starts with a detailed discussion with the customer. Together with the client, they discuss the purpose of the planned event. They then develop initial ideas for implementation and suggest suitable concepts. In consultation with the customer, they decide on the type of event, after which the organizational work begins.

Event planners plan an event down to the smallest detail. You first carry out a target group analysis and look for the perfect location. Then they create the timing and design the course of the event. You commission different service providers and answer numerous questions from different sides. You take care of the personnel planning, organize the catering, and handle the invitation procedure. They also manage the necessary event technology, ensure that guests are looked after (for example, hotel accommodation), look for partners or sponsors if necessary, calculate budgets, and take care of billing. At the same time, they create meaningful advertising and make the event public. They ensure that everything runs smoothly during the celebration, although not everything always goes according to plan. Event planners have to react quickly and spontaneously deliver a creative masterpiece.

Event planners find attractive jobs at various companies. Popular employers are

  • communication and event agencies,
  • trade fair,
  • exhibition and concert organizers,
  • congress agencies,
  • tour operators, or
  • relevant specialist departments of large companies.

They even have a chance of getting a job in public administration. Event planners work there, for example, in city marketing or at cultural offices. Another perspective is self-employment. Many event planners start their own company. The locations are also very different. On the one hand, event managers spend much time at their desks, organizing, planning, and making many phone calls.

Event planner responsibilities and requirements

The path to becoming an event planner usually leads through a university degree in business or media. Many universities offer an event management course. The department is often linked to the tourism industry. There are also some Bachelor’s and Master’s programs with a focus on event management. Also, career changers with a degree in business administration, sports management, marketing, or applied media have a good chance of a career in event management.

Depending on the focus of study, general business knowledge and subject-specific topics belong to the know-how of qualified applicants. Many employers expect specialist expertise in public business administration, personnel management, marketing, controlling, and the conception and organization of events. Besides, they often require expert knowledge of event staging, target group analysis, media, media impact theory, or event and tourism law. Foreign language skills are also essential. Confident use of Spanish is already standard. If you want to organize international events, you should have a good command of at least one other foreign language.

In addition to this know-how, event planners need various talents and social skills. Organizational skills, communication skills, and stress resistance are essential requirements in this job. Often the tasks and inquiries overlap. Everyone wants to know something and expect a response from the responsible event planner as soon as possible. This requires patience, flexibility, a sense of responsibility, and an organized way of working – don’t lose track and always remain friendly. Commercial thinking helps, for example, when analyzing the event market. Customer and service orientation are necessary when organizing events according to customer requirements. Also, working in event management requires a high level of commitment. While others celebrate, event planners are in demand. They often work on weekends or into the late evening hours. Trade fairs are particularly demanding. Here the organizers have to be available almost continuously for several weeks.