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What is Event Planning?

When you’re first deciding how to be an event planner there are many things you need to do.

There’s an overwhelming amount of information and action to take – especially if you’re looking online.

How do you move forward and take stride when you’re just starting in the industry?

First, decide if event planning is right for you. Many newbies love the idea of planning events but they don’t ask themselves, “What is event planning?”

With so many job titles and job descriptions, many people confuse event planning and event management.

What is Event Planning?

Event planning is the process of budgeting, scheduling, choosing a venue or event site, coordinating permits and licenses, arranging entertainment including bands and speakers, and meeting with caterers to choose a menu. The term event planning is used when planning weddings, meetings or parties.

Event Management is the process of overseeing and managing the entire event from start to finish, including the event team and/or volunteers. Typically, event managers have more experience than a planner and manage the entire project. The term event management is usually used when referring to large-scale events like festivals, conferences, or concerts.

Regardless of which title you choose to give yourself, there are 3 key qualities that an event planner must have to succeed.

  1. Time Management – you must be able to coordinate multiple schedules at once, in order to be a successful event planner.
  2. Resourcefulness – thinking quickly on your feet is critical to planning events – no matter what size – because even the best laid plans don’t always go as planned and you’ll need to know how to seamlessly fix issues without your client or the event guests knowing.
  3. Budgeting – one of the most important skills to have as an event planner, yet often ignored because many of us like the creative side of event planning more than dealing with the bottom line. However, in order to be a successful event planner and make a profit, you must know your numbers. If budgeting scares you, sign up for a class at a local college to learn the basics.

3 Reasons Event Planning is Not For You

What if you love planning events but you aren’t sure it’s the right career path for you?

Giving yourself permission to plan events on the side or for fun is absolutely OK, but if you’re wondering if it should be a full-time job, ask yourself if you struggle with these 3 skill busters.

  1. Procrastination – if you’ve been dabbling in event planning for more than 6 months, this may not be the right career choice for you. Taking action quickly, being responsive and decision-making is all part of the job.
  2. Discretion – lacking discretion and understanding how and when to send client updates is fundamental. If you feel the need to update your client about ever (little) detail when you should spend time fixing problems and/or finding solutions, event planning is not right for you.
  3. Listening Skills – not having the ability to listen and understand client needs leads to mistakes and bad decisions. Effectively listening to your clients, vendors and team make your job a lot easier.

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