Top 7 Myths About Event Planning
High-profile celebrity weddings and tons of Hollywood coverage have created a glamorous image of event planners that is, let’s face it, not exactly true (and not always flattering, either).
While it’s true that event planning isn’t the right career for everyone, many of the myths floating around about the event industry can discourage potential planners from seriously considering it as a profession. If you’re trying to sort out what’s true and what’s not about the event planning industry, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Here are the top 7 myths about event planning—busted!
1. All event planners do is go to parties
While this would probably be an awesome job, it’s not at all what event planners do. First of all, not all event planners plan parties. Conferences, meetings, and other corporate events might be less glamorous than parties, but they’re major business in the event industry. You don’t have to be a party person to have a successful career in event planning!
Part of an event planner’s job is to attend the events they plan, and yes, that can include parties, weddings, and galas. But here’s the thing: during the party, those event planners are working. They’re making sure everything goes smoothly and dealing with last-minute problems, plus emergencies, so that the hosts can relax.
As any event planner can tell you, the party is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind any event are weeks or often months of organizing, decision-making, and planning—and on top of that, planners who run their own businesses have to take care of marketing, social media, and finances as well!
2. Event planning = wedding planning
Wedding planning is a major (and we mean major) part of the event industry, but it’s certainly not all there is to it. Can you be an event planner who only plans weddings? Yes—that’s what wedding planning is. But can you be an event planner who never plans weddings? Absolutely.
Weddings tend to dominate the public image of the event industry because of the romance, glamour, and drama that gets associated with them. Just think of how many movies there are about weddings and wedding planning (as opposed to, say, organizing corporate conferences). And for many event planners, the beauty of weddings and the joy of taking part in a couple’s special day is what drew them to the industry in the first place, so of course they’ll want to work on weddings. But there are many more event planners who take on weddings only occasionally, or even not at all.
3. Event planners only work on big events
A big event needs an event planner—that goes without saying. It’s easy to see the benefit of hiring a professional to coordinate a gala for 500 guests or an employee retreat to Napa Valley, but many people don’t see the point in booking a planner for a small-scale event.
Until they’ve actually started planning the event, that is. The logistics behind even a small-scale event can be tough to navigate and stressful to handle for someone without professional experience. Hiring an event planner for a milestone birthday or anniversary party lets the hosts relax and enjoy themselves. Event planning businesses come in all sizes and specialties!
4. Event planning is glamorous
This myth is closely related to Myth #2. Celebrity weddings and Hollywood weddings are oozing with glamour and luxury, so an event planner’s job must be the same, right? Sampling cakes, shopping for wedding dresses, networking with celebrities and luxury good providers, landing huge paychecks… all in a day’s work for an event planner, according to pop culture.
Well, not quite. Again—yes, we know we’ve already said it—many event planners don’t deal with weddings. And while event planning can be a very profitable business, it takes time to work your way up there.
Plus, movies tend to skip over the less glamorous parts of being a planner—you know, marketing your business, building relationships with vendors, managing your social media, and handling all your finances. We can pretty much guarantee you’ll spend more time answering emails than you will helping your clients shop for wedding dresses at high-end salons.
5. Anyone can be an event planner
Definitely not true. Like most other professions, event planning can be learned, but not everyone is ready to make the commitment. In case you haven’t picked up on it already, event planning is tough! Lots of people just aren’t ready to commit to building the skills necessary for a successful career in the event industry.
Tight budgets, short timelines, last-minute cancellations, and difficult clients can all make being an event planner a stressful career. Along with a passion for creativity, good communication, organization, and problems solving skills will definitely help you out in an event planning career!
6. New technology means there’s no future in event planning
Technology does often make event planning easier, but no software or app will ever be a match for the service skills of an event planner.
Event planners are creative, and that’s something no technology will ever be able to replace. What software can create a totally innovative event to really wow guests, or come up with an unexpected dining or décor option that’ll cut back on costs without coming across as cheap? Event planners help their clients provide a personalized service to create a unique event—plus their relationships with trusted vendors help to guarantee an event that’s put together professionally and reliably, sometimes even at a lower cost to the clients.
People will always get married, throw parties, and host conferences, so the event industry is here to stay!
7. Event planning is a part-time job
For some event planners this is true, especially if they’re new to the industry and working at an old job while they build a business that can support them financially. And it’s also true that event planners don’t work a nine-to-five shift five days a week—but that doesn’t mean they’re not putting in just as many hours (or even more) than someone working an office job!
Event planners often work during the evenings, when clients are available for consultations after their own workdays, and on the weekends, when many events are held. Between the actual event planning and all the work that goes into building and running a business, event planners have a lot on their plates. And once you’ve started bringing in clients, event planning is definitely a career that can support you full-time!