Working as a Corporate Event Planner: How to Get In
An event planning career is much more dynamic than it looks. Many professionals become wedding planners with their event planning certificate, while others choose to become social and corporate event planners. So how do you get started as an event planner who focuses solely on corporate events?
Follow this complete guide on how to get in and be successful as a corporate planner!
Is corporate event planning the right fit?
It’s no surprise that event and wedding planning is a highly rewarding career. You get to meet tons of new people, coordinate the most important days, and build a sparkling reputation for yourself.
But not all event planners are cut out to plan weddings. And that’s fine! In fact, it’s excellent. If you prefer to organize and manage events such as conferences, seminars, and award ceremonies, you’re in luck! Corporate planning is one of the most lucrative areas of event planning you can get into. You’ll have the chance to wear several different hats, including that of a high-end event and party planner.
Like any important decision, you want to have all the information before you specialize in your event planning career. A career in corporate event planning can be very rewarding but it isn’t for everyone. After earning your event planning certificate, research your career outlook. Where do you want to be in five years? Is earning a high event planner salary important to you? What kinds of events do you most enjoy planning? You won’t be planning big weddings or birthday parties. So if you have your heart set on destination wedding planning or DIY projects, you will be disappointed.
While working on corporate events, you’ll focus on details such as logistics, catering, and presentation. Having a strong marketing background is a serious asset. Some event planners love the marketing and business side of planning. If this sounds like you, an event planning career in the corporate world is a great choice.
Show your corporate event planner certification
Now that you’ve decided that becoming a corporate event planner is right for you, you’ll need to figure out how to make it happen.
In general, event planning is an unregulated industry, which means that you don’t need a formal license to work in the field. That being said, it’s in your best interest (and your clients’) to get an event planning certificate. Employers will appreciate that you’re professionally trained and they’ll have a great deal of confidence in your ability to plan successful events. Taking corporate event planning courses also shows your discipline and commitment to the job.
Let’s face it, it’s tough to find time to attend an in-class event planning school. That’s why online event planning courses are such an amazing option! You learn on your own terms, save money, and improve your skills and knowledge. The best part? You won’t need to sacrifice your full-time job or drop your other priorities.
The majority of event planning schools will offer wedding planning, event decor, and other specialized courses. In these courses, you may encounter units that discuss internal and external corporate events such as product launches, client appreciation parties, and meetings. But they will only scratch the surface. After all, their primary goal is to teach you those specific sects of event planning. To get the most well-rounded education, choose an event planning certification course that focuses strongly on corporate event planning and event management.
Hard skills will land you the interview, but you need strong soft skills to land that event planner job. It’s important to choose a course that will improve your interpersonal skills. You’ll need a complete understanding of different event aspects such as logistics, catering, and marketing, all of which involve working with new people. If you don’t have the communication and interpersonal skills to land a sponsorship or promote your client’s business to their audience, you’ll find landing a job very difficult.
Create your own opportunities
With your goal of becoming a corporate event planner in mind and your event planning certificate in hand, it’s time to really launch your career!
There are a few steps that will propel you to success in the industry. The first is networking, which will do wonders for getting your name out there. Take any and all opportunities to promote yourself. This means attending and networking at trade shows and conferences. These conferences are where the leaders in the industry come together to share their knowledge and discuss up-and-coming trends. Especially since the industry is constantly developing new planning technologies in audience engagement and goal promotion, you have to keep up!
You could also try connecting with other corporate planners in online forums and social networking platforms. Planners who work in your local industry are especially valuable contacts. Sure, some of them are your direct competitors. But nurturing good relationships with other planners could increase your opportunities. They could throw your name into the ring if they spot any open planning positions in their company. Or recommend you if they catch wind of any freelance event planning jobs.
When just starting out, you could make a list of all the companies you want to work for. You can then “cold call” them to see if they’re looking to hire a corporate event planner. This can be intimidating, but you could hit the jackpot and land your dream job. After all, it pays to take initiative.
Your long-term success as a corporate event planner will depend on the experience and service you provide to your clients. The best way to hone your planning skills is by gaining industry experience. We recommend volunteering, working as an assistant, or helping an established corporate event planner with their current workload. Not only will this look fantastic on a resume, but you’ll gain new contacts and get referrals!
With small-scale clients, corporate event planners can get by with a Facebook page and some references. However, aspiring event planners who want to work for big corporations need two key items: a professional website and a reputable brand. In addition to having these items, businesses will want to hire planners that project the right image for their own brand. Be as professional and polished as you can. Put together an organized and appealing professional portfolio to demonstrate your skills and experience.
Finally, when searching for a corporate event planning job, it’s important to be both patient and assertive. Don’t be discouraged if it takes weeks or months. Keep learning as much as you can in the meantime!
Do you have any advice for aspiring corporate event planners? Share it in a comment!
Ready to become a corporate event planner? Check out QC’s Corporate Event Planning Course!