The Most Successful Event Planning Students Share These 9 Traits

QC Event School tutor, Heather Vickery, shares the 9 traits that all successful event planning students have, including the ability to follow directions and listen well! Heather is the Owner and Event Director of Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, one of Chicago’s most celebrated event planning and design firms.

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When I go in to record my markings for a new student, I always go over some “house rules” so that they know what I expect from them and what they can expect from me. I guide them through different ways to get the most out of their QC coursework and get high marks from me.

The students that take this to heart really soar with their assignments and I know they will be high-achieving event and wedding planners. You see, event and wedding planning, at its core, is truly about these items and your QC coursework should be as well:

Follow directions

With your coursework, you are given specific instructions. I cannot express enough how important it is that you follow the directions. An example I see often is in the Destination Wedding Planning course – there is an assignment to select a popular “destination” in your area. This means selecting a location near where you live. If you rush through the work you could easily miss this small, but important detail. Points are taken off by selecting a destination that is not near where you live. Clients may simply fire you for not presenting options as they have requested.

wedding coordinator working with bride

Listen intently and deliver

It is important to slow down and take your time with the coursework as well as with clients. Read the assignments thoroughly. Make sure you fully understand what is being asked of you and then deliver on that request.

Approach situations creatively

Yes, I want you to follow directions. That is an important aspect of event and wedding planning, but it is equally as important to approach each situation creatively and put your personal touch on things. There are always ways to enrich a client or guest experience, and this is what makes the difference between one planner and another – who brings creativity to the table?

Try new things

Don’t be afraid to test limits. A little bravery always scores points with me and with clients – even if it doesn’t work for the event, put yourself out there and try new things.


One of the most important aspects of the course, in my mind, is to teach you to be confident and believe in yourself. As such, I want to see students who own their ideas and go confidently into them.

student in event planning school working on laptop


No event goes off without a hitch. If you try to sell that to a client, they will see straight through you. That is why problem-solving is so important and something I want to see from my students in QC’s courses.


Seriously. This one is the actual magic. Always do what you say you are going to do!

Throw in a few surprises

Don’t forget to throw in a few surprises along the way. You are the expert, after all, and clients (and tutors) love to see you give something unexpected that still fits within the goals and vision for the event (or assignment).

Go the extra mile

If there is one thing I know, it’s that event and wedding planners are always the first in and last out. They are responsible for overseeing every aspect of an event and, when push comes to shove, they are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of an event.

floral decor for events centerpiece

With this in mind, you must always be willing to jump in and do the thing even if you think it’s “not in your job description.” I cannot tell you how many times I have filled water glasses, wiped down bathroom counters, helped set centerpieces on tables or cleared cocktail glasses simply because it needed to be done. Was that technically in my job description? No way, but the event was my responsibility.

Stay tuned for next week, when Heather gives us her biggest do’s and don’ts in QC’s courses!

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One response to “The Most Successful Event Planning Students Share These 9 Traits”

    Amazing tips Heather. As a fellow Tutor (and student graduate) I couldn’t agree more with everything you stated.

    I always tell my students to treat each assignment as if it was a request from a client. I ask… “If this was a client asking you to do this, would you really respond this way?”

    The am so glad to hear you also set house rules in the beginning. Truly true advice given here!

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