DIY wedding centerpieces

The Most Successful Event Planning Students Share These 9 Traits (Part Two)

In part two of her blog series focused on how to succeed in QC Event School’s courses, QC tutor Heather Vickery shares her do’s and don’ts, and how to rise to the top in 2018! 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.

Here is what I ask…
I always ask my students to treat me and the assignments as if we are paying customers. What I mean by that is to put as much effort and love into the coursework as you would client work. Treat it like there is a paycheck at the end.

Why does this matter? Because I firmly believe that how we do anything is how we do everything and if you are going to rush through the coursework and not take the time to do it right, I have little confidence that you will be an excellent event and wedding planner.

Here are some do’s and don’ts specific to your QC classes:


  • Read the instructions carefully and follow them.
  • Be as detailed as possible at all times e.g. when asked to describe a menu, describe it thoroughly.
  • Proofread everything.
  • Pay close attention to sentence structure, spelling and grammar (I am a stickler on this one!).
  • Create event scenarios if none are provided. This helps clarify your responses.
  • Follow your instincts.

purple and blue decor for events

  • Paint an overall picture for me. This is your work and you should go all-in on it.
  • Ask good questions. Especially if you don’t know the answer to something. There is nothing wrong with clarifying to ensure you give the desired result.
  • Do extra assignments. These are a great opportunity to push yourself and try something for the first time – even if you think you’re not ready to give it a go. For example, write the business plan in the Event and Wedding Planning course. I know this can be an overwhelming thought if you are just starting out, but if you truly plan to have a business one day, you will be doing a business plan. Why not play around with it the first time out and get your feet wet? That gives you a major head start over the competition.


  • Be cookie cutter. I have been producing events for 20 years. I have seen it all and invented some of it. I want my students to be unique and creative. Don’t simply repeat something you’ve seen in the past.

event and wedding planner brainstorming ideas

  • Be wishy-washy. Own your answers and your ideas. Don’t say things like “I might suggest,” “maybe,” or “you could try.”
  • Rush through your work.
  • Ignore your tutor when they ask for clarification or follow up.
  • Give one-word answers when you could give a descriptive sentence.
  • Leave any answers blank.
  • Cut and paste. Write answers in your own words and don’t just cut and paste things from a website.
  • Select the first answer you find in a Google search! Take the time to actually look through pages when you are asked to research and find the answers that best fit your project.
  • List big box or online retailers. The magic of this coursework is that it allows you to go out into your local event and wedding planning community and meet people. This means you build a network and a solid referral base. If you pick online retailers you are completely shortchanging yourself and it is a cop-out.
  • Select your home as a venue for any of the event scenarios. While this is technically acceptable given the course “rules”, it is lazy and I want to see you go out and get to know your local venues. This experience is priceless.

It is a brand new year and now is the perfect time to really kick things into high gear. If you take everything I said above to heart and truly push yourself with your coursework, it will set you up for a successful career in events and weddings.

I wish you much luck in the coming year and look forward to helping you learn and grow as a planner.

Ready to kick your career into high-gear? Check out QC’s online event planning courses and find your focus!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *