Want to Become A Corporate Event Planner in 6 Months? Here’s How!
When you hear the words “corporate event planner”, you probably imagine boring meetings and luncheons. And that’s true… to an extent. Becoming a corporate event planner isn’t as restrictive as you may think. In fact, you’ll plan a variety of internal and external events over the course of your career. From staff holiday parties to fundraising galas, your planning potential is only limited by the effort you put in!
But, we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. You need to build a solid foundation for a stable career. Wayne Gretzky didn’t get to play with the big leagues without learning the rules and putting in hours of practice! You, too, need to complete a series of trials (okay, maybe not that dramatic!) before feeling confident enough to call yourself a corporate event planner.
On a time crunch? Do you want to get working in the industry in as little as 6 months? Hang tight! We’re going to show you how!
Take a corporate event planning course
Sure, you can roll out of bed one day and decide that you’re now a corporate event planner. There’s no standardized test for you to take and no formal training required. But will you really have the professional experience and skills to succeed? There are event planners, and then there are great event planners. The difference lies in the amount of personal investment a beginner has. You need to show yourself and others that you’re serious about a career in event planning. Taking a course and earning an official certification will do just that.
After deciding you want to get educated, you’ll want to make sure you choose a reputable school. As much as we hate to admit it, there are a lot of shady schools out there. Many of them give the legitimate schools a bad rap—hitting legitimate online event planner schools the worst. Choose a school that’s transparent with their curriculum. Who will you be learning from? How will you be graded? How much is the program? And, most importantly, will you be learning professional planning techniques?
We suggest thoroughly researching a course and taking a corporate event planning course from an industry-recognized school. Beyond having professional standard learning materials, you’ll want access to student support services, expert tutors, business training, and a certification at the end of your course. These features are essential to ensure you hit the ground running post-graduation.
Schedule time for your corporate event planning course
After enrolling and receiving your course materials, you need to get organized. Taking a self-paced course means setting your own deadlines. There won’t be anyone holding your hand or forcing you to study. If you’re serious about graduating and starting your corporate event planning career in under 6 months, it’s time to break out that day planner!
Don’t worry, staying motivated is easy when you create a schedule and set goals for yourself. Your online event planning course isn’t your only commitment, so don’t think you can trick yourself into pretending it is! To make long-term strides in your course, you need to create a weekly schedule.
Pencil in your job, family commitments, social life, and other priorities. And don’t forget to make time for yourself! In order to succeed in your course, you need to be honest with yourself. Why dedicate 9 hours a week to your course when you really can’t handle it? It’s great to be optimistic, but you need to be realistic, too!
Setting aside just 3 hours a week can make a measurable dent in your course. And whenever you have extra time, do that quiz, watch that course video, or read that text! Make the most of your time and, at the very least, stay on track with self-imposed deadlines!
Pro Tip: All that being said, don’t rush through your course content. You want to start your career as a corporate event planner with the tools, techniques, and knowledge necessary to succeed. You won’t retain anything by rushing through it. Be sure to listen to your tutor’s feedback carefully and apply it to future assignments.
And don’t be afraid to ask for clarification as you go along! Student Support Specialists are there to help you along the course. They can answer questions about the school, the courses, and even provide assignment help.
Practice planning events
Take every opportunity to practice your skills. Internal social events are much like parties with family and friends. Everyone unites over shared values and a common connection. And who doesn’t have fun planning an event where the goal is to relax, socialize, and have fun? Planning events during your studies is great motivation for the bright career ahead of you. It’s a perfect starting point to begin your professional career in event planning.
The primary event components will be the same across all events:
- Entertainment and activities
- Event décor
These elements are the backbone to a great event, no matter the scale. So any practice or work that you put towards planning any event is relevant experience. And when you can work out the kinks in your planning procedure before you’re planning big-budget events, all the better!
Learn to market yourself as a reliable event planner
It’s never too early to start thinking ahead! Even before graduating, you should line up career-related opportunities or resources to set yourself up for success after graduation. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting your own corporate event planning business or looking to work for an established company. Take advantage of the optional business training included with your course! You’ll learn all about writing a resume, cover letter, business plan, and other marketing materials.
It’s hard enough imagining how a potential employer will receive your resume. Especially if you’re anxious and want everything to be just right. You’ll definitely benefit from a second opinion, and even better if it’s coming from someone who currently works in the business. Your course’s business training may be the only time where you can have an established industry professional look over your work and offer constructive feedback. They’ll give insight on the most sought-after skills and experiences along with advice on tailoring your promotional materials to reach your career goals.
Build a network with other event industry professionals
You need to take the lead with this one. The reality is that networking is probably your best way to a job, especially if you don’t have a lot of real-world experience. While many professional event associations organize social events and conventions for planners, it’s up to you to actually attend it! We get it: it’s nerve-wracking! Especially if you’re still a student and don’t have any concrete experience yet. But you need to have a motivated, go-getter attitude to succeed in such a competitive industry.
Establishing relationships can be difficult if you don’t have any confidence in yourself. Our advice? Practice a firm handshake, your elevator pitch, and a warm smile. People can smell self-confidence a mile away. Reach out to smaller businesses who are willing to give an up-and-coming planner like you a chance. And if all goes well, they may recommend your services to clients and other industry professionals or reach out again!
Got any other tips for fast-tracking your career? Let us know!