movie theater screening - event planner jobs internship to plan pre-screenings

3 Lessons I Learned from Interning at Event Planning Companies

Alyssa Perna has over a decade of event operations experience for leading multinational business-to-business conferences, festivals and trade shows, press conferences, large-scale fundraisers, complex social events, and more. She is the founder of Experience Events, the Managing Director of Ingenuity Cleveland, and the lead instructor (and tutor!) for QC’s Corporate Event Planning Course.

If I had to pick three words to summarize my experiences completing event planning internships they include exciting, educational and invaluable. I picked these words because I’ve had three fantastic event-industry internships. These internships re-confirmed my career path, provided me with invaluable experience, and gave me the practical, hands-on professional experience I needed to land my first full-time job as an event planner.

I’m going to walk you through each event planning job I interned for, followed by the key lessons uncovered through each experience.

My First Event Planning Internship: Allied Global Marketing

Allied Global Marketing is a full-service integrated marketing agency that works with the world’s largest entertainment, consumer and lifestyle brands.

The Coolest Part of the Job

pre-screening movie theater event planner job internship

Once I had some event planning training and was trusted to get the job done successfully, I learned how to produce movie pre-screenings for major Hollywood studios. These promotional events included pre-screenings for box-office hits like Juno and American Gangster (shows my age)!

Eventually, I was responsible for hosting movie pre-screenings on my own. This included booking a theater and selecting people throughout my region to watch the movie for free before it was publicly released. Following the screening, I would write a report for the movie studio, which included demographic information, audience response, and post-screening feedback.

My Next Event Planning Internship: Wizard of Ah’s

Wizard of Ah’s offers full-service special event production and management services, from major corporate events to spectacular grand openings around the world.

The Coolest Part of the Job

My role interning at Wizard of Ah’s mostly involved business development activities. My day-to-day experience included cultivating relationships to identify new opportunities for the organization.

pyrotechnics outdoor event coordination internship

In this role, I learned how to uncover and develop sales opportunities. The best memory I have from this experience is how Mark Cheplowitz, an internationally renowned event planner, took me under his wing. He allowed me to assist and shadow one of his large-scale holiday productions.

This celebration included a stage show with pyrotechnics, entertainment, city-wide activities, and so much more. I envisioned myself doing work like this in the future, once I’ve had the right amount of experience and confidence.

The Event Planning Internship Job – Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center that provides clinical and hospital care and is a leader in research, education and health information.

The Coolest Part of the Job

I worked with the women’s health department at the Cleveland Clinic. The department hosted an annual, national conference called Speaking of Women’s Health. This division of the clinic empowers women to make informed decisions about health, well-being and personal safety.

I had a great mentor in this role, Danielle Locke, who taught me the ins and outs of conference production and planning. The best part of this opportunity was delivering the final product, a beautifully organized conference for a top-tier hospital system. It’s incredible the man-hours that go into developing a great agenda and entertaining program to inspire healthy choices.

health conference planning

How to Be Successful in Your Internships

I never had an “in” to get into these internships or any of the opportunities in my event planning career in general. Through hard work, drive, and determination I built my network from the ground-up, and my career has followed a similar path.

My best tips for being successful include…

  • Be punctual
  • Be reliable
  • Be trustworthy
  • Follow through with your commitments
  • Go above and beyond
  • Ask questions
  • Don’t expect anything
  • Never burn bridges

Last, be confident in yourself and show them what you have to offer! Seek out a variety of experiences, and offer to take on additional projects outside of the event planner job description. The more you do this, the more it will prove to a potential employer your ability to succeed in a full-time role as an event planner.

intern speaking at event planning company

How to Identify Event Planning Internships

Use Google, LinkedIn, Glassdoor,,, Indeed, and your network of planners and industry friends to identify great opportunities! Remember that many internships come unpaid. But some offer stipends or may offer an hourly rate.

Without a doubt, internships come with some menial task-work. But each internship provided me with an incredibly valuable learning experience and helped me learn more about myself and the event industry.

What was one valuable lesson you learned from your internship? Let us know in a comment!

Although some internships are unpaid. You can expect to earn a decent living as an event planner—check out the salary outlook for planners!

One response to “3 Lessons I Learned from Interning at Event Planning Companies”

    İstanbul Organizasyon Şirketi says:

    Thanks for information, beautiful article…

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