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Education, Your Event Career

How to Become a Promotional Event Planner in 1 Month!

Interested in becoming a promotional event planner? In our comprehensive guide below, we’ll discuss the role of a promotional event planner, how to get the right training, how to build a stunning portfolio, and where to look for promotional event planner jobs. Let’s jump into it!

What is a Promotional Event Planner?

First, let’s define the job description of a promotional event planner against that of a corporate event planner.

A corporate event planner would plan events such as business meetings, corporate conferences, and retreats. Besides planning internal and industry events, corporate planners could also plan promotional events. However, they may need to sharpen their skills with additional training before taking the lead for promotional events.

Promotional events are a little tricky to define. They could be in-person or online. They might last for weeks or just an hour, and they could be either large- or small-scale. It’s best to think about promotional events with a focus on the consumer experience. Promotional events of any form aim to create memorable, live experiences that excite consumers.

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Promotional event planners experiment with emerging trends to plan successful events for their clients. These events usually have the ultimate goal of increasing sales or boosting brand/product awareness.

Here are some examples of trends:

You can probably tell that these event planning trends indicate a new shift in bringing the product or experience to the consumer. In fact, for most promotional events, guests aren’t even formally invited! Rather, the promotional event planner can set up their promotional experience right where people tend to be.

But it’s not enough just to set up a kiosk in the middle of the mall. How do you make a passerby stop to engage with you? How can you ensure they leave with interest in your client’s product? That’s the specialty of a promotional event planner!

Get Professional Training

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Professional event planning training comes in two forms: interning and studying. There is no one path to success. But those who take every learning opportunity that comes their way will quickly rise to the top of their local industry!

Intern for an Experienced Promotional Event Planner

Alyssa Perna is an instructor for QC Event School’s Corporate Event Planning course. She has interned for three major event planning companies. In her internship with the Wizard of Ah’s, she became the protégé of Mark Cheplowitz, an Emmy-award-winning event planner. She took part in planning a large-scale holiday celebration under his wing. Besides learning new hard skills in event planning, she also realized that this was the direction she wanted her event planning career to take.

Taking internship opportunities is a great way to learn from and network with real industry pros. But internship opportunities may not be readily available—especially if you can’t relocate to a big city for the job! Thankfully, there’s another way to break into the industry…

Enroll in a Promotional Event Planning Course

Besides being educated by event planning pros, you’ll also graduate with a certification that proves your expertise. A promotional event planning certification is an amazing addition to your resume. Employers and clients love seeing that you have invested in (and achieved) professional training.

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Before you enroll in just any training course, do your research. Some courses teach promotional events as a foundational skills course. This means the course starts you off at a beginner’s level and advances you though succeeding units to graduate you with a thorough knowledge of planning promotional events. This type of course is perfect for those who are just starting in the events industry but know that they just want to work in the promotional events niche.

Alternatively, there are other courses that are shorter and teach promotional events as a specialization. For example, QC’s Promotional Event Planning course is a specialization course built on the basics of corporate event planning. To be eligible to take the course, you must either have prior professional experience in as a corporate event planner or you must be taking/have graduated from a Corporate Event Planning course. QC’s Promotional Event Planning course is just 3 units, totaling 8 hours of study. You can earn your certificate and start planning promotional events in a month or less!

Look for Event Planner Jobs

If you’re already working as a planner for a corporation, seek out opportunities outside your role. Take initiative with promotional event opportunities within your company to expand your event planning portfolio!

Christmas night market promotional event outdoors

But what if you don’t have any practical experience planning events at all? You probably know to look for job opportunities online—it is the common-sense option these days! But what else can you do? Check out these 3 popular avenues to landing your first promotional event planning job:

1.      Become a Promotional Event Planning Intern:

If you’ve earned your promotional event planning certification, use this to land an internship. The employer will see that you’re serious about a career in promotional events. They will also know that you have knowledge of the planning process. You’ll be the perfect candidate who’s ready to take on everything they throw at you!

2.      Network with Industry Professionals:

We recommend attending industry conferences to build your network beyond your existing friends, family and colleagues. This is not like cold-calling people who have no interest in your skills. When you attend trade shows or conferences in the field, every attendee is open-minded and willing to form new professional relationships. If you practice your elevator pitch, print out business cards, and exude ample enthusiasm, you’ll walk away with a job lead!

tradeshow conference and expo networking for a promotional event planner

3.      Start a Freelance Promotional Event Planning Business:

You don’t need to work for a promotional event planning company to be a full-time planner. In fact, you can start your own business! This is a flexible option for those who have a full-time job and don’t want to quit entirely to pursue event planning just yet. You can freelance on the side to build your promotional event planning portfolio, and then switch to events full-time once you’re ready!

Do you have tips on how to land a dream internship? Let us know!

Mastering new technology is a must for top promotional event planners. Click here to find out 4 ways to be a tech-savvy event planner!

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