How to Become a Party Planner
Are you someone who loves to throw parties for every occasion, big and small? Do your friends wait for your annual New Year’s Bash with bated breath, and your family begs you for ideas on their kids’ birthday parties? You hold kick-ass Thanksgiving gatherings and can’t wait for Halloween.
Think you can turn that into a full-time career? More and more people today are hiring professional party planners for their special occasions. Here’s how you can cash-in your passion and become a party planner!
1: Be sure you have the “soft skills”
Loving to host parties is, of course, a pretty big prerequisite of becoming a party planner. But simply loving to host parties isn’t the only quality that will ensure you’re a successful professional party planner.
Once you start working with paying clients, a few more “soft skills” will come in handy:
- Good people skills: Working with different clients is very different than planning parties for close friends and family. As a professional party planner, you’ll need good customer service skills as well!
- Strong communication skills: You need to be able to communicate effectively with your clients and your vendors. Written communications skills are arguably the most important!
- Outstanding organization skills: As a successful party planner, you’ll likely have multiple clients on the go at any one time. Your job will require you to be uber-organized. You’ll be expected to stay on top of everything and never, ever miss a deadline! While you’ll definitely learn about ways to keep organized as part of your party planning course, being a naturally-organized person will serve you well in this profession!
Still on the fence? Here are 5 obvious signs you’re meant to be an event planner!
2: Get the “hard skills”
There’s more to professional party planning than meets the eye, and to do it right, it’s highly recommended that you take a course and get certified as a party planner. This doesn’t need to be time-consuming or expensive! A basic party planning course will cost under $1,000 and can be completed in a few months (part time).
Some of what you’ll learn in your party planner training includes:
- How to work with clients: managing budgets, timelines, etc.
- How to turn your clients’ vision into a reality
- How to plan different types of events you may not be familiar with
- The special considerations to take with different types of events (kid’s parties, religious celebrations, funerals, etc.)
- Risk management and creating contingency plans
- Project management and how to juggle multiple events at once
- How to launch your own party planning business, including how to market and promote your services
These skills aren’t all necessary if you’re just planning events for yourself or for your family, but they’re crucial if you want to run a successful party planning business down the road. So don’t sell yourself short! Give your future business every chance of being successful by getting a proper education.
Here’s where you can find a full outline of QC’s Party Planning Course.
3: Build your Portfolio
Your professional portfolio will become an important part of selling your services once your business is launched. You don’t need to wait until you have a successful business to build a beautiful party planning portfolio!
You can use any of the following to help build your portfolio:
- Parties you’ve planned in the past
- School work you’ve completed
- Inspiration boards for different types of parties
- Parties you’ve had a hand in planning through internships, volunteer work, etc.
Here’s a helpful guide to building your portfolio. Your course will also go into more detail on how to do it successfully.
As you gain more professional experience, you can add more and more shots from your professional work into your portfolio. Remember, a portfolio should always be evolving!
4: Start Small & Build Your Business
The great news about becoming a party planner is you don’t have to quit your day job while starting out! If you already have a stable income (and aren’t working in a toxic nightmare that drains your very soul), don’t sacrifice that stability until your new business has grown into a success.
Many party planners start out part-time, opting for events on evenings and weekends. Once your business is well-established and you’re having to turn potential clients away because you don’t have the time for more client consultations, you’ll know you’re ready to start thinking about quitting your job and starting your new career as a full-time professional party planner!
Becoming a party planner can be an amazing adventure that leads to a rewarding career! Just make sure you take it seriously and give your future profession the dedication it deserves, and you’ll have a thriving business before you know it!