How to Become a Corporate Event Planner: The Ultimate Guide
Do you have a passion for planning events? Are you looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding? If so, this article is for you! In it, we will provide an ultimate guide on how to become a corporate event planner.
We will cover topics such as educational requirements, job duties, and essential skills. So whether you’re just starting out on your career journey or are simply interested in learning more about this exciting field, read on!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Corporate Event Planner?
A corporate event planner is responsible for planning and executing events for businesses and organizations. This can include:
- Product launches
- Holiday parties
- Charity dinners
- Awards dinners
- Employee retreats
- And more!
Corporate event planners must have excellent organizational skills and be able to work well under pressure. Furthermore, they must also be creative problem-solvers who can think on their feet and come up with innovative solutions.
Do Corporate Event Planners Make Good Money?
In short, yes! Corporate event planners can make a very good living. In fact, the average salary for corporate event planners in the United States ranges from $37,000 USD to a whopping $97,500 USD per year. As another example, in Canada, corporate planners tend to make anywhere from $34,000 CAD to $82,000 CAD annually.
Just remember to keep in mind that salaries will vary depending on experience, location, the demand for corporate planning services in your specific area, and the amount of effort you’re willing to put into your career and/or business.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Corporate Event Planner?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the educational requirements can vary depending on the employer. It’s also worth noting that event planning is an unregulated field – meaning that it doesn’t require any sort of mandatory qualifications or schooling prerequisites.
That said, many aspiring corporate event planners choose to obtain a bachelor’s degree in event management, hospitality, business administration, or a related field. However, this is not mandatory. Not to mention, for many people, pursuing a 4-year University course is not the way to go.
This is why, as an alternate suggestion, we strongly recommend looking into an accredited, reputable event planning school (such as QC Event School) that offers a specialized course, tailored specifically for corporate event planning. We’ll delve into this more a little later on in this article, and tell you all about QC’s self-paced, online Corporate Event Planning Course!
Experience and Required Skills
In addition to proper training of some kind, some employers may also require that candidates have experience working in the events industry. This could be in any capacity, such as:
- Event coordinating
- Catering managing
- Wedding planning
- Conference center managing
- And more!
Moreover, it’s also important to have certain skills if you want to be successful in this field. These essential skills include (but aren’t limited to):
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Strong organizational and time management abilities
- The ability to work well under pressure
- Problem-solving skills
- Flexibility and adaptability
- A positive attitude
If this sounds like you, then a career in corporate event planning could be the perfect fit!
How Do I Start a Career in Corporate Event Planning?
Alright, now it’s time to actually look at how you can start a career as a corporate event planner… Luckily, we’ve summarized everything you need to know in the following 6 steps. So, let’s break them down!
How to Become a Corporate Event Planner in 6 East Steps
Step One: Research The Corporate Event Planning Industry
What’s The Demand In Your Area?
This is the best place to start, and here’s why: you need to know if there’s actually a demand for corporate event planning services in your specific area. Otherwise, you’ll be putting all this work into your endeavor but getting very little reward out of it.
So, how can you tell if corporate event planning services are needed where you live? We recommend conducting a quick Google search using key phrases like “corporate event planners near me” or “event planning companies in [insert city].” If you see a lot of results pop up, that’s a good sign! It means that there is indeed a market for these types of services in your area.
On the other hand, if there are very few results (or none at all), it may be best to consider relocating to an area with more demand – as this will give you the best chance of landing clients and growing your business. Alternately, if relocating isn’t an option, you may want to consider offering virtual corporate planning services. This way, you can work remotely and still lend your expertise to clients from all over the world – regardless of their location!
Interested in offering both in-person and virtual services to clients? Learn about QC Event School’s Virtual Events Training mini course here and discover everything you need to know in as little as one month!
Internal vs. External Events
As a corporate event planner, you’ll be responsible for putting together both internal and external functions. So, you’ll need to know what these are. Furthermore, you’ll need to understand the similarities they have in common, as well as how they differ.
In a nutshell, internal events are functions organized by a company for its own employees. These events usually have the purpose of team building, boosting morale, and/or celebrating accomplishments. Examples of internal corporate events include:
- Employee recognition ceremonies
- Holiday parties
- Retirement parties
- Company picnics/BBQs
- Team-building exercises
On the other hand, external events are those that are put together for clients, customers, shareholders, and other individuals who are outside of the company. The main goal of these events is to build relationships and increase brand awareness. Examples of external corporate events include:
- Client appreciation dinners/lunches
- Product launches
- Award ceremonies
- Trade shows
Step Two: Decide on What Type of Corporate Event Planner You Want to Become
Now that you have a better understanding of the corporate event planning industry as a whole, it’s time to start thinking about what type of planner you want to become. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you want to work for an existing event planning company?
- Alternately, would you prefer to be a freelance corporate event planner and contract your services out to multiple different clients?
- How about working as the designated in-house planner for one specific business/client?
- Do you want to start your own corporate event planning business?
- Do you want to specialize in a certain area of corporate event planning (e.g., green events, destination functions, etc.)?
Answering these questions will help give you a clearer idea of what path you should take and what steps you need to take next. For example, if you want to start your own corporate event planning business, you’ll need to take steps like writing a business plan, registering your company, and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.
On the other hand, if you want to work for an event planning company, you’ll need to focus on things like finding the right organization to apply to, perfecting your resume, and polishing your interviewing skills.
Developing Your Brand Identity
Another key aspect of this particular step will involve creating a solid brand for you and (if applicable) your business. This is important, regardless of whether you’re a freelance corporate event planner or the owner of a corporate event planning business. In short, your brand is what makes you unique and differentiates you from other planners in your area. It’s also what will help build trust and credibility with potential clients.
When it comes to developing your brand, there are a few key things to keep in mind, such as your:
- Target market – Who do you want to work with? How can you make sure your services are seen by this specific demographic?
- Niche – What type of corporate events do you want to specialize in? Are there any other services (i.e. event decor, floral design, promotional event planning, wedding and/or private planning, etc.) that you can offer in addition to your corporate services?
- USP (unique selling proposition) – What makes you different from other planners in your area? How will you stay competitive and stand out from your competition?
- Branding materials – Do you have a logo? A website? Business cards? A social media presence?
Ultimately, having a strong brand identity will make it easier for you to attract your ideal clients, close deals, and get referrals. It will also help you establish yourself as a credible source in the corporate event planning industry!
Step Three: Learn How to Become a Corporate Event Planner and Get Professionally Certified
Now that you have an understanding of the corporate event planning industry and you know what type of planner you want to become, it’s time to start learning how to actually do the job!
The first step is pretty straightforward: get yourself a professional certification. Although there are many different ways to become a certified corporate event planner, as we briefly mentioned earlier, we recommend completing QC Event School’s self-paced, online Corporate Event Planning Course. This 8-unit program will teach you EVERYTHING you need to know to succeed in this lucrative industry.
For example, you’ll be taught all about:
- The planning process from start to finish
- How to successfully navigate and pull off different types of corporate events
- Concept development and goal setting
- Event branding
- Target audience identification
- Budget management and funding
- Venue, supplier, and vendor research and selection
- The role of audience engagement technology
- Request for proposal (RFP) creation
- Live-streaming, webinars, and other tech-enhanced event elements
- Contract development
- Marketing, promotion, and success evaluation tools
- Risk management and contingency plans
- Project management methods
- Business communication collateral
- Resume and cover letter development
- Building your professional portfolio
- How to start (and run) a successful business of your very own
- And SO much more!
The best part? In as little as 3-6 months, you can graduate and add a globally-recognized International Corporate Event Planning Professional™ (ICPP®) certification + designation to your resume! This impressive qualification will be sure to attract a wide variety of high-profile clients, secure countless bookings, increase your income, and take your career to the next level!
Ready to learn more about QC’s Corporate Event Planning Course? Click here and get started today!
Step Four: Network with Other Corporate Event Planners in Your Area
Networking is key in ANY industry, but it’s especially important in the corporate event planning business. Why? Because this line of work is all about building relationships!
As a corporate event planner, you’ll be working with a variety of different vendors and suppliers (i.e. caterers, decorators, florists, audio/visual technicians, etc.), as well as clients from all kinds of industries. Therefore, it’s essential that you know how to network and build positive relationships with the people you meet along the way.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips:
- Join relevant professional organizations! This is a great way to connect with other planners in your area and learn about new industry trends, resources, and opportunities.
- Attend industry events! These types of events are the perfect place to network, learn new things, and grow your professional network.
- Reach out to other planners! Don’t be afraid to reach out to other planners in your area (or even in different parts of the world). You never know who you might meet or what opportunities might come your way.
- Maximize social media! Social media is a powerful networking tool that can help you connect with other planners, promote your business, and grow your professional network.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to building positive relationships with the people you meet in the corporate event planning industry.
Step Five: Start Marketing Your Corporate Event Planner Services
Now that you have your business set up and you’re networking with other planners in your area, it’s time to start marketing your corporate event planning services!
But before you begin promoting your business to the world, there are a few things you need to do first. Namely, you should:
- Develop a marketing plan
- Set some business/career goals
- Identify your target market
- Choose the right marketing channels
Once you’ve taken care of these important details, you’ll be ready to start marketing your corporate event planner services! Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ideas:
- Create a website! Your website is like your online home base. It’s where potential clients can go to learn more about your business and the services you offer.
- Start a blog! A blog is a great way to share your industry knowledge, connect with potential clients, and promote your corporate event planner services.
- Get active on social media! Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can help you reach a wide variety of potential clients. Make sure to choose the right platform for your business and start sharing engaging content that will showcase your expertise!
- Send out e-newsletters! E-newsletters are a great way to keep your target market up-to-date on what’s going on with your business. They’re also an effective way to promote new products or services, share industry news, and more.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to marketing your corporate event planner services and growing your business by leaps and bounds!
Step Six: Stay on Top of Changing Trends in The Corporate Event Industry
The corporate event industry is constantly changing. Thus, as a corporate event planner, you need to make sure you’re always on top of the latest trends!
One way to keep your skill-set current is to join relevant professional organizations. These types of organizations often offer educational resources, networking opportunities, and more that can help you stay on top of changing trends in the industry.
Secondly, you can (and should) continue to further your education over the course of your career. Whether you take online classes, participate in webinars, or attend conferences and workshops, there are PLENTY of opportunities to learn more about the corporate event planning industry – as well as other areas of the event planning industry – and stay on top of changing trends.
Another way to stay informed about changes in the corporate event industry is to attend relevant conferences and trade shows. These types of events are great places to learn about new trends, network with other planners, and find suppliers for your next project.
Finally, don’t forget to keep an eye on social media! Social media is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and trends. Make sure to follow relevant hashtags, join relevant groups, and more.
So, there you have it: our ultimate guide for how to become a corporate event planner! We hope this article has given you the information and inspiration you need to launch a successful career or business in this exciting industry.
Did you learn anything in this article that you feel will be especially helpful in your career? Let us know in the comments below!
And, as always, thanks for reading!