An event planner organizes and facilitates special events, large gatherings, and functions that are often of a celebratory nature. The events planner may be employed by a large corporation that frequently holds such functions for employees or clients. It is often common that businesses in the hospitality industry also have their own event planner on staff to help individuals and businesses execute these special gatherings.
The most important skill of an event planner is organization. To do this job well, the planner must be able to set up events that may be attended by as few as 10 people or as many as thousands. They need to be able to make smart decisions on the needs for food and refreshments to suit the occasion. Each event may have its own needs and requirements, and it is up to the planner to ensure that a feasible schedule is drawn up and followed. It is also important for an event planner to be skilled in negotiating prices for goods, services, and facilities; they should establish and maintain relationships with quality purveyors and providers, while ensuring that all pricing remains competitive.
Depending on the company, an event planner may need at least an associate’s degree in business. Many companies also require some previous experience and facility with setting up large group gatherings. There are also certifications for meeting planning that can be earned, which may be advantageous. Finally, extensive experience in the hospitality industry and strong customer service skills are also encouraged. This position also requires excellent communication skills, both verbal and written. Finally, successful event planners are people able to think quickly on their feet; they must be able to adapt and make smart decisions quickly.
Event Planner Tasks
- Determine logistics, including food and beverage needs and establish date(s) and alternate dates for event.
- Identify and secure venues for events in addition to acquiring permits.
- Coordinate transportation and parking, location support, arrangement of decor and furniture, and emergency support.