Event Planners Training Programs and Schools

Jan 15, 2024

17 Min Read

1. What are the key skills an event planner training program should focus on?

1. Planning and Organization: Event planners must have strong planning and organizational skills to effectively plan and coordinate all aspects of an event, including timelines, budgets, vendors, and logistics.

2. Communication: Effective communication is essential for event planners to clearly convey ideas and details to clients, vendors, team members, and attendees. This includes written and verbal communication as well as active listening skills.

3. Budget Management: Event planners must be able to create and manage budgets for events of varying sizes. This includes negotiating with vendors, tracking expenses, and finding ways to stay within budget constraints.

4. Marketing and Promotion: Events require effective marketing strategies to attract attendees and promote the event’s purpose or message. Event planners should have a basic understanding of different marketing techniques such as social media, email marketing, and traditional advertising methods.

5. Negotiation: Strong negotiation skills are necessary for event planners when dealing with venues, vendors, sponsors, or clients to secure the best rates or contracts for services.

6. Problem-Solving: Events often encounter unexpected challenges that need quick solutions. Event planners should be able to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions when faced with unexpected issues.

7. Time Management: With tight deadlines and multiple tasks at hand, event planners must have excellent time management skills to prioritize tasks effectively and ensure everything runs smoothly.

8. Attention to Detail: From coordinating schedules to overseeing intricate event details like decor or catering options, event planners must have a keen eye for detail to ensure nothing is overlooked.

9. Leadership: As leaders of the planning process, event planners should possess leadership qualities such as delegation skills, creating a cohesive team dynamic, and managing roles within the team effectively.

10.Role-specific knowledge: Depending on the type of events an individual is planning (e.g., corporate events vs. weddings), they may need specific knowledge about industry standards, trends, regulations/permits/licenses required for execution in their area. Event planners should also keep up with the latest event planning software and technology to improve efficiency and stay competitive in the industry.

2. Can event planning be learned through online training or is hands-on experience necessary?

Both online training and hands-on experience can be effective ways to learn event planning. Hands-on experience allows for practical application of skills and learning from real-life situations, while online training can provide theoretical knowledge, best practices, and industry insights. It is recommended to have a combination of both in order to become a well-rounded event planner.

3. Are there any specific certifications or credentials that are highly regarded in the event planning industry?

Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) and Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) are both highly regarded certifications in the event planning industry. Other notable credentials include Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP), Certified Exhibition Manager (CEM), and Global Planner Certification (GPC). These certifications demonstrate a high level of knowledge, experience, and professionalism in event planning and may be required for certain positions or clients.

4. How do event planner schools prepare students for the fast-paced and high-pressure nature of the job?

Event planner schools prepare students for the fast-paced and high-pressure nature of the job through a combination of hands-on learning experiences and theoretical coursework. Here are some specific ways in which event planner schools may help students develop the necessary skills for success in this industry:

1. Real-world projects and internships: Many event planner schools offer opportunities for students to work on real events or intern with professional event planning companies. This allows students to gain practical experience and get a taste of what it’s like to work in a fast-paced environment.

2. Time management training: Event planners must be skilled at managing their time effectively, as they often have multiple tasks and events happening concurrently. Schools may teach students time management techniques, such as creating detailed schedules and prioritizing tasks, to help them stay organized under pressure.

3. Communication training: Effective communication is crucial for success as an event planner, as it involves coordinating with clients, vendors, and team members. Event planner schools may offer classes or workshops on interpersonal communication skills, negotiation tactics, and conflict resolution.

4. Simulated events: Some schools may have simulation labs or mock events where students can practice planning and executing different types of events in a controlled environment. This helps them develop problem-solving skills and learn how to handle unexpected situations that may arise during real events.

5. Collaboration exercises: Event planning often involves working closely with teams of people from different backgrounds and skill sets. Schools may incorporate group projects into their curriculum to teach students how to collaborate effectively under tight deadlines.

6. Stress management techniques: The job of an event planner can be highly stressful, so it’s important for students to learn how to manage their stress levels. Schools may provide resources or workshops on stress management techniques such as mindfulness exercises or time-management strategies.

7. Industry insights from guest speakers: Many event planning schools invite professionals from the industry to speak to students about their experiences and offer advice on how to succeed in this fast-paced field. This can be a valuable opportunity for students to learn from those who have been working in the industry.

Overall, event planner schools aim to give students a well-rounded education that combines theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and real-world experiences to prepare them for the fast-paced and high-pressure nature of event planning. Through these methods, students can develop the necessary skills and mindset to thrive in this exciting and demanding industry.

5. Is it recommended to specialize in a certain type of events (i.e. weddings, corporate events) during training or should students aim for a more general curriculum?

This ultimately depends on the individual’s interests and career goals. Specializing in a certain type of event, such as weddings or corporate events, can offer a focused and niche skill set that may be attractive to potential clients. However, having a general curriculum can also provide a well-rounded knowledge and skills that can be applied to various types of events. It can also allow for more flexibility and the ability to transition between different types of event planning. Ultimately, it is important for students to explore their interests and consider which path best aligns with their career aspirations.

6. How important is networking and building connections in the event planning field, and how does a training program facilitate this?

Networking and building connections are extremely important in the event planning field. In this industry, much of the business comes from referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations. Therefore, having a strong network of contacts can greatly benefit an event planner, both in terms of finding new clients and securing partnerships with vendors and venues.

A training program can facilitate networking and connections in several ways. First, it can provide opportunities for students to meet and interact with experienced professionals in the industry through guest lectures, workshops, or internships. These interactions allow students to learn from established event planners, build relationships with them, and potentially receive mentorship or job opportunities.

In addition, many training programs have alumni networks that connect past graduates with current students. This allows for ongoing networking opportunities and access to a community of professionals who share a common training background.

Furthermore, some training programs may organize events or conferences where students can showcase their skills and make connections with potential clients or employers. These events also offer a chance for students to collaborate with their peers and develop partnerships that could be beneficial in their future careers.

Ultimately, a good training program should not only teach the necessary skills for event planning but also provide opportunities for students to network and build connections within the industry. By cultivating strong relationships with other professionals, event planners can expand their reach, gain valuable insights and support, and increase their chances of success in this competitive industry.

7. Are there internship opportunities offered as part of event planner training programs?

Many event planning training programs offer internship opportunities as part of their curriculum. These internships provide students with hands-on experience in the field and allow them to apply the skills and knowledge they have learned in a real-life setting. Some programs may require students to complete an internship in order to graduate, while others make it optional. It is important for prospective students to inquire about internship opportunities when researching event planner training programs.

8. How do schools stay updated with current industry trends and technology advancements in event planning?

1. Industry Conferences and Events: Schools often send their faculty members or students to attend industry conferences and events related to event planning. These conferences provide an opportunity for networking, learning about the latest trends, and interacting with experts in the field.

2. Educational Journals and Publications: Many schools have subscription to educational journals and publications related to event planning that provide updates on industry trends, best practices, and advancements in technology.

3. Industry Associations and Organizations: Schools may partner with industry associations and organizations such as International Live Events Association (ILEA) or Meeting Professionals International (MPI). These associations provide access to resources, research, and training programs that help schools stay updated with current industry trends.

4. Advisory Boards: Some schools have advisory boards made up of industry professionals who provide insights on emerging trends, technologies, and best practices in event planning.

5. Guest Speakers: Schools often invite guest speakers from the industry to give talks or workshops on current trends and advancements in event planning.

6. Partnership with Industry Partners: Schools may collaborate with industry partners such as event planning companies or vendors to get first-hand knowledge about the latest tools, techniques, and technology used in the field.

7. Internship Programs: Internships allow students to gain practical experience working with professionals in the field of event planning. This provides opportunities for students to learn about current trends and technological advancements directly from industry experts.

8. Curriculum Updates: Some schools regularly review and update their curriculum based on feedback from alumni, industry professionals, and market demands. This helps them incorporate new topics related to current trends and technologies in event planning into their courses.

9. What makes a good event planner training program stand out from others?

A good event planner training program should stand out from others in the following ways:

1. Comprehensive curriculum: The program should cover all aspects of event planning, including budgeting, marketing, vendor management, event logistics, contract negotiation and risk management.

2. Experienced instructors: The program should be taught by experienced event planners who have worked on a variety of events. They should also be able to provide real-life examples and case studies to enrich the learning experience.

3. Hands-on learning opportunities: A good training program will provide hands-on learning opportunities such as internships or practicums where students can apply their knowledge in a real-life setting.

4. Industry partnerships: The program should have strong partnerships with industry organizations and companies to provide networking opportunities and job placement assistance for graduates.

5. Flexibility and accessibility: In today’s busy world, it’s important for training programs to offer flexible scheduling options such as online or evening courses to accommodate students with other commitments.

6. Up-to-date information: Event planning is a dynamic field that is constantly evolving. A good training program should stay updated with current industry trends and practices to ensure students are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills.

7. Practical tools and resources: The program should provide students with practical tools and resources such as templates, checklists, and software used in the event planning industry to help them succeed in their future careers.

8. Support services: A good training program will also offer support services such as career counseling, resume building workshops, or mentorship programs to guide students through their professional development.

9. Student feedback and success stories: Look for programs that showcase positive reviews and success stories from past students who have gone on to successful careers in event planning after completing the program.

10. Are there any specific software or technology skills that are essential for success as an event planner, and how are these taught in a training program?

Some essential software and technology skills for success as an event planner include:

1. Event management software: This includes event planning and management tools such as Cvent, Eventbrite, or Bizzabo. These platforms can help with tasks such as budgeting, registration, attendee management, and event promotion.

2. Project management tools: Knowledge of project management tools like Asana, Trello, or Basecamp can be helpful for organizing and managing different tasks and deadlines associated with event planning.

3. Social media marketing: Familiarity with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can be beneficial for promoting events and engaging with attendees.

4. Virtual event platforms: With the rise of virtual events, knowledge of virtual event platforms like Zoom or Hopin is crucial for hosting successful online events.

These skills may be taught in an event planning training program through specific workshops or courses focused on these software or technology tools. In addition, hands-on experience using these tools in real event planning scenarios may also be included in the training program to provide practical knowledge.

11. Is there a lot of emphasis on creativity and design elements in event planning training?

Yes, there is often a strong emphasis on creativity and design elements in event planning training. Many event planning courses and programs include sections on developing themes, selecting appropriate decor and designs, creating unique experiences for attendees, and utilizing technology to enhance the overall look and feel of events. Additionally, students may be encouraged to think outside of the box and consider innovative solutions to common event planning challenges. Creativity and design elements are key components in creating successful events that wow attendees and leave a lasting impression.

12. How do trainers ensure students develop strong communication and negotiation skills, which are crucial for working with clients and vendors?

Trainers can help students develop strong communication and negotiation skills by implementing the following strategies:

1. Role-playing scenarios: Trainers can use role-playing exercises to simulate real-life client interactions. This allows students to practice their communication and negotiation skills in a safe environment without fear of consequences or judgement.

2. Feedback and constructive criticism: Trainers should provide detailed feedback and constructive criticism on student’s communication and negotiation techniques. This allows students to understand their strengths and weaknesses and how they can improve.

3. Incorporating interactive activities: Trainers can plan interactive activities such as group discussions, debates, and case studies where students have to negotiate with each other or present their ideas effectively to the group.

4. Teaching active listening: Active listening is a crucial component of effective communication. Trainers should teach students how to actively listen, ask relevant questions, and paraphrase information to ensure mutual understanding.

5. Encouraging reflection and self-awareness: To become proficient communicators and negotiators, students must be self-aware of their communication styles, tendencies, biases, and emotions. Trainers can encourage reflective practices to help students gain this self-awareness.

6. Case studies with real-world examples: Trainers should incorporate case studies with real-world examples into their training sessions. This gives students an opportunity to see how communication and negotiation strategies are applied in actual situations.

7. Inviting guest speakers: Guest speakers who are experts in interpersonal communication or negotiation can provide valuable insights into best practices for working with clients and vendors.

8. Stressing the importance of empathy: Empathy is an important aspect of effective communication as it helps build trust, rapport, and understanding between two parties. Trainers should emphasize its importance during training sessions.

9. Providing resources for further development: Trainers can recommend books, articles, videos or online courses that focus on improving communication and negotiation skills for students who want to further develop their abilities.

10.Coaching and mentoring: Trainers can offer individual coaching or mentoring sessions to students who may need more guidance in developing their communication and negotiation skills.

Overall, trainers should create a supportive learning environment that encourages students to practice their skills, receive feedback, and continuously improve. By using these strategies, trainers can help students develop strong communication and negotiation skills that are vital for working with clients and vendors.

13. Does an event planner school also cover logistics and budget management aspects of event planning?

Yes, many event planner schools cover logistics and budget management aspects of event planning. These are important skills for an event planner to have in order to successfully plan and execute events. Some common topics that may be covered include managing vendor contracts, creating event timelines and schedules, developing event budgets, negotiating prices, and managing event expenses.

14. How long does it typically take to complete an event planner training program, and what are the different levels of certification offered?

The length of time it takes to complete an event planner training program can vary depending on the individual’s pace and the level of certification they are seeking. Generally, a basic event planning course can be completed in a few months, while more advanced programs may take anywhere from 6 months to a year or longer.

There are several levels of certification offered in event planning, including:

1) Certificate or diploma programs: These are entry-level courses that cover the basics of event planning and can usually be completed within a few months.

2) Associate’s degree: This is a two-year program that provides a more comprehensive understanding of event planning and related subjects.

3) Bachelor’s degree: A four-year program that covers all aspects of event planning, as well as business and management principles.

4) Accredited event planner designation: This is a professional certification offered by industry organizations such as the International Live Events Association (ILEA). It requires passing an exam and meeting certain experience and education requirements.

5) Certified Meeting Professional (CMP): This is another professional certification offered by the Events Industry Council (EIC), which requires passing an exam and having at least three years of relevant work experience.

15. Do most employers prefer candidates with formal education in event planning compared to those with practical experience only?

This ultimately depends on the individual employer and their specific needs and preferences. Some employers may value formal education in event planning as it demonstrates a level of commitment and specialized knowledge in the field. Others may prioritize practical experience, as it shows an ability to successfully plan and execute events in a real-world setting. In general, having a combination of both formal education and practical experience can make a candidate more marketable and competitive in the job market.

16. Are there any opportunities for international exposure or study abroad programs as part of an event planner training program?

Many event planner training programs offer opportunities for international exposure and study abroad through various components of their curriculum. Some programs may offer study abroad courses or programs specifically focused on event planning and management, allowing students to gain a global perspective on the industry and learn best practices from other countries. Additionally, students may have the opportunity to attend international conferences or events as part of their program, providing opportunities for networking and learning about unique cultural customs and logistics management. It is important to research specific programs to determine the availability of these opportunities.

17.Is it possible to switch careers into event planning without prior experience or education in the field?

Yes, it is possible to switch careers into event planning without prior experience or education in the field. Many professionals have successfully transitioned into event planning by leveraging their transferable skills and gaining relevant experience through internships, volunteer work, or certification programs. Networking and building relationships with industry professionals can also help pave the way for a career change into event planning. With dedication and a willingness to learn, it is certainly possible to break into this field without a traditional background in event planning.

18.How do successful graduates from an event planner school find job opportunities after graduation?

1. Networking: Event planner schools often have strong industry connections and alumni networks, which can be a valuable resource for job opportunities. Graduates can reach out to their classmates and professors for referrals or attend networking events and conferences to make new connections.

2. Internships: Many event planner schools offer internships as part of their curriculum, providing students with hands-on experience and the opportunity to make industry contacts. These internships can often lead to full-time employment after graduation.

3. Job boards: Graduates can utilize job search engines and websites specifically dedicated to the event planning industry, such as MeetingJobs.com, EventMB.com, and PCMA Career Center.

4. Professional organizations: Joining professional organizations such as International Live Events Association (ILEA) or Meeting Professionals International (MPI) can provide access to job boards, career resources, and networking opportunities.

5. Social media: Many companies post job opportunities on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Graduates should follow event planning companies or join related groups on these platforms to stay updated on job openings.

6. Company websites: Most event planning companies have a “Careers” section on their website where they list current job openings. Graduates can directly apply for positions through these websites.

7. Cold-calling/emails: Graduates can proactively reach out to event planning companies by cold-calling or sending emails with their resume and cover letter expressing interest in working with them.

8. Temporary agencies: Event staffing agencies often hire temporary workers for various events and may provide an avenue for graduates to gain experience in the industry while searching for a full-time position.

9. Trade shows/job fairs: Attending trade shows and job fairs specifically for the event planning industry can provide graduates with an opportunity to meet potential employers in person.

10. Direct referrals: Current employees within an event planning company may know of open positions within their organization and could provide direct referrals to graduates from the event planner school.

19. Are there any hands-on training opportunities where students can plan and execute real events before graduating?

There are certainly hands-on training opportunities available for event planning students. Programs may offer internships or practicum experiences where students can work on real events under the supervision of professionals in the field. Some programs may also have a class or workshop component where students plan and execute a real event as part of their coursework. Additionally, many event planning associations and organizations offer mentorship programs or student chapters where students can gain practical experience and guidance from industry professionals.

20. How do event planner schools teach students to handle unexpected challenges or crises that may arise during an event?

Event planner schools typically teach students to handle unexpected challenges or crises during an event through hands-on experience, crisis management classes, and case studies. They may also provide simulated events where students are tasked with managing unexpected situations and emergencies.

Here are some specific ways that event planner schools may train their students to handle unexpected challenges and crises:

1. Hands-on experience: Many event planner programs require students to complete internships or participate in real events as part of their coursework. This allows students to gain practical experience in handling unforeseen issues that may arise during an event.

2. Crisis management classes: Event planner schools often offer specific courses on crisis management. These classes cover topics such as risk assessment, emergency preparedness, communication strategies, and problem-solving techniques in the context of events.

3. Case studies: In addition to hands-on experience, event planning programs may use case studies to expose students to real-life scenarios where challenges or crises occurred during events. Students can analyze these case studies and develop strategies for how they would handle similar situations.

4. Guest lectures from industry professionals: Event planner schools often invite experienced professionals in the field to give guest lectures or talks on their experiences in handling crises at events. This provides valuable insights and perspectives for students preparing for a career in event planning.

5. Training on contingency plans: A key aspect of dealing with unexpected challenges is having contingency plans in place. Event planner schools often teach their students how to develop effective contingency plans and execute them when needed.

6. Role-playing exercises: Some programs may utilize role-playing exercises where students can practice managing difficult scenarios that could occur at an event such as vendor no-shows, severe weather conditions, or technical malfunctions.

7. Emphasizing adaptability and flexibility: Event planners must be adaptable and able to think on their feet when faced with unexpected challenges or crises. Schools may emphasize the importance of these qualities and provide opportunities for students to work on building them.

In summary, event planner schools provide a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to prepare students for handling unexpected challenges and crises during events. By learning from experienced professionals, engaging in hands-on activities, and building contingency plans and problem-solving skills, students are equipped with the necessary skills to successfully navigate any unforeseen situations that may arise during an event.


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