6 Simple Steps to Get Started In the Event Planning Business


Event planning and management is a rewarding and lucrative career. Breaking through can be a bit hard, though, especially if you don’t have much background in the industry. Here are six steps you can take to get started, even if you come from a completely unrelated field.

Identify transferable skills

Believe it or not, you’re not actually starting from zero. You probably already have some skills that could benefit your event planning ambitions. Whether you’re just entering the workforce or you previously had a different career, see what you can offer.

This is especially handy if you want to enter an established events business rather than start your own company. What related doors can your previous experience open? Consider applying for a position in the events marketing, HR, accounting, or branding departments.

In addition, review your soft skills and applicable personality traits. Are you naturally meticulous and organized? Are you a relaxed communicator? Do you have a knack for budgeting or problem-solving? Is multitasking your second nature? All of those traits and skills can help you get started.

Consider some additional education

Event planning is actually a study sector. If you feel like you need a traditional knowledge boost, look into some courses. You can either do independent, targeted ones or enroll in a university program. Take some time to find a level that suits your resources.

Look for certificates (or degrees) in one or more of the following fields:

  • Event planning itself
  • Business management
  • Hospitality
  • Leisure

Channel your creativity

Personal flair is an essential part of event planning, just as much as business skills and industry education. Take a moment to review your creative interests. Is there some art, craft, or hobby that you’re particularly keen on?

It doesn’t have to be “default” stuff like drawing or flower arrangements. You might discover untapped advantages in your passion for food or music, in your sharp eye for interior design, or in your excellent sense of niche fashion. Apply those strengths to break through and stand out from the competition.

For example, let’s say you have an event with a theme, like a Halloween party. Draw on your love of creative foods and arrange for unique Halloween catering to really amp up the aesthetics. Take advantage of your fashion sense to devise a dress code that’s a class above your everyday haunted frat party. Whatever you love, use it to stamp a memorable personal mark on the events you plan.

Launch a website

Establish an online presence (as an agency or an individual for hire). An official site is like an extension of your resume. It’s an easy way to introduce yourself as a professional and let clients or companies know what to expect. Include images of relevant creative projects and testimonials from people you volunteered for. Demonstrate what you’ve done before and what you personally like.

Try volunteering

If you struggle with a lack of practical experience, consider doing some unpaid practice. Charity events and family occasions are great opportunities to learn the essentials at minimal risk. If they turn out well, you can use them as building blocks for your portfolio.

Offer to help your family members and close friends with their weddings, christenings, graduations, etc. Lend them a hand with arranging decorations, organizing seating charts, or finding a good DJ. You’ll likely have some room to choose your tasks in these private scenarios.

For a more work-like experience, look into corporate events. Reach out to local hotels, museums, galleries, restaurants, schools, etc. See if they will be hosting any charities or other events and ask if they’re looking for volunteers. You probably won’t get any say in the tasks you’re given, but that’s an excellent opportunity.

You can see how well you do in unfamiliar scenarios and what you need to improve. You can also learn about behind-the-scenes aspects of event planning, like hiring venues, assessing risks, complying with various safety standards, and addressing liability concerns.


If you’re serious about making it as an event planner, you will need to build strong industry relationships. Event production companies have a lot of impact, so do your best to connect. It’s up to you whether you do that as a new independent entrepreneur or an aspiring individual looking for a job position.

Choose a few professionals who inspire you and look them up on social media. Strike up a chat and see what opportunities you can find. It might be a collaboration to promote new event designers, a chance to volunteer at their company, or an open internship.

In any case, you’ll have a much easier time entering the industry via friendly connections than trying to break through all on your own.

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