Pursuing a career in event planning can be rewarding for professionals who seek exciting careers that are always changing. A career in event planning can be a fascinating and adaptable professional path. There is an increasing demand for skilled event planners in the event industry. Therefore, this is an exciting time to consider a career in event planning. This career is a crucial one in the hospitality and tourism sector.
An event planner is an experienced professional that works with clients to organize gatherings like parties, weddings, conventions, business meetings, and other events. They do this by liaising with vendors, and ensuring the success of events. As an event planner, you need to have a broad skill set. In this piece, I will walk you through the steps to take when pursuing a career in event planning and the areas you can specialise in as an event planner.
How to Become an Event Planner
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
You can obtain a degree in disciplines such as hospitality management, public relations or marketing. This degrees will give you the foundational knowledge of the industry and enable you have the essential skills needed to function effectively.
Acquire a Diploma
Alternatively, you can pursue a career in event planning without a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. You can do this by attending institutes or training programs in event planning. This can give you the required knowledge and skills you need to pursue this career.
Gain Practical Experience
You can gain practical experience through an internship or a volunteer role. An internship program will enable you to get hands-on experience on event planning. Additionally, it can give you the opportunity to network with professionals and clients in this industry. Furthermore, it can give you the opportunity to gain connections that will add to your career growth.
Develop Industry Skills
As an event planner, there are certain skills you need to perform excellently. You should work on build those skills. You can build skills such as organization, creativity, negotiation, etc.
Choose an Specialisation
There are various types of events that event planners to focus on. Therefore, it is important that you choose a particular niche to specialise in as a professional. You can choose a niche such as weddings, conferences, fundraisers, birthdays, business meetings, etc.
Build a Portfolio
You should build a portfolio of all the tasks you have carried out and the events you have planned. Therefore, during your internship experience, you can put together the events you managed and the results. This will prove to potential clients that you have the skills as well as the expertise required. Additionally, it will showcase the results you have carried out when applying for roles.
Obtain Relevant Certifications
Obtaining certifications in this field is a critical aspect of your professional journey. This is essential as it shows hiring managers and clients that you are knowledgeable areas such as boosting event success and client satisfaction.
Skills Required for an Event Planner
- Organisational Skills
- Time Management
- Communication Skills
- Negotiation Skills
- Fast Thinker
- Stakeholder Management
- Ability to Multitask
- Leadership Skills
Areas of Specialisation in Event Planning
- Corporate Event Planning: This is mostly needed by brands and organizations. If you are interested in this niche you need to acquire skills in areas such as logistics, marketing, finance and vendor supplier management. As a corporate event planner, you will plan events such as product launches, trade shows, conferences and conventions and seminars.
- Social Event Planning: This events includes occasions such as birthday parties, graduation ceremonies and reunions. A social event planner needs to have social skills, empathy, and a pleasant demeanor in order to cater to the social experience of attendees. Additionally, you should possess creativity skills.
- Non-Profit Event Planning: This includes events such as fundraising galas, charity auctions, awareness campaigns and advocacy events.
- Wedding Event Planning: This is one of the most popular types of event planning. Weddings are extraordinary occasions that need extensive planning. Therefore, you need to be skilled enough to work in this area of specialisation.
- Sports Event Planning: You need skills such as logistics coordination, athlete management, site selection, safety standards, and spectator participation to perform effectively in this niche.
Universities in Africa that Offer Hospitality Management
- Abia State University, Nigeria
- University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
- Cairo University, Egypt
- Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
- University of Nigeria, Nigeria
- Alexandria University, Egypt
- University of Ibadan, Nigeria
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
- University of Johannesburg, South Africa
- North-West University, South Africa
- University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
- University of Botswana, Botswana
- Helwan University, Egypt
- University of Pretoria, South Africa
- University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
- Suez Canal University, Egypt
- University of Mauritius, Mauritius
- Moi University, Kenya
- University of Lagos, Nigeria
- University of Cape Coast, Ghana
- Fayoum University, Egypt
- University of Nairobi, Kenya
- University of the Free State South Africa
- University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
- Durban University of Technology, South Africa
- University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
- Makerere University, Uganda
- University of Ghana, Ghana
- Mansoura University, Egypt
Pursuing a career in event planning can result to a lucrative business. This is because event planning is one of the fastest-growing industries around the world. However, this career path is one that requires polished skills to thrive. You will deal with transactions, human activities and different types of events. Therefore, it is important that you acquire the relevant education and develop the relevant skills needed to thrive in this industry.