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What is an Event Planner?


Woman passing food to friends and family
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Question: What is an Event Planner?

Anyone interested in becoming an event planner should begin the path by understanding that it is not party planning. This is the case whether you're considering a path with social events or corporate events. The final program may appear as if the profession is about throwing great parties, but the event planning professional focuses on the rationale or goal of having an event, and whether it is achieved. And the real work is in the details that lead up to the event. My site will help educate you about how to become successful.


A quick search of the U.S. Department of Labor will educate you that the government classifies this occupation under the title of Meeting and Convention Planners. That can serve as the first cue that this is a much more serious profession. The U.S. Department of Labor introduces the nature of this work as follows:

Meetings and conventions bring people together for a common purpose, and meeting and convention planners work to ensure that this purpose is achieved seamlessly. Meeting planners coordinate every detail of meetings and conventions, from the speakers and meeting location to arranging for printed materials and audio-visual equipment. Meeting and convention planners work for nonprofit organizations, professional and similar associations, hotels, corporations, and government. Some organizations have internal meeting planning staffs, and others hire independent meeting and convention planning firms to organize their events.

The the event planner creates programs that address the purpose, message or impression that their organization or client is trying to communicate.

Event planners work long and non-traditional hours to plan and execute all details related to a variety of meeting formats including seminars, conferences, trade shows, executive retreats, incentive programs, golf events, conventions, and other programs.

Successful event planners develop the following skills:

  • Verbal and written communications
  • Organization and time management
  • Project management and multitasking
  • Self-starter and team player
  • Understand Microsoft Office applications
  • Detail and deadline-oriented
  • Calm and personable under pressure
  • Negotiation
  • Budget management
  • Staff management
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Interpersonal skills with all levels of management


Successful event planners will develop the following knowledge:

  • Venue selection
  • Catering
  • Production
  • Entertainment
  • Gifts
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Conference Services


Those who pursue a career in event planning come from a variety of professions and academic backgrounds. Many employers prefer a bachelor's degree in hospitality management, business administration, marketing, public relations, or communications. However, many successful planners begin in other professions or enter through administrative roles that include meeting planning responsibilities.


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