Looking for practical tips on how to become an event planner without a degree?
There are all kinds of events. There are corporate events, private parties, weddings, and more.
Each one requires a different level of planning and organization.
So if you’re organized and have a knack for details, event planning could be the career for you.
The good news is that you don’t need a degree to become an event planner. Especially with online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare, shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for an event planning degree is not necessary.
Here’s what you need to know about how to become an event planner without a degree.
What is an Event Planner?
An event planner is someone who organizes and executes events. This includes everything from researching locations to setting up contracts with vendors to overseeing on-site logistics.
There are many different types of event planners, each with its specialty.
For example, a wedding planner will be responsible for organizing all aspects of a couple’s big day, from finding the perfect venue to coordinating with vendors.
A corporate event planner, on the other hand, might be in charge of organizing large-scale events such as product launches or company retreats.
A kid’s birthday party planner on the other hand will work with families to throw memorable birthday celebrations.
There are also event planners who specialize in specific types of events, like music festivals or trade shows.
What Skills Do You Need to Become an Event Planner?
No matter what type of event you’re planning, there are some essential skills that all event planners need to possess.
Here are the essential skills needed to become a good event planner:
- Organizational Skills. This is the most important skill for an event planner. You need to be able to keep track of countless details and deadlines all at once. From nailing down the venue to ordering supplies, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. For instance, if you’re planning a conference, you’ll need to coordinate with different speakers, schedule breakout sessions, and make sure the AV equipment is working properly. If you’re organizing a wedding, you’ll need to keep track of the guest list, plan the menu, and find the perfect vendors.
- Communication. As an event planner, you’ll be working with a lot of different people, from clients to vendors to venue staff. And you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with all of them. This means being able to listen to their needs and concerns, as well as being able to clearly explain your vision for the event. You should also have strong written communication skills. This will come in handy when you’re drafting proposals or sending out emails to potential clients.
- Creativity. An event planner needs to be creative to come up with unique and innovative ideas for their events. Whether you’re planning a corporate gala or a child’s birthday party, your goal should be to create an event that is memorable and one-of-a-kind. This also means thinking outside the box and coming up with creative solutions to problems that may arise. For instance, if you’re working with a tight budget, you’ll need to get creative to stretch your dollars. Or if you’re planning an outdoor event and the weather forecast is calling for rain, you’ll need to come up with a creative contingency plan.
- Leadership skills. As an event planner, you’ll often be in charge of a team of people. This could be a group of volunteers, venue staff, or even other event planners. And you’ll need to be able to lead them effectively in order to ensure that the event runs smoothly. This means being able to delegate tasks, give clear instructions, and provide feedback. You should also be able to manage conflict and keep everyone on track.
- Marketing skills. As an event planner, you’ll need to be able to market your services effectively. This means having a strong understanding of the various marketing channels, as well as knowing how to create compelling marketing materials. You should also be familiar with social media, as this is a great way to promote your events and connect with potential clients. In addition, you’ll need to be able to network effectively to build relationships with potential clients and partners.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Event Planner
Countless people have found great success in the event planning industry without a degree. If they can, why should you spend 4 years and thousands of dollars on a degree?
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The decision of whether or not to get a degree is a personal one that depends on your specific situation.
But if you’re considering becoming an event planner without a degree, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
1. Choose Your Niche
The first step is to choose your niche. There are a variety of different event types that you can specialize in, from weddings to corporate functions. And there are also a number of different roles that you can play within the event planning industry, from coordinator to designer.
Think about the type of events that you’re interested in and the role that you want to play. Do your research and make sure that there’s a demand for the services that you want to offer. Once you’ve narrowed down your focus, you can start to build your brand around it.
2. Sign up for Online Classes
Even if you don’t have a degree, potential clients would like to know that you still have some kind of formal training. This is where event planning classes come in.
There are a number of different online classes that you can take, ranging from introductory courses to more specialized ones. If you’re looking to get a credential, online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare and Coursera offer great online course programs that you can sign up for to gain the knowledge you need to thrive in the industry.
3. Get Some Experience
The next step is to get some experience. Even if you don’t have a degree, you can still volunteer or intern with event planning companies. This will give you the opportunity to learn about the industry and gain some valuable hands-on experience.
In addition, you can also get involved with your local community by planning events for non-profit organizations. Not only will this help you build your portfolio, but it will also allow you to give back to the community.
4. Build Your Portfolio
As you start to gain experience, you’ll also want to start building your portfolio. This is a collection of your best work that you can use to showcase your skills and abilities.
Your portfolio should include a mix of events that you’ve planned, as well as any related experience that you have. For example, if you’ve worked as a coordinator, you can include a list of the events that you’ve coordinated. Or if you’ve done any event design work, you can include images of your designs.
5. Start Freelancing
Freelancing is a great way to get started in the event planning industry without having to commit to a full-time job.
There are a number of different ways that you can find clients, from online job boards to personal networking.
You can also sign up for sites like Fiverr and Freelancer, which connect freelancers with clients who need their services. Once you’ve landed your first few clients, be sure to deliver quality work so that you can get good reviews and build up a solid reputation.
A Final Word on Becoming an Event Planner without a Degree
A career in event planning can be very rewarding, both personally and professionally. And while a degree may give you a leg up, it’s definitely not necessary to break into the industry.
If you’re interested in becoming an event planner, use this guide as a starting point. Choose your niche, get some experience, build your portfolio and start freelancing. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goals and carve out a successful career in event planning.
Do you have any questions on how to become an event planner without a degree? Let us know in the comments below!