Day 6, Event Planner

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Personal update*

It’s day 6 and honestly this challenge has required more than an hour per day. Whether it’s due to me digressing occasionally on the web (“Okay I’m watching this career video but look at that side bar video caption saying “10 times she said no”!”) or this just being harder than I expected I want to start setting a timer, putting the pressure on. My room gets no sunlight so every time I do this challenge I feel like a mole. Timer set and…GO

 

 

The job of an event planner is very exciting and fast paced. They have to co-ordinate all aspects of an event from beginning (the planning) to end (cleaning up after the event) to make sure it runs smoothly.

The tasks they face are: Meeting with clients to understand the purpose of the meeting or event. Choosing (making decisions based on cost, availability and efficiency etc.), negotiating with and then coordinating all the event services such as food service, decor, venue and transportation. Inspecting all services to make sure they are suitable for the event. Monitoring the events to ensure the client and attendees are happy and finally reviewing costs and approving payment.

 

There are different types of event planners. Truity.com gives a thourough break down on the different types:

“Association planners organize annual conferences and trade shows for professional associations. Because member attendance is often voluntary, marketing the meeting’s value is an important aspect of their work.

Corporate planners organize internal business meetings and meetings between businesses.

Government meeting planners organize meetings for government officials and agencies. Being familiar with government regulations, such as procedures for buying materials and booking hotels, is vital to their work.

Convention service managers help organize major events, as employees of hotels and convention centers. They act as liaisons between the meeting facility and the planners who work for associations, businesses, and governments. They present food service options to outside planners, coordinate special requests, and suggest hotel services depending on a planner’s budget.

Event planners arrange the details of a variety of events, including weddings and large parties.

Non-profit event planners plan large events with the goal of raising donations for a charity or advocacy organization. Events may include banquets, charity races, and food drives.

 

Unsurprisingly the title of “Event planner” is most popular among job hunters.

 

Personality and skills required for this position:

You must be accepting of working flexible hours (rigid work schedules are OUT). One should have a penchant for planning and organization. Creativity and problem solving skills are crucial. You must not be the type to crack under pressure. Having customer service skills is very important especially when attending the events.

How to break into this career:

While those with bachelors degrees in tourism and hospitality are usually favored when applying, when it comes to event planning experience is often key to finding work. This way you build connections and gain support.

 

Xander from EventsMB explains 5 ways to get the experience needed to work in event planning

 

The working hours:

Event planners work full time. Long, irregular hours and working on weekends are very common.

The pay:

High pay is one of the top reasons so many are interested in attaining this job. However it is worth mentioning that entry level event planners do not get to share on this benefit. Its all about working your way up before tasting the real cash. As of this month the average annual salary for an event planner in the USA was $61,101. In South Africa, the place I call home, the average annual salary works out to R145,641.

 

The pros:

-You earn a great salary once you reach a respectable position.

-Formal education is not compulsory.

-You get to attend many events from weddings to parties to huge business events (a good chance to try listen in on the money making secrets don’t you think?).

-The job growth projection for this career is above average (due to businesses and organizations becoming increasingly international-thank you internet!).

-Starting up your own event planning business is relatively easy as the demand for event planners is adequate.

-It is said to be an overall fun job where you get to meet many new and interesting or even famous people.

 

The cons:

-Long, irregular working hours.

-Highly stressful situations are guaranteed.

-It is can be a physically tiring job (working on site at an event means you will be running around, a lot).

-The competition for this job is growing fast.

 

My conclusion and rating on this career:

Event planning is another one of those careers portrayed as being glamorous. I suppose it is when you think of all the events from parties to weddings that people in this career attend. However this career is hard work. One has to be prepared to work long, flexible hours. I’m not sure at this stage that I’m  ready to comprehend such commitment. I therefore give event planning a 5.5/10.

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