Get hands-on experience
You should get hands-on experience planning events on their own or by participating in an internship at an event planning company. Aspiring planners can gain experience by volunteering for activities at their school, such as helping the student union plan concerts, comedy shows, festivals, and sporting events. Similarly, people can obtain hands-on experience by helping to organize company meetings at their job, or by volunteering for a nonprofit organization that coordinates events.
Learn industry technology
Event planners are required to master programs that are used in the industry, including project management, customer relationship management, and sales and marketing software. Some specific programs these professionals may use include Marketo Marketing Automation, Microsoft Project, Blackbaud The Raiser's Edge, Convention Industry Council CIC APEX Toolbox, and Active Network EventRegister.
Choose a specialization
While some event planners are generalists, others choose to specialize in a certain type of event—especially if they want to start their own business. Some of the niches people can focus on include weddings, birthdays, business meetings, conferences, fundraisers, mall events, and corporate retreats.
Create a portfolio
Whether event planners are looking for a job or clients, a portfolio is a way for them to show off their skills and accomplishments. Portfolios can include photos of the events they organized, press clippings, testimonials, and event brochures or invitations.