Q&A: What Does an Occasion Planner Do?

Whether or not planning non-public celebrations, non-profit fundraisers, or company conferences, the objective of the occasion planner is to visualise their shopper’s thought after which convey that imaginative and prescient to life. However how do occasion planners accomplish this activity? What does an occasion planner do, precisely?

On this article, we break down what occasion planning is. We take a look at the duties, abilities, and expertise required in skilled occasion planning, in addition to a wide range of planning specialties. Along with discussing “massive image” occasion planning, we dive into the main points to reply the query, “What does an occasion planner do?”

So what does an occasion planner do?

What’s an occasion planner?

Occasion planners are builders. They’re tasked with taking a shopper’s thought, an idea, and designing an occasion that represents it. From occasion conception and stage design to technical programming and day-of occasion coordination, occasion planners handle the occasion planning course of from begin to end. Planners work with distributors, suppliers, and venues to coordinate meal service, occasion staffing, negotiate pricing, and a lot extra. They create an occasion’s format, set up the theme, and should even design advertising and marketing campaigns to advertise the occasion.

Along with being multi-tasking masters and skilled designers, occasion planners are story tellers. They’re charged with understanding what the shopper needs, designing an occasion that meet the shopper’s targets, and telling a memorable story to occasion attendees.

“Occasions must be provocative; they need to make you are feeling one thing and will influence all senses. No matter whether or not it’s for a pair, a model, or a product, the occasion ought to inform a particular story to every visitor passing by way of.”

Kristin Banta, Kristin Banta Occasions, inc.

What duties does an occasion planner deal with?

Occasion planning is a job that requires sporting many hats. Occasion planners are coordinators, organizers, moderators, {and professional} negotiators. They’re designers, delegators, and activity managers. As an occasion planner’s profession grows, they’re able to delegate extra duty to coordinators and occasion employees, however not at first. Each occasion planner ought to be capable to perform the next features:

Occasion design is likely one of the most important components of the planning course of. Planners create a imaginative and prescient for an occasion, a blueprint, which incorporates necessary visible particulars. Within the design section, occasion planners create a preview of what the occasion will appear like by outlining the theme, format, surroundings, scheme, and different technical parts comparable to lighting or sound. As the method continues, planners work onerous to create their design, incorporating occasion logistics alongside the way in which.

A eager eye is required for occasion planners who wish to stay aggressive. Professional planners are always looking out for thrilling new occasion venues, vendor choices, potential suppliers, and different assets. They know their market in and out—each particular occasion venue, each caterer, and each entertainer. They go to new points of interest, attempt new eating places, and scout new places to accommodate a wide range of future occasions.

Skilled planners are chargeable for buying any providers or provides wanted to ensure occasion success and attendee satisfaction. After designing an occasion and getting shopper approval, that’s when occasion planners actually get to work. They’re in cost of buying a wide range of distributors and suppliers to safe every little thing wanted for the occasion. Planners e book the venue, construct a menu, verify caterers, safe the expertise wanted for the occasion, and so forth.

Within the preliminary phases of occasion planning, planners solicit venues and lodging for quotes. They ship potential occasion venues, accommodations, and distributors the main points of their upcoming occasion, and request a quote for the services or products required. Occasion planners evaluate the obtained responses, weigh varied quotes, and choose the very best proposal primarily based on the shopper’s wants.

Occasion planners should be expert within the artwork of negotiation. In nearly each single stage of the occasion planning course of, planners are negotiating. They negotiate occasion budgets with new purchasers in addition to venue rental costs, vendor pricing, setup charges, and a lot extra.

For those who’re not a “folks particular person,” occasion planning might not be the suitable profession alternative for you. Occasion planners ceaselessly work intently with purchasers to ascertain the goals and theme for an occasion earlier than they work with artists and contractors to place all of it collectively. If the plan is transferring alongside as anticipated, planners want to have the ability to talk that data confidently, accurately, and collaborate with others to seek out the answer.

Many companies, in addition to people, plan occasions on a decent finances. Planners are tasked with creating and following a strict planning finances that adheres to their shopper’s pointers. Assembly a finances typically requires creativity and resourcefulness on behalf of the planner, so adaptability and demanding pondering abilities are a should.

Relationships are important to profitable occasion planning. Skilled planning professionals have a trusted community of distributors, suppliers, venues, and coordinators on which they will rely. They domesticate mutually useful relationships with industry-adjacent companies and obtain referrals from glad companions.

It’s the planner’s duty to discover a stability between the shopper’s imaginative and prescient and their finances, and to work throughout the agreed upon parameters. Skilled planners know when a shopper’s finances shouldn’t be going to end result within the occasion they’re visualizing. They set up occasion targets, handle the shopper’s expectations, and work with the shopper and their group to seek out passable options.

An occasion planner’s job doesn’t cease when the occasion wraps up. Planners should additionally measure how profitable an occasion was. After an occasion, many planners are tasked with offering an occasion report back to their purchasers detailing whether or not the viewers was engaged, if registration numbers matched attendance, and areas of alternative for enchancment. By analyzing the habits of on-line viewers members, measuring stay engagement throughout an occasion, and following up with attendees after an occasion, planners can present their purchasers with necessary metrics and knowledge to enhance future occasions.

“An occasion shouldn’t be over till everyone seems to be bored with speaking about it.

– Mason Cooley

What abilities ought to an occasion planner have?

12 months after yr, occasion planning constantly ranks on the high of the checklist of the world’s most annoying jobs. To seek out success within the {industry} (with out shedding your thoughts), occasion planners should discover ways to multi-task, handle stress, and keep cool below stress. As well as, occasion coordinators, managers, and different planning professionals can profit from having the next abilities:

  • Group: Planning occasions is a posh course of, and planners are sometimes juggling many duties without delay. In an effort to maintain the massive image in thoughts, cut back stress, and never get overwhelmed by their to-do checklist, occasion planners should be properly organized.
  • Time administration: Probably the most necessary abilities seasoned occasion planners possess, time administration is crucial to profession success within the occasion planning {industry}. Planner should be capable to prioritize their activity checklist and handle the time it takes to finish every activity.
  • Creativity: In an effort to meet shopper requests, keep inside finances pointers, and supply a memorable expertise for occasion attendees, planners typically need to depend on their ingenuity and creativity.

“Creativity and innovation is to occasions what the guts and soul is to the dwelling.”

 -Rehan Waris, Voiceworx Occasions

  • Communication: Constructing sturdy relationships shortly is a vital occasion planning ability. From speaking with distributors and venues to suppliers and purchasers, planners are chargeable for guaranteeing that data is handed seamlessly and precisely. They’re the first line of communication between all events concerned within the occasion planning course of.
  • Delegation: Main planning professionals are sometimes accountable for a number of coordinators and different occasion employees, so the flexibility to successfully delegate tasks is essential to planning success.
  • Consideration to element: With regards to occasion planning, the satan is within the particulars. Having a powerful consideration to element is a vital occasion planning ability; it might imply the distinction between planning a great occasion and planning a nice occasion.
  • Negotiation: Occasion planners are expert negotiators. Confronted with negotiating affordable vendor bills, venue pricing, and their shopper’s remaining finances, occasion planners should be proficient within the artwork of debate.
  • Expectation administration: Occasion planners generally encounter purchasers with unrealistic expectations. For instance, a shopper’s dream occasion might fall outdoors the life like realm of their finances or the capabilities of the internet hosting venue. The planner’s duty is to take what a shopper needs, what they’ve the assets to create, and to discover a center floor.
  • Customer support: On the coronary heart of occasion planning lies customer support. Whether or not serving to a shopper see their dream occasion come to life or guaranteeing that occasion attendees have a memorable and satisfying expertise, occasion planners are there to serve.

“We, as planners, are right here to serve, serve, and serve. A shopper is all nerves on their massive day no matter what sort of occasion it’s, and it’s our job to make sure the very best service is delivered.”

 – Lily Ehumada, Proprietor of Lily V Occasions

Are there distinct forms of occasion planners?

The world of occasion planning is broad, and there are various completely different roads planning professionals can select to take. Vital {industry} expertise is required to specialise in planning specific occasions, so some planners select to concentrate on a particular space of occasion planning, develop their abilities, and develop their credentials.

Outdoors of common occasion planning, occasion planners might specialise in:  

  • Non-public occasion planning
  • Company conferences, seminars, and retreats
  • SMERF (Social, Army, Instructional, Spiritual, Fraternal)
  • Authorities conferences and occasions
  • Non-profit organizations and charity fundraisers
  • Massive conferences
  • Weddings

Planning conferences and occasions for presidency contractors or federal teams, for instance, requires a vastly completely different ability set that planning vacation spot weddings. Planners who discover a ardour for a particular facet of the {industry}, or preferring engaged on a particular class of occasions, typically select to dedicate their focus to changing into an skilled in that space.

How are occasion planners, coordinators, and managers completely different?

Whereas lots of the duties overlap, occasion planners have extra tasks than occasion coordinators. Occasion planners are chargeable for your complete occasion planning course of, from conception to execution, and plenty of planners have coordinators on their group. Planners deal with the “massive image” particulars, comparable to conceptualization and design.

Helping the first planner, occasion coordinators are sometimes chargeable for taking good care of the smaller particulars of a planner’s occasion design. Occasion coordinators could also be chargeable for deciding on and reserving the occasion venue, speaking with distributors, or organizing provide deliveries previous to the occasion. Coordinators are additionally ceaselessly chargeable for occasion logistics and group, guaranteeing that every little thing goes easily throughout the occasion. They’re additionally usually on-site the day of the occasion, guaranteeing venue group, easy scheduling, and attendee communication.

The phrases “occasion supervisor” and “occasion coordinator” are sometimes used synonymously, however not in each occasion administration group. Occasion managers have tasks that lie in between an occasion planner’s massive image duties and a coordinator’s fine-tuning duties. Very similar to coordinators, occasion managers are chargeable for guaranteeing that the planner’s plan is executed accurately and that the occasion runs easily. Occasion managers may be accountable for selling an occasion, planning a social media advertising and marketing technique, guaranteeing attendee satisfaction, or aiding subordinate members of the occasion planning group as they fulfill their duties.

“A terrific occasion supervisor makes even the host really feel like a visitor.”

– Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Phrases

Can anybody turn out to be an occasion planner?

The brief reply is sure! Many occasion planners come from different industries, comparable to hospitality, meals and beverage, account administration, and even company industries like accounting or advertising and marketing.

Whether or not you’re an skilled planning skilled or excited about constructing an occasion planning profession, coaching programs, skilled designations, certifications, and persevering with training lessons can enhance your abilities.

A wide range of lessons, programs, and coaching alternatives can be found for brand spanking new and skilled occasion planners. Occasion planners can develop their abilities by way of occasion planning and administration programs from the Occasions Management Institute, Particular Occasions Institute, or different famend occasion coaching institutes.

  • Skilled designations

Designations are particular licenses and certifications which can be assigned to spotlight coaching, experience, or particular {qualifications}. Probably the most generally acquired certifications for occasion planners, a CMP (Certificated Assembly Planner) designation could also be obtained from the Assembly Professionals Affiliation and the Occasions Business Council. After passing the required examination, people with ample planning expertise will get hold of one of the vital acknowledged titles within the {industry}.

Along with acquiring a CMP, there are a selection of different skilled designations occasion planners might earn, together with:

  • Licensed Assembly Supervisor (CMM)
  • Licensed Particular Occasions Skilled (CSEP)
  • Licensed Convention and Occasions Skilled (CCEP)
  • Licensed in Exhibition Administration (CEM)
  • Vacation spot Administration Licensed Professional (DCMP)

Planners who sustain with the newest {industry} developments, expertise, and hospitality traits typically full persevering with training programs. Along with constructing credibility, committing to persevering with training helps occasion planners keep forward of their rivals by maintaining with the newest expertise and traits in planning.

Whereas changing into an occasion planner doesn’t require finishing particular programs or acquiring a level in occasion administration, many corporations and organizations search for planners with certifications or different proof of aptitude.

How do you turn out to be an occasion planner?

When you have a ardour for hospitality and occasions, you possibly can flip it right into a profession. Comply with these steps to start out cultivating the occasion planning profession of your goals:

1. Develop your abilities.

Establish any abilities or areas of your expertise that want enchancment. Take lessons, join coaching programs, and seek the advice of different occasion planners in your space. Spend a while working with skilled occasion planners to see how they function. Construct a sturdy library of occasion planning instruments, software program, and different assets. Community, ask for recommendation from the consultants, and develop your skilled abilities earlier than you launch an occasion planning enterprise.

2. Create a resume with event-related expertise.

How does your earlier employment expertise relate to occasion planning? Account administration, eating places, accommodations, govt aiding, and so many different careers embrace duties that can translate into an occasion planning profession. Establish the positions, abilities, and abilities you’ve developed, and decide which of your earlier employment experiences will help in your occasion planning journey. Design an occasion planning resume that focuses on the facets of your earlier positions that can apply most to occasion planning.

3. Construct a portfolio.

Create an occasion planning portfolio that highlights your related expertise. Stage a photoshoot to point out off your occasion planning abilities. Spotlight your fashion, earlier occasion designs, and a wide range of occasion setups. Embody “earlier than and after” pictures that show your capability to show probably the most fundamental venues into spectacular occasion areas. Take your skilled portfolio to shopper conferences, networking occasions, and occasion planning tradeshows.

Collect and share testimonials from glad purchasers to spice up your credibility. Design a top-quality skilled web site that shows your work and shopper suggestions. Deal with constructing a powerful on-line presence using social media platforms with a powerful visible focus, like Instagram, to showcase your work and construct a web based presence.

4. Develop your popularity.

Phrase-of-mouth suggestions can have a big influence on the extent of success a brand new occasion planner achieves. Constructing a powerful popularity on-line and in your group can result in further shopper suggestions, future occasion bookings, and different enterprise alternatives.

Strengthen your skilled popularity by connecting with native venues, marriage ceremony planners, companies, and businesses. Convey native companies details about what you are promoting, introduce your self, and assess their occasion wants. Plan native and group occasions to introduce your self to potential purchasers and present them what you are able to do.

5. Discover your area of interest.

What components of the occasion planning {industry} are you most captivated with? Do you’ve got specialised coaching in a particular {industry} or sturdy abilities in a single specific space? As your profession grows, it’s possible you’ll discover that you’ve got a ardour for a particular sector of the occasion planning {industry}. Whether or not you favor planning non-profit fundraisers, weddings, or giant company retreats, there’s one thing for everybody in occasion planning.

Now you realize what occasion planners do!

Skilled occasion planners know that executing a profitable occasion is usually a race in opposition to the clock. Regardless of how a lot preparation happens, something can occur in occasion planning, and unexpected hiccups can shortly eat away at helpful time.

Up subsequent, we assessment suggestions and methods that may assist busy occasion planners save time and enhance effectivity. Comply with alongside to choose up 27 timesaving occasion planning suggestions, methods, and secrets and techniques that each occasion planner ought to know.

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