The low down

A party planner isn’t just someone who plans a child’s birthday party. There’s a whole list of opportunities that party planners get, with a whole selection of events that they may be asked to organise, including:

– Weddings

– Corporate events

– Celebrations

– Special age birthday parties

– Anniversary parties

Party planners may spend anything, from few weeks to months, planning out these events.

Is this role right for me?

In order to be a party planner, it is important to be able to hold well under pressure. Many party planners will work long days leading up to the event, handling a variety of tasks. There is always the possibility of things going wrong so it is important to be proactive and have back-up plans. Being a party planner also involves a lot of creativity. Usually when given a brief by clients, the party planner will go away and create ideas of how the party should be run and what style/theme it should follow.

To do this job you will need…

To be a party planner, it’s important to have as much experience as you can get. Most of the skills needed to do this job can be learnt on the job and the more experience you get, the more skilled you become. It is possible to take college courses in a variety of aspects that are involved within party planning. This includes hospitality, catering, management and marketing. All of these will give a party planner a better understanding of the sections of the events industry. Having a degree in Business would also help as these degrees cover a range of topics, including Finance and Accounting, Marketing and Promotion, and Management. These all help to prepare for certain aspects of the events industry.

What does a party planner do?

A party planner will be given a brief by their client explaining their vision for the event they want organised. The party planner will then go off and create a plan for the event. This involves plans for what the budget will be spent on, colour schemes, decorations, food and drink, and venue/location. They will then show these to the client to finalise them before the real planning starts. The type of event will determine what the party planner does. No matter what the size of the event is, the planner will need to work within a budget, to a timescale, and make sure that everything goes smoothly on the day of the event. If the planner is organising large events they will have to look a lot more at the logistics of the event to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Event/party planners usually work for organisations such as an event venue, like an arena or conference centre, an events vendor, such as equipment hire companies or caterers, or for a

company that regularly hosts events, such as large businesses and universities.

How to get your foot in the door

Gaining experience is key to becoming an event planner. Not only does this help you develop your skills but it also helps to gain contacts. These contacts will be useful when trying to find work. Gaining experience can be especially difficult when looking for a job, as many employers will want to see you have a history of working in events. Getting a job in a catering firm or selling merchandise at events can be beneficial, as you usually won’t need much experience for it. By working within an event, you can learn through observing and if the event is well known, such as a sporting event or a concert, it will look good on your CV too.