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Become an Event Planner

What an Event Planner Does

Event planners have been compared to the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz, a plate spinner in the circus or a juggler. The common thread in each description is that an event planner creates something fabulous out of myriad details, all while making it look easy. 

In this excerpt from chapter 2 of the FabJob Guide to Become an Event Planner, we will give you an overview of the types of event planning specializations and services provided by event planners. The rest of the chapter outlines the actual steps to planning an event, and gives you sample documents and checklists you can use in your own work. 

Event Planning Specializations

So what exactly does an event planner do? Just as each event varies in its size, scope and complexity, so each job will differ. Depending on the event, you may be asked to do any number of different tasks, all with the end result of achieving a successful event. 

The steps to planning an anniversary or bar mitzvah will obviously differ somewhat from the steps involved in the successful planning of a large convention or board meeting for a corporation. However, as different as those events are, many steps in the planning process are similar no matter what type of event you are planning. To illustrate, look at a few of the steps common to planning both an anniversary party and convention:

  • client consultation (meeting with client) 
  • set budget
  • choose date
  • select venue (location)
  • negotiate with and choose suppliers
  • arrange transportation 
  • book blocks of hotel rooms for any out-of town-attendees 
  • arrange caterer and choose menu for dinner 
  • book entertainment, speakers or music provider
Of course, not all of the steps involved in planning an anniversary party are mirrored in planning a convention, but you can see in the above example that even though the purpose or end use of the item may not be the same, you will be responsible for set up and coordination of similar items. In the sections that follow, you will discover details about each of the steps involved in organizing an event. 

Although there are some similarities in planning different types of events, there are also some differences depending on the type of event being planned. This section provides an overview of different types of events, so you can decide if there are certain types that you would like to specialize in. 

We’ve grouped the different kinds of events into four main categories – social events, corporate events, industry events, and special events – to give you an idea of exactly what might be required of you.

Part 1 - Event Planning Specializations

Part 2 - Social Events

Part 3 - Corporate Events

Part 4 - Industry Events

Part 5 - Special Events

This article is an excerpt from the FabJob Guide to Become an Event Planner. The complete guide gives detailed advice on how you can become an event planner, get started om a career in event planning, find event planner jobs, or start your own event planning business. Visit for information about how to become an event planner.

by Jan L. Riddell

Jan L. Riddell  is co-author of the FabJob Guide to Become an Event Planner.



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