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Leslie Gilmour

How to Get a Job in the Event Planning Industry

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Event planning is one of those industries that many young people want to get into, but might not be quite sure how to set about it. Staging your own events is a great learning curve, but it may be hard work to begin with as you build your name and reputation. Interning with an established company is often the best way to enter the industry, as you’ll gain exposure to a huge variety of things in a short space of time. Here’s how you can make this pathway to your new career work for you:

Do What You Love

Ask anyone who works in events and they’ll tell you that you really have to live and breathe what you do. There’s no use going into it halfheartedly, because you just won’t have the motivation to give it your all when the deadlines are looming.

Choosing event planning as your new career only works if you love what you do. You’ll find that the passion you have for getting everything just right allows you to push on late into the night when you need to. Ideal if you want to get that all-important second wind that ensures no stone is left unturned in the days leading up to the big occasion.

Show Enthusiasm

Being enthusiastic is one of the best ways to get noticed and take your career to the next level. You never want to cross the line and come across as over-familiar, but you do need to show willingness to go the extra mile whenever possible. There is always something to be done, and often there’ll be fairly straightforward and unglamorous tasks that more experienced hands will try and avoid. If you get a reputation as someone who’s willing to get the job done no matter what, you’ll get more and more responsibility and before you know it, you’ll be a sought-after member of the team.

Be Proactive

Being proactive is the perfect way to get yourself noticed. This goes for applying for jobs, and during your internships and work placements. If you notice that there’s a small job that can easily be taken care of, then jump right in and get it done. Run it past someone more senior so that they know what you’re doing and then let the results speak for themselves.

Make it a regular habit and you’ll be able to gain a reputation as someone who gets the job done with the minimum of fuss. And they’re just the sort of people that every team needs when planning a major event at a short notice!

Learn in Real World Settings

The classroom and the lecture theatre are great because they expose you to all manner of new concepts, but there’s nothing like putting things into practice to really master your craft.

Seek out ways to gain hands-on experience and you’ll be a much more attractive prospect as a future hire. With so many employers looking for people that really stand out, there’s no better way to put yourself front and centre than by showing that you have already gotten stuff done in the real world. Nobody’s expecting you to have hosted your own music festival, but by getting some practical experience, you’ll have already shown how much you want a career in the industry. It’ll also mean you can provide references which is something every employer will really like.

You can also always check out the work of established event planners like Kevin Rowe, and use them as an inspiration for your own future work – just make sure you don’t turn into a copycat.

Have Confidence in Yourself

Getting the opportunities that your hard work deserves is as much about believing in yourself as it is about getting that all-important lucky break.

If you have confidence in what you do, you’re far more likely to be seen as the safe pair of hands that every event planning company needs onboard. Sit back and write a quick list of your achievements and remind yourself of them on a regular basis so that your confidence grows and you can continue to move forward.

Remember That Criticism is Invaluable Feedback

One thing is for sure: there will be things you can improve on when you start working in events. In fact, even the most seasoned professional will get things wrong from time to time or have to ask for assistance from a colleague. There’s nothing wrong with it, there’s no shame in it, and the only stupid questions are the ones that never get asked.

The secret is to never take criticism or suggestions on how you could have done something better personally. People want the event to go off without a hitch which means that when something needs changing, it has to be highlighted, discussed, and corrected.

Take onboard everything you’re told and hear and you’ll soon find that your skills grow beyond all recognition.

Enjoy the End Product

Too many people get so caught up with making sure that everything is perfect that they forget to enjoy the event itself. You’re going to have to be a lot more proactive than if you were a guest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stand back at some point and take pride in what you’ve achieved.

By putting yourself in the position of one of your guests, you’ll also be able to see what little tweaks and adjustments you could make next time around. These are the little things that can really set you apart as you build your career.

Build a Portfolio

A portfolio is something that everyone in events has and it’s basically your business card. Make sure you detail the projects you’ve contributed to during your placements so that you can give future prospective employers a taste of what you can do. Take pride in it and over the years you’ll be able to look back on some of the great things you’ve done in your career.

Now that you know what you need to do to get your dream job, all that remains is to go out there and do it. Stay motivated, be proactive, and show everyone what you can do and you’ll go far.

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