An event planner (also known as a meeting and/or convention planner) is someone who coordinates all aspects of professional meetings and events. They often choose meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate many other details.
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Below is How To Become An Event Planner In Ghana
How to get into event planning
Here are 12 strategies to help grow your new event management career, find your first clients, and increase your experience:
1. Get an education
Consider pursuing an education in event planning or a similar field. Professional event managers have widely differing degrees that all teach necessary skills for a future in event planning. Some relevant college degrees include:
Hotel and restaurant management: A degree in this field allows you to learn essential aspects of running large-scale events, best practices for guest management, and an introduction to the catering industry.
Marketing: Any large event is going to need a strong marketer in charge, one who can attract guests, organize promotional events and maintain consistent messaging.
Public relations: A public relations professional serves as the liaison between the public and an organization, and they are often highly involved in marketing and developing events that bring the organization greater public awareness. This degree would offer practical skills in people management, leadership, attracting the public and working with subcontractors to develop business relationships—all essential skills for an event management professional.
A degree could increase your marketability and demonstrate proof of important skills.
2. Earn professional certifications
Your local university might also offer classes and professional certifications in event planning. Apart from your local university or college, you can pursue other professional certifications like these:
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is developed by the Convention Industry Council (CIC)
Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) is suggested by the International Live Events Association (ILEA)
Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) is run by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)
3. Find your niche
Finding your niche means determining the part of event planning you want to specialize in. Since event planning is a diverse field, featuring everything from stockholders’ retreats to fundraisers and children’s birthday parties, you can specialize in nearly any type of event. Be flexible enough to work with any client, especially when you are starting, but focus on your own strengths and interests in the field so you can develop expertise in particular areas. To find your niche, identity events you enjoy coordinating the most and tailor your search for experience around those events.
Having a niche can increase your marketability since proven interest and passion for a type of event can attract businesses or organizations looking for the best planner for that type of event. For example, if you care most about corporate retreat planning, make sure your experience and portfolio present you as the optimal choice in retreat management.
4. Engage online through social media
Join online groups to find other aspiring event planning professionals and more experienced planners. And, with many events being planned online, an active and successful online network can help you appear more marketable to employers looking for digital expertise.
5. Attend local events
Local events, whether they are fundraisers or corporate events, offer an extraordinary opportunity to observe and learn about event planning. Going to an event as a guest can give you a unique viewpoint into logistics and guest experience. Attend some functions, and note how the events are structured, how space is used and the vendors and resources the planner uses. You can also introduce yourself to the event planners to ask them questions about their approach and gain relevant contacts in the industry.
6. Research industry leaders
Once you’re more familiar with the event planning scene, research the most influential industry leaders in the industry and discover some of their experience and qualifications. If you meet people at local events with connections to larger companies, contact these people about opportunities to meet their contacts. Researching industry leaders can give you names and businesses to reach out to and offer an opportunity to volunteer or become involved with well-known event planners and learn their methods.
7. Find a mentor
A mentor is a more experienced individual who can help guide you in your career and aspirations. As you network, research and attend local functions, be on the lookout for event planning professionals with qualifications and abilities you admire. Consider asking them to mentor you in your growing event planning career.
Whenever you meet with a mentor, be respectful of their time and listen to their experience and advice. They might be able to offer you unique connections, training, and access to resources.
Volunteer with local organizations
An excellent way to gain experience is to volunteer for local events, like those hosted by religious institutions you’re a part of, clubs and organizations, local businesses or nonprofits. Many nonprofits and local charitable organizations consistently run awareness campaigns and fundraisers, creating many opportunities to volunteer your skills.
If you volunteer to help plan an event or even just to assist during the setup and the event itself, you can gain valuable experience and working knowledge. Roles as simple as passing out name tags and checking people in can give you valuable experience to leverage when pitching to a potential client.
As you start, you can also volunteer to lead the event planning efforts for a local organization or club. These opportunities allow you to showcase your leadership skills, logistical management abilities, and vendor relationships.
9. Craft a stellar portfolio
Create a portfolio that showcases your experience, niche expertise, skills, and other qualifications to impress a potential client. Here are some ideas for putting together a portfolio:
Include all kinds of events. Think of the garage sales, multi-family birthday parties or neighborhood block parties you may have helped plan. Describe what role you served in and how your involvement impacted the event. Try to choose the most relevant events so clients can see how your experience matches their needs.
Include hard data. Show your event’s impact by sharing specific numbers, like the number of attendees, the amount of money earned from tickets or the amount of money fundraised. Providing statistics can illustrate how effective your event planning skills are.
Share pictures or videos. Visuals demonstrate your decorative style and the guest experience. With pictures or videos, you can help the client imagine what their event might look like under your leadership.
Get feedback. Have someone review your portfolio and give feedback on its structure and how clear your contributions are. Make sure your portfolio is grammatically correct, clearly organized and ready to impress even the pickiest client.
10. Build a website
By building a website, you can advertise your services and give an overview of your style and skills. Consider housing the following elements on your website for the best client experience:
Have a contact form. In addition to including your business contact information, like your phone number and email address, provide a digital form for potential clients to fill out. This form can ask for their contact information, the type of event they’re looking for, and any other details that can help you prepare for your meeting with them.
Publish your portfolio. Clients can explore your website to learn more about your event planning experience and see visuals from past events. Having it in the same location where they can contact you for a quote or meeting streamlines the process of making a connection.
Write a blog. With a blog, you can write about your view of the event planning industry, describe challenges and victories in your career and engage with other event planning blogs. A well-read blog that utilizes SEO practices can help make your name recognizable in the industry and even reach more clients.
Link your website to social media. Include your social media handles and link to those platforms from your site. Clients can navigate to your social media to see more evidence of your event planning if you post photos there, too.
10. Apply to event management companies
Even if you eventually want to start your own event management service in the future, apply to event management companies in your area to gain more experience. Use social media and online job boards to search for open positions with the companies that offer the most opportunities to grow as a planner. Research a company’s reputation and the events it has managed to see if it aligns with your niche.
You can also apply for positions in marketing, advertising, public relations, communications or HR management because those roles are often responsible for helping organize public or employee events. Through these and event management roles, you can learn new skills, stay updated with current event trends and make new contacts.
11. Start your own business
Here are some ways you can start your own business and find your first client:
Use your local network. Let your family, friends, and coworkers know about your new business. Ask them if they know anyone who might need an event planner.
Search social media and online job boards to find clients. Browse online to find clients searching for private event planners. Apply to their postings and follow up on your application with a polite email or phone call, if possible.
Advertise your website. Considering paying for marketing to promote your website and get more visibility online.
Develop a strong business plan. Your business plan should detail your niche, your target clients and your mission as a company. If you have others working for you, write a description of their duties and include your organizational structure. Be sure to include a pricing structure, factoring in the possibility of hiring subcontractors, servers or movers, to show clients your payment expectations. A professional plan can help you streamline the contract negotiation process and prepare a comprehensive pitch to clients.
12. Pitch your first client
Here are some things to consider when pitching your first client:
Do your research. Based on the job posting or what you know of the client, research what the client might be looking for in their upcoming event. If you research ahead of time, you can begin planning to give your client as a starting point, showing that you are collaborative and proactive in meeting their needs.
Personalize the meeting. If you know who your interviewer or client is before the meeting, do some research on social media to identify some common interests. Sharing common interests allows you to more easily build a friendly rapport, which can make meetings more engaging for both parties. You can also ask questions about the company or the client’s needs to show that you’re focused on meeting expectations.
Emphasize your uniqueness. The skills that set you apart as an event planner should be evident during the interview. If you excel at fundraising, make that clear. If your passion is for welcoming environments and social mingling, identify how you accomplish that and how it can benefit the company’s or client’s event. Showing the client or interviewer how your unique skills and experience meet their needs can convince them you’re the right person for the role.