how to become an event planner

Perks & Benefits of Being an Event Planner

Despite the fact that the idea of being an event planner is often very different to the reality, event planning is still a very unique, exciting, and rewarding career.

There are many truly unique and extraordinary perks and benefits of being an event planner—in addition to the typical pros and cons discussed in the previous article.

While the majority of the work is anything but glamorous, over the course of your career you will get some incredible ‘pinch me’ moments; whether it’s from travelling to exciting locations, staying in fancy hotels, working with celebrities, or being given privileged access and unique opportunities that most people just never get to experience—as part of your job!

So if it you're still wondering 'why should I become an event planner?' Check out some of the advantages of being an event manager below to decide if a career in event planning is right for you

airplane in sky

Throughout my own event-planning career, I’ve been fortunate enough to:

Travel

Travel on private jets, helicopters, and luxury yachts in glamourous locations such as Monte Carlo, Portofino, Venice, and Cannes.

Ski

Ski and stay—for free—in luxury 5 star hotels and resorts in G’Staad and St Moritz while working on corporate meetings and conferences.

Luxury Accommodation

Stay in a penthouse apartment with a private butler and chef at the 5 Star Hotel Arts in Barcelona while working on a corporate conference.

Dine

Dine at exclusive restaurants such as the Cipriani in Venice and The Eagle Club in Gstaad (an invitation-only private members club with a 3 year wait list and £25,000 joining fee situated at the top of a private mountain in the Swiss Alps!).

Collaborate

Collaborate with professional fashion designers, artists, and interior designers including Giorgio Armani, Donatella Versace, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Mario Testino, Sam Taylor Wood, Anthony Gormley, David Bailey, Kelly Hoppen, and Barnaba Fornasetti on various projects.

Celebrities

Meet countless celebrities and sometimes even get to hang out with them—including hitting the dancefloor with Madonna, Tom Ford, Kate Moss, Paul McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Chris Martin while working as Stella McCartney’s wedding planner.

Private Homes

Visit the private homes of celebrities such as Elton John, Stella McCartney, and David & Victoria Beckham (which included borrowing David Beckham's boots to stomp around in their muddy back garden!).

The Oscars

Attend The Academy Awards ‘Oscars’ Ceremony at the Kodak Theatre, followed by VIP after-parties.

Cannes Film Festival

Work (and party!) at the Cannes Film Festival.

Musicians

Work with talented—and often legendary—performers such as Mary J Blige, Sting, Chuck Berry, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Bryan Adams, Diana Krall, Donna Summer, Barry Manilow, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Anastacia, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Ronan Keating, Craig David, The Sugababes, Lulu, and Bryan Ferry.

Less Obvious Benefits of Being an Event Planner

Superficial elements aside (because believe me, after a while the celebrity/luxury novelty wears off), some of the less obvious benefits of being an event planner are actually the greatest.

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Team Work + Live Environment = Unique Bonding Experience

For me personally, one of the most rewarding benefits of being an event planner is the opportunity to work as part of a team, in a live environment, onsite.

Without wanting to sound overly sentimental, when you have a good team, and you’re on-location at an event; living, working, and (if you’re lucky) socializing together, it’s a really unique bonding experience that you just don’t get working as part of a team in an office.

event staff team briefing
Leftfield Productions onsite team briefing

There’s definitely a special connection that’s made when a team works together on-site; putting in long hours, coming up with creative ideas and practical solutions to problems, late nights, early starts, working in a live environment—against the clock—to pull off an amazing event, dealing with impossible clients, tantrums from guests, and the adrenaline rush of seeing all that hard work finally come to life. And when it goes well, and you see the reaction on the guest’s faces, it really is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

That shared experience of having pulled it off—sometimes against the odds—is really quite hard to beat. You just don’t get that in most professions.

Therefore, assuming you haven’t already been put off with talk of boring health & safety paperwork, endless Excel spreadsheets, and 15 hour days hanging around at airports, below are some of the less obvious benefits of being an event planner—to give you an idea why event planning is still an amazing career unlike most others.

More Benefits of Being an Event Planner

New Job Every Few Months

It really can be like having a new job every few months. Every event is different, so you never really get bored. You might also be lucky enough to work for a company that organizes all different types of events—as my company does. I’ve sometimes gone from working on a corporate conference in a luxury ski resort, to a high-profile charity ball hosted by an A list celebrity, then onto the launch of a new TV show, followed by a celebrity wedding—so there’s been something new to experience all the time.

Bonding With a Team

As I touched on above, when you’re working on an event—particularly one that involves staying away on location—there’s a real bond that develops from spending all your time with each other and working through all the ups and downs together. For a short period, usually less than a week, you get very attached to a group of people; to the point where it can often feel quite sad at the end of the job when you go your separate ways. But then you move onto another event, with a new team, and you get to do it all over again.

Fine Food & Wines

One of the benefits of being an event planner that I love most is being exposed to fine foods and wines—that I probably wouldn’t ordinarily get to try myself. In particular, I remember dining on rare white Alba truffles (which are only available for a month or so each year and sell for approx. $2,000 per lb.) and sipping fresh white peach Bellini’s where they were invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy.

Adopting Trends

In events, you often get to adopt new trends—while they’re still hot. They might be trends in technology; such as projection mapping, virtual reality, or motion-sensor activated projections. I remember using one of the first digital graffiti walls at an event for Sarah Jessica Parker in Cannes, France. Alternatively, it might be trends in food, such as molecular gastronomy, or even cocktails; I remember serving white cosmopolitans (using white cranberry juice) at a party for the fashion designer Stella McCartney—before most people in the UK had ever heard of white cranberry juice. Sometimes, you might even be responsible for starting a trend because of something you incorporated into one of your events!

Working with Talent

There are so many amazingly talented people you get to meet, work with, and learn from in the events industry—each of whom will expose you to new things. From lighting designers, to chefs, to set designers, to web developers, to cocktail mixologists, to graphic designers, and lots of quirky and unusual artists and performers.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes—what goes into making an event—is often more interesting than the end result. Many amazing ideas never make it into the actual event, for various reasons. Ideas, designs and mock ups get rejected all the time, or have to be developed through numerous versions. For example, a chef might make nine different dishes to express a particular theme, in order for you to choose three to serve at the event. The guests don’t get to see (or taste) the other six, but you, as the planner, do.

Learning New Things

You get to learn new things all the time. I’m lucky enough to work on very creative events, and many of these have themes. This means, as part of the research process, I get to immerse myself in different cultures, periods in history, works of literature, art & design movements, and movies. I’m always learning something new. For example, one year I organized a charity event for The Red Cross which had an Indian theme, and so I had to learn all about Indian religious iconography, architecture, cuisine, design, fashion, music and dance. Similarly, if you’re working in experiential, you might get to learn all about the latest types of technology first, or if you work in incentive travel you’ll get to experience different cities and cultures first-hand.

Privileged Access and Unique Experiences

One of the benefits of being an event planner is that you often get special access to unique experiences, people, and places not typically available to the public. Whether it’s touring private rooms at Windsor Castle [an official residence of Queen Elizabeth II], throwing footballs around the pitch with the Carolina Panthers, working with The US Secret Service, or visiting the Lego factory in the Czech Republic and meeting their ‘master builder’—a career in event planning can offer plenty of unique moments.

Hear from the Professionals

Continue to the next article to read what other event professionals describe as some of the less obvious benefits of being an event planner—and the memorable moments those have contributed to their careers.

chad hudson
bill jones
charlotte saynor
christoper lee
martin turner
charlotte woolseley brinton
sharyn scott
nathan homan
lisa simmons
marie davishieser
jennifer miller
rachel vingness
liz sinclair
nicola mosley
dori rodriguez
grace nacchia
fiona lawlor
farida haqiqi



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Being an Event Planner

What is a career in event planning like? Professional event planners describe some the most unique, memorable, and rewarding experiences from their event planning careers.