how to become an event planner

Pros and Cons of Being an Event Planner


Is Event Planning Right for Me?

Wondering 'is event planning right for me?' 'Should I become an event planner?' or 'Is event management a good career?'

See what professional events planners say are the reasons why—and why not—to become an event planner.

Because regardless of which sector of the industry you choose to work in, there a number of pros and cons of being an event planner that should be considered before you choose it as a career.

Even Forbes, the respected business magazine, has listed Event Co-ordinator as the 5th most stressful job of 2017.

Notice that only Police Officer, Airline Pilot, Firefighter, and Enlisted Military Personnel are listed as being more stressful!

Cons of Being an Event Planner
01

Long / Anti-Social Hours

Weekend and evening work is frequent, often in addition to regular office hours—plus there are lots of events over holiday periods.

02

Stressful Work

There is a lot of pressure for things to go right, under a strict time frame, and within budget. Combine that with the fact that it’s a live experience, which you only get one shot at, and that makes for very stressful work. Not everyone can handle that sort of pressure.

03

Tiring work

15 hour days are common, most of which is spent on your feet running around doing physical things; fetching, lifting and carrying, and you often have to snatch meals on the go—if you’re lucky!

04

Travel

Repeatedly being away from home, living out of a suitcase and only ever seeing the inside of the airport and a hotel ballroom can take all the fun out of travelling with work. It can also be hard to balance with family, pets, or relationships.

05

Dealing with Difficult People

Guests (and some clients!) can be demanding, unreasonable, rude and obnoxious—and you’ll be on the front line taking all the stress, insults and abuse while smiling sweetly and saying ‘no problem, let me take care of that for you’ when actually you’ll wish you had a voodoo doll to hand.

06

Recession-affected job

When the economy is down, events are one of the first things to be cut so planners get laid off and it can be difficult to find work.

07

Periods of unemployment

If you’re working as a freelance event planner there can be periods of unemployment in between contracts. While freelance jobs might appear to pay more, often that pay has to last longer.

08

Crowded job market

As the events industry has grown, with universities churning out more and more event management graduates, competition for jobs has increased massively in recent years.

09

Experience required

Although you can get away without formal education, training or certification, you absolutely must have experience in order to become an event planner. That often means starting at the very bottom and working your way up by doing unpaid work

Pros of Being an Event Planner
01

Variety

You might find yourself working on conferences, sporting events, celebrity parties, charity fundraisers, fashion shows, product launches, conventions, gala dinners, shop openings, or film premieres—to name just a few.

02

Varied Pace

There are often slow and steady periods in the early planning stages or in between events, followed by intense periods of high activity and adrenalin rushes. That’s another reason I never get bored; you know there’s always a high point on the horizon and, if you’re lucky, the pace will slack off again immediately after to allow you to recover.

03

Meeting Interesting people

From clients to guests, suppliers to performers, and speakers and consultants; you’ll meet a wide range of people, dip into their world, and often be taught things you didn’t know or hadn’t experienced before.

04

Team work

Many professions talk about working as part of a team, but there aren’t that many jobs where the entire team covers each other’s backs with such frequency. Team work plays a huge part in events, which in itself is extremely rewarding and can make it a really fun environment to work in—plus you have other people to lean on who’ll help to support you. Everyone pulls together at an event to make it happen.

05

Experiencing new things

Whether it’s travelling abroad, tasting fine foods and wines, coming into contact with famous people or getting to go to places, venues, and events that you would never usually get to see, there are always new things to experience.

06

No formal education necessary

It’s a profession where you can become very successful without any formal education, training or certification.

07

Short contract work available

It’s possible to be a self-employed freelancer and work for short periods on a specific event, then take longer periods off in between—meaning you can juggle it with other priorities such as family or other work.

08

Good job prospects

It’s still a relatively new and fast growing industry so the need for event planners is expected to remain high for some time.

09

Own business potential

It’s a profession where it’s relatively easy to work your way up to starting your own business.

10

It’s fun

Despite all the cons, it’s still a really fun and satisfying profession to work it.

Additional Perks & Benefits of Being an Event Planner

Still wondering 'is event planning right for me?'

Well, in addition to the pros and cons of being an event planner, it’s worth noting that over the course of an event planning career you will experience some incredible ‘pinch me’ moments.

These might include travelling to exciting locations, staying in fancy hotels, working with celebrities, or being given extraordinary access and unique opportunities that most people just never get to experience. Some of the professional event planners who've contributed to this site recall their own privileged moments since becoming an event planner, such as throwing footballs around the pitch with the Carolina Panthers, visiting the Lego factory in the Czech Republic and meeting their ‘master builder’, and escorting Nelson Mandela to sit with the Queen of England at a state banquet.

In the next article, we’ll look at these extra benefits—over and above the usual pros and cons of being an event planner—to help you decide if event planning is right for you.




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In The Next Section...
04

Perks & Benefits of Being an Event Planner

Although the work is often anything but glamorous, event planning careers can be both exciting and rewarding. Learn about some of the truly unique and extraordinary perks & benefits of being an event planner.