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How do I Earn an Event Planner Certification?

By Tess C. Taylor
Updated Jan 26, 2024
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Becoming an event planner can be an exciting time for any professional involved with organizing and planning important engagements of all sizes, from small ceremonies and corporate meetings to large scale sports events and regional conferences. Being successful in event planning requires having a solid reputation for being able to manage multiple people and resources. To further gain credibility in event planning, many decide to go on to study for and earn an event planner certification. This takes between nine months to eighteen months to achieve through an online or regional course of study.

It’s important to choose an event planner certification program that will provide a well-rounded exposure to all the aspects of the most common forms of events to be managed, as well as how to run a business. While an event planner may decide to specialize in a particular type of event planning, knowing how and why other types of events and business matters are handled is important. This can lead to a greater understanding of the entire responsibility and purpose of event planning as a career.

Before settling on an event planner certification program, it’s a good idea to evaluate your own individual skills and strengths to ensure that this is the right career for you. A good way to do this and earn experience in event planning is to locate an event planning company, then work in this industry for a few months to decide if investing in the event planner certification is the best choice for you. Once you decide to move forward, you will have the insight to know what steps to take to get there.

In addition to coursework in business, hospitality and marketing, some event planner certification programs require that a real event be planned and managed by you from start to finish. If you are serious about event planning as a career, then you will want to market yourself as a special events planner through a regional events planner directory or word-of-mouth. As part of your studies, you will be judged for your ability to manage this event and once you can prove that you are capable, a certification will be issued at the conclusion.

Once an event planning certification program is completed, there will generally be a final process by which you will be required to work as an intern or apprentice for an actual event planner. You can generally find local event planners listed in sports or event planning directories. Or you may be referred by the school to an event planning company that will allow you to work for them for a brief period of time. Upon completing the program, this will provide you with a portfolio of events managed as well as industry references to help you get your start.

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