How to Become an Event Planner in Australia
Event planners are actually small-scale project managers. They work on developing and organising bigger events. These include conferences, weddings, formal parties, conventions, festivals, concerts, etc. Their job consists of fully planning and coordinating the event they’re managing, which is a complex process in itself. They basically plan and execute events, ensuring not only that all technical and logistical elements are there, but also that the creativity isn’t lacking. There’s no dull day when you’re an event planner, as you have to juggle clients, in addition to the organisational and technical event requirements. This is especially true when we consider how many types of events there are.
Event planners do everything from designing the event concept to coordination of the execution. They integrate the brand into event marketing, manage schedules, scout and select location and coordinate technical things. Often times, they also need to have budgeting knowledge. Moreover, they take care of all necessary permits, coordinate with speakers and entertainers, caterers and decorators. They are also responsible for ensuring the security of the events they are organising. In addition, they arrange for proper transportation and parking.
To put it simply: these are the people whose emergency plans have emergency plans. They are prepared for every possible scenario and eager to try out new solutions.
Do you love coordinating events? Do you find yourself planning elaborate gatherings at every given opportunity? Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you achieve your dream of becoming an Event Planner.
Step 1: Study Event Management or Public Relations
To start with, having some formal education in a relevant field can only be a plus. This can be event management, public relations, media and communications, among many others. As there are different aspects of the profession, it is safe to say that there is a multitude of study courses that will equip you for the job. It’s best to enrol in a course that would best support you in developing skills in the area you find most interesting. It could be organisational, logistics, emergency or creative process management. It all depends on you and your preference.
Also, keep in mind that if a formal education is a prerequisite for getting certified. For this, you will need a degree or certificate and some experience.
Step 2: Create an Event Portfolio
The best way to stand out from the crowd is to create an event portfolio. However, since you can’t start from the roof of the house, you need to get some experience. The first step on your way to becoming an Event Planner is building up your profile. That should be your foundation. If you don’t know how to get started, you can try volunteering. Non-profit organisations are always on the look-out for good volunteers. They tend to organise quite a few events. Joining one of them, or looking into working for a flower shop or a similar business, can really help you understand everything that comes with event planning.
It will also enable you to create a portfolio of all the work you’ve done, showcasing all that you can do to potential clients. Volunteering is also a great way to feel out what types of events you would like to specialise in. Not to mention you will see what aspects of it you most (and least) enjoy doing.
Step 3: Network and Promote Yourself
As with many other careers, who you know can be vital. Additionally, you will need to buff up on your customer service skills, because most of your business will probably come from referrals. That being said, promoting what you do and building an online presence is very important, as it will allow clients to quickly assess your work. For instance, you can show parts of your process to clients, work on developing a unique planning method and attend networking events and seminars. Similarly, you can take advantage of online communities, reach out to potential clients and develop an overall marketing strategy for your business.
Step 4: Continue Improving
Precisely because there are so many factors that come into play in the world of event planning, it’s not exactly possible to be a master of all. At least, not instantly. That’s why you will need to always stay on top of things, following trends and levelling up your skills. Research event management seminars and conferences and events. Put your best game face on and attend. Use them to improve your skills and see what your colleagues are up. This is also a great way to gain inspo and pick up new tricks.
What Does an Event Planner Do?
Event Planners are responsible for the creation and execution of various types of events. They identify the event target group, provide creative input and work out the entire outline. There is nothing that slips their minds, from the decorations to parking and seating arrangements. Their job consists of ensuring that all logistical, legal, technical and organisational needs are met so that the event can go off without a hitch.
They need to stay in lines of their clients’ budget, fulfil client needs to the fullest and always have a back-up plan in case anything goes wrong. Among other things, they are tasked with arranging entertainment, catering, security services, run sheets, decor and more. f
- Event planning and execution, in accordance with the budget and time frame provided
- Client servicing and negotiation
- Venue selection
- Contract negotiations with various third parties
- Arranging for services like entertainment, décor, catering, transportation, etc.
- Arranging all event details including invitee list, seating and technical equipment
- Specifying staff needs and staff coordination
- Ensuring compliance with all legal, health and safety obligations
- Working on promoting and publicizing the event
Skills for Success
Event Planners need to be organised and dedicated to maintaining a high level of productivity. In particular, they need to be creative, innovative and communicative, able to spot and predict developments. A successful Event Planner needs to be level-headed when confronted by an unpredictable situation, solution-oriented and approachable. Besides, they need to have good marketing and negotiation skills and conduct themselves in a professional manner. In order to really be the best, an Event Planner must have a passion for planning, along with great capacity to prioritise and problem-solve.
Skills & Attributes
- Passion and dedication
- Organisation and productivity
- Be efficient
- Innovation and creativity
- Communication and customer service skills
- Good negotiation skills
- High-level of professionalism
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Solution-oriented approach
- Level-headedness in an unpredictable situation
How much does an Event Planner make? In Australia, the average salary of an Event Planner is around $54,689 per year. This varies greatly depending on experience and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 02/19.