5 Ways To Gain Event Planning Experience

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Can you imagine doing what you love – experiencing the thrill of meeting new people, creating fun experiences, making things happen, and potentially earning up to 100k a year? There is no wonder why a lot of people are interested in pursuing a career in events. For newbies, the question is how can they first get event planning experience. We’re here to provide useful information that will help you in your career.

Whatever industry you’re in, learning the skill of event planning is a valuable asset you can have. Learn everything you need to know that can boost your event planning skills.

What Do Event Planners Do

Event planners are the team behind making events happen. They are the point of contact from the different stages of the event planning process. Some event planners have a specific niche for specific event planning services, while others can wear many hats. Here is a list of the things that event planners do:

Initial Consultation / Account Management

Discuss the plan and objectives with your client or team through the initial consultation. As an event planner, you will document and understand what the event aims to accomplish. Being clear with this from the beginning helps set the direction of your planning process. To facilitate productive discussions, come prepared with insightful qualifying questions that guide the conversation effectively.

Venue Coordination

The event venue sets the stage for your event. Doing research, conducting site visits, assessing capacity, creating floor plans, and negotiating contracts are some of the tasks that come with being an event planner. 

Registration and Ticketing

Events are all about your target event attendees and getting them to your event. Registration and ticketing are important elements to make an event happen. For event planners, choose a ticketing platform that gives the most value to your event. Most ticket-selling platforms charge a commission fee on tickets sold but not Event Espresso

With Event Espresso or Event Smart, planners can create and sell unlimited tickets for different events with no commission fees plus enjoy all the features like a customizable site, efficient event registration system, and secure payment collections.

Welcome / Hospitality

Event planners want to bring a delightful experience to attendees. Making sure an attendee feels welcomed, and having someone ready to give directions can make a big difference to the event experience. 

The usual tasks in this area of responsibility are ushering people to their seats, creating welcome packages, providing VIP services, and more. 

Program / Attendee Experience

The program is like the heart of the event. Event planners take charge of brainstorming and creating the event program and activities. Understanding the audience and knowing what they will enjoy is part of the planning process for the event program.

Logistics Management

Getting the necessary safety permits and licenses can be a tedious task, but event planners are familiar with this task already. Transportation and accommodation are also factors to consider under logistics.

Making sure needed equipment is available, audiovisuals are working properly, and inventory checks are all part of managing an event’s logistics. 

Vendor Coordination

Every event whether big or small involves collaboration with other vendors. Success event planners are familiar with how events work, they can also be the point person for dealing with event contracts, going through the vendor negotiation process, assessing expertise, and being on top of deliverables. 

Budget Management/ Finance

Event planners serve as stewards of the event planning budget. Since they are involved in the planning of the event, they can also play a role in sourcing and allocating funds for the different aspects of the event. Furthermore, event planners continuously track and monitor the expenses of the event budget. With their expertise, they can contribute to reaching the event’s KPI and achieve ROI faster. 

Event Marketing / Promotion

Some event planning firms provide strategic event marketing and promotion strategies as part of their services. From crafting event marketing plans to making sure that your event reaches your target audience to creating promotions to drive ticket sales, an event planner stays on top of these tactics. 

Design and Decoration

Aligning your event’s design and decoration to your event theme is a part of the attendee experience. Event planners take the lead in coordinating with vendors on setting up the decor and using their eye for detail to make sure everything goes according to plan. 

On-site Management / Project Management

The day of the event can be one of the busiest aspects of an event planner’s life. You can see event planners with a checklist on hand and going around coordinating with the event team. They are in charge of ensuring that everything planned goes according to schedule. Aside from this, they also serve as the point of contact for providing clear direction, making quick decisions, and resolving any challenges that arise to keep the event running smoothly. 


The role of event professionals does not end after the event. They are responsible for delivering a delightful experience for attendees from the moment they hear about the event up to when they potentially become a part of the organization’s community. Giving thank-you gifts, sending thank-you emails, conducting a post-event follow-up, and creating a post-event report are some additional things under an event planner’s tasks. 

Professional Skills In Event Planning

A group setting up decorations for an event

Before entering into this career, here are the five most mentioned key skills that clients or employers are looking for:

Work under the pressure

Events can be a fast-paced profession. Unexpected things come up throughout the event. Event organizers are expected to be the first to think of solutions and the last to panic when problems arise. The ability to remain calm can greatly impact the outcome of an event.

Communication Skills

Event planners will constantly deal with different people. Whatever stage of the event planning process, they are tasked with communication with vendors, guests, sponsors, etc. 

You must develop the skill of active listening to understand what your client needs. Furthermore, event planners must learn the art of clearly communicating ideas to ensure alignment with everybody on the team. 

Negotiation Skills

Negotiating is an essential skill not just for event planners but for everyone. In the realm of event planning, event planners are constantly working to secure a good deal with vendors. Learning how to negotiate with vendors can help you get the pricing, and package, and contribute to the growth of your event’s revenue.

Marketing Skills

Learn the valuable skills of marketing to help promote your event and sell out event tickets. 

Event planners play a role in determining the strategies of choosing the right marketing channels, identifying the proper messaging, coming up with creative ideas, and monitoring the effectiveness of the marketing strategies.

Knowledge of Trends and Tools

Another important skill for event planners is their knowledge of trends to help create impactful events for their attendees. 

Furthermore, being familiar with the technology and tools that event planners use can be beneficial. For example, using Event Espresso and Event Smart as a registration tool for ticket selling becomes an advantage for the team because of its no commission fees per ticket sold. 

Attention to Detail

Imagine hosting an event in a venue with lots of rooms, small details like putting clear signages can save your attendees the stress of looking for the right venue for your event. When event planners have skills in detail, they can visualize what their attendees will go through and create a thoughtful experience for them. 

Cultural Sensitivity

Events involve participants from different backgrounds. Event planners should have the ability to be sensitive and create an inclusive environment for all attendees.

How To Get Into Event Planning With No Experience

A group of professionals networking with one another

If you’re starting in your events career and still have no experience, you might be thinking about how to get into event planning and feel overwhelmed with competition. Don’t be discouraged. There are ways you can build your event planning experience from scratch and still have an edge in this competitive industry. 


You can start by doing volunteer work for people who need event planning. Start by organizing for a friend or family member who is thinking of planning events like a birthday party or a bridal shower. Once the event is a success, you can take that event planning experience as a skill you can talk about in your resume. 

Aside from this, you can volunteer at a nonprofit organization to be part of their event planning committee. Offering your services to startups or local clubs looking to organize events is another way to build your resume

Offer value 

Evaluate your skills and experience and see where it can contribute the most in the events industry. For example, you can offer assistance in event setup and design. Show your dedication by offering to take responsibility or shadowing a professional for different aspects like marketing, logistics, registration, etc. 

Network / reach out to people 

Know where your target audience spends their time and go there to network and establish your expertise. You can start with a social media platform like LinkedIn and genuinely try to offer value and network with people who have the potential to hire you or get your services.

Start Small/ Use What You Have

You can start building an event planning experience by starting small. Make a goal to contribute to one startup business a week or a month, depending on what fits your schedule. You can also look for event firms that offer internship or part-time opportunities to jumpstart your learning and gain valuable networks too. 

Create a Portfolio/ Resume

Finally, create a portfolio and resume that highlights specific event management skills and outcomes that are relevant to your potential client. Build your credibility by sharing about your event planning process, client testimonials, network, and creative concepts you’ve made in your portfolio. 

Take an Online Course or Certification

There are different event planning certifications you can take to build your professional resume. Earning a certification can attract your potential clients because it shows that you are serious about your profession. Being in a course exposes you to a valuable network of people from the events industry. You can also gain mentors from event leaders and experts you’ll meet. 

Tips on Becoming a Successful Event Planner

Develop Problem-Solving Abilities

As mentioned above, an event planner can face challenges throughout the event planning process. As problem solvers, event planners must practice the skill of listening to understand to come up with a solution. 

Build a Strong Network

A solid network can result in referrals and recommendations which are very important in the events industry. Additionally, networking can open opportunities for professional development and collaboration with other event industry leaders.

Keep on Learning

As with any career, the events landscape is always evolving. Stay updated by being open to learning from colleagues, taking courses and certifications, and seeking feedback from clients and team members.

Be Resourceful in Your Planning Process

An event planner should have a big picture of the event’s overall objectives and key performance indicators and that includes maximizing revenue. One way to do this is by eliminating unnecessary expenses and choosing the right tools throughout your event. 

For example, most event-selling platforms charge a commission fee per ticket sold. When you use tools like Event Espresso and Event Smart, you can enjoy higher profit margins because you don’t have to pay any commission fees on all your ticket sales. 

Practice Communication Skills

Attend networking events and expose yourself to different people to practice your communication skills. Develop skills in empathy and conflict resolution to prepare for what you will experience in an actual event.

Event Tool That Event Planners Trust

Use an event registration tool for almost every type of event with Event Espresso. Trusted by thousands of events, event planners are confident that they can get the support they need plus all the features ideal for an event ticketing website. Event Espresso is a WordPress plug-in that smoothly integrates with your WordPress site to enable ticket selling and registration. 

If you don’t want to create an event website from scratch and do not use WordPress, you can use Event Smart. It has all the features of Event Espresso too. Start planning for your successful event now. Check out our live demo or our 14-day free trial. 

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