Even if you are an expert at planning parties, do you think you have it in you to be a great event planner? An event planning job is quite stable and offers a lot of flexibility. You can start your own venture, work in an events company or for a private organization. But this job, no matter how fancy it looks, has some serious disadvantages that you may want to consider. Event planning can be fun, but at the same time stressful and busy.
To become an event planner, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Before you think of even considering this career path, you may want to check out the questions below to see if this is the right career for you:
• Are you a creative problem solver?
• Can you multitask and are you an attentive listener?
• Can you communicate well and succinctly with others?
• Are you organized?
• Do you have good budget management skills?
• Can you stick to timelines?
• Are you detail-oriented?
• How do you react to unexpected changes?
• How well can you manage clients and customers?
• Can you stay calm and focused under pressure?
The above questions are some of the qualities that make a good event planner. If your answers to most of them were yes, then you’d be a great fit for a career in event planning. Now, let’s talk about some advantages and disadvantages of this job.
Being an event planner is not about project management and taking stress. It is about organizing yourself and your team and creating relationships with clients and vendors alike. A perfectionist can be a good event planner. With attention to detail, you can scrutinize minutest problems while budgeting, booking venues and calculating your event ROI. People who love to meet new people and travel will love this job. The best part of event planning, I think, is that you get to create something extraordinary from ordinary things. All this is executed within a given deadline and every time you get a different experience. Event planner’s job is one of the most dynamic jobs as there are always new venues to explore, new trends in the industry and new clients with very different goals, needs, and requests.
However, with these benefits comes the burden of expectations and demands. There is more than meets the eye. There are many disadvantages of a career as an event planner, and for the sake of this blog, I’ve identified my top three: long working hours, client demands and high level of stress.
Long work hours: More than often, event planners work over the normal 40-hour week. When planning major events and meetings, event planners have intense working hours as they often spend their time meeting people and clients. Expect long hours and multitasking during event days. You’re expected to be engaged in other projects, coordinate with vendors and clients, and be at the event site to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Clients’ expectations: Event planning requires attention to clients’ demands and expectations to deliver flawless events for them. Even if you are planning an event for your organization, you’ll have to ensure you deliver on your boss’ expectations. Event planning is different from a range of service-oriented jobs in that your relationship with each client matters over time. You might meet a new client and work with them for months or even years. For those clients that spend a good fortune, you’ll have to keep them in the loop and update them on the progress. A number of phone calls, special changes and sometimes client visits are common with needy and more particular clients.
High stress: Event planning is one of the most stressful jobs, according to Forbes. It’s a job where any tiny slip-up can seriously jeopardize your event and can cost clients tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is a job that is not forgiving and can have major repercussions. No wonder you need to be a perfectionist if you want to take event planning as a career. Coordinating with hotels and arranging for travel, organizing activities, deciding food menu, and ensuring audio/visual is working fine are some of the many to-do things. And on the day of the event, you need to be prepared for any last-minutes glitches and have a ‘plan b’ in case of any emergency.
In conclusion, make a well-thought move before you choose your career in event planning. It’s an unforgiving job that spares no one and can easily make or break your career.