6 answers

what classes should i take if i want to be an event planner?


I really want to be an event planner, but not for weddings or funerals just for companies. my guidance counselor doesn't seem to know much about it, though he tries to help. Anyone have any ideas? #event-planning

6 answers

Tiffany’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi Jess -- I can honestly say that there wasn't a curriculum that I was following when I was in school to become an event planner. I just made sure that I took classes that I was interested in and I knew that once I was done with school, whatever I decided to do as my profession I would learn on the job. I know that since I've been out of school there have been "majors" or "programs" that are associated with hospitality or hotel management. You're probably wondering what does hospitality or hotel management have to do with event planning but they go hand in hand. A lot of the skill set that is involved in hotel management will help you in the event planning world - contract negotiation, food & beverage, rooming lists, sales and event management, to name a few - all part of the event world too.

However, if you do want to take some generic courses that can help you in whatever you decide to do after college, I suggest marketing and finance courses. If you are still in high school and looking into universities, I know that NYU and Cornell both have a great hotel management program.

Stacy’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

I have been planning events in some way, shape or form since I graduated from college. My degree had absolutely nothing to do with event planning. I stumbled upon my career after taking temp job after college that had a portion of the roles associated with planning on and offsite events for the company. From that point I decided that it was the field I wanted to pursue. I started working for a destination management company as first a sales coordinator, working on the proposals and costings, while I learned the industry. After that point I became a program manager and then rest is history. I eventually received my CMP (certified meeting professional) certificate. Some additional information on that accreditation can be found here: http://www.conventionindustry.org/CMP/AboutCMP.aspx

I have found that courses on event planning can be taken through a number of different avenue such as the two below. Hope this helps!.

Austin Community College - Event Planning Certificate: http://www.austincc.edu/info/mep Professional Convention Management Association: http://www.pcma.org/events/ondemand#.Vzn9RfkrKUk

Linda’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

there are certainly event management courses available, however, I would also recommend project management courses, effective communication training,too. Each event is a project, so how to manage projects and motivate people are some of the skills that are required to become a great event manager.

Jen’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

I'm not an Event Planner but work with a lot of them as one of my job functions. I would say try to take classes that emphasize multitasking and balancing a budget as those will be very important later on. You could also try to volunteer to plan parties and such for your friends and family. You probably won't get paid much but the experience will be invaluable.

Robyn’s Answer


I agree with the previous post that on the job experience is the best way to learn.

I would find local event managers in your area and call them up and ask if you can shadow them for a day. It would be a great way for you to understand what they do, how they were trained, what their career path was, and most importantly you can start to build your network in this area. Event Programing can be more a networked job search, meaning that you have to talk to people about potential job opportunities verse just looking jobs up online and applying.

Joe’s Answer

Updated Sunnyvale, California

Business Management, Interior Design and Sociology are all helpful. Generally event planners are event coordinators first. This type of job normally requires basic administration skills like typing, filing and email correspondence.