Event planners have their fair share of routine tasks but following a daily routine is quite rare. The typical event planner spends most of his day in the office, speaking with clients and vendors on the phone, by e-mail or in-person.
Your experience will be different depending on what kinds of events you plan. Let's talk about what it might be like to plan a small event (100 people) for a company:
I recommend splitting your day into dedicated chunks of time for specific tasks. For example, use some time to make a checklist for the day, take some calls with the people helping you plan the event (volunteers or people you hired to help), communicate about the event through advertising and social media, check on ticket sales, etc. For this size event, you probably want to start planning 6 months out (I know, it sounds like a long time) so you can make sure you figure out all of the small details along the way. At the beginning of the 6 months, your day will probably be filled with answering big, creative questions like "What is the goal of this event?", "How much money do we have for this event?", "What should the theme be?" As you get closer to the event, you will probably be finishing up smaller tasks like how to arrange the chairs, practicing speeches, making sure the food will be ready on time, etc.
In general, to manage events you want to get good at keeping track of lots of small details, keeping track of a budget, talking to new people, and being creative. Everything else you can learn along the way.
A great way to get started in event management is to volunteer with a nonprofit in your area. They always need volunteers and you can give your time to them in exchange for learning how to plan events.
Jon recommends the following next steps:
Typical days would depend on the structure of your planning. Meeting with clients, researching their interests, meeting with vendors can be a few tasks that will fill most days. Planning really begins with you before you can plan for the events. As you start you business, most of your days will be filled with marketing and networking till you achieve your book of business. Once you have clients the planning begins when you start scheduling meetings with them and vendors.
Event planning can be unpredictable and will vary depending on the types of events (i.e. business conference or wedding). However, work days will focus on checklists, timelines and client communication. On an event day, plan for long days as the key is preparation, but it is critical to pay attention to detail all the way through to wrap-up. Check out some demos of event software online to get an idea of some the areas you will be responsible for and how they can be tracked.