3 answers

What is the best way to get connections in the event management industry?

Asked Orlando, Florida

I am a freshman in college and am majoring in event management. I want to have a successful job one day planning events. I think part of being successful is having the right connections. How would a student begin to make those connections? #event-management #event-planning #hospitality-industry

3 answers

Kristin’s Answer


I agree with Sumin -- sometimes the experience weighs more than the contacts. Not that the contacts don't help, but the experience will carry more on your resume.

I would also recommend volunteering with nonprofits for fundraising events. A lot of nonprofits run on steam, and the event staff could use all the help they can get on event day, especially if you know/want to be in events. I did 6 years in nonprofit event planning/fundraising, and we used to call in volunteers to help us prep with some of our decorations, putting together kits for our team kick offs for the walks, and day of, we appreciated all the help we could get!!!! It gives you a great look into what goes into the events as well.

If you can, I would join some of the professional event planning organizations as well. I joined MPI while I was in college, and it gave me a lot of good resources, and even sent information about local networking events. If you have anything in your school that does the event planning, that's another good way to get experience. Most likely, your teachers will have contacts as well, so that gives you a good foundation for your contacts. To this day, I still talk to my professors, and they let me know when a job comes up that may suit me.

Good luck and have fun!!! Event planning may not be glamorous all the time, but it's definitely something that is rewarding (especially when you see your event come together at the end :-)).

Sumin’s Answer

Event experience and internships count! I would say experience counts far more than making connections right off the bat. I would suggest reaching out to local hotels (e.g., the Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, etc.) or local event planners and seeing if they need any interns so you can shadow and/or see how the work is actually done. There are also event management consulting firms (focused on political events, galas, conferences) that you can look into and try to intern as well. If you are unable to find internship opportunities and/or work experience through these, try reaching out to local event venues (they oftentimes have event managers on staff), wedding planners (although this is a very niche field of event planning) or even local nonprofits and companies who have major events and see if you can volunteer at a specific event.

Melissa’s Answer

Updated Arlington, Texas

I would suggest to begin now with networking yourself and word-of-mouth. Also, try to obtain jobs as am event planner to get a feel and your foot in the door. Get involved with community work as a planner, as well as doing a possible Intern. Many times if you do well, companies offer you a position. It will not be as an event manager but a possible planner with the notion of becoming a manager soon. Another good option is to get certified. With this on your resume, you will stand out among others.