Is planning the perfect party your idea of a great time? Are your favorite memories full of friends and family in a fantastic setting that you helped pull off? Do you spend your spare time scrolling Pinterest in search of the perfect cakes, favors, tablescapes, invitations, stage layouts, and more?
If so, then becoming an event planner might be an ideal work-at-home job for you!
What Is Event Planning?
Event planning is basically what it sounds like — you, the event planner, are in charge of helping the host or hostess pull off a spectacular event, whatever it may be. You find possible locations, coordinate logistics, come up with the decorations, plan the food, and more.
The events you do as an event planner (sometimes called an event coordinator) can be as small as a backyard birthday party and as big as a major conference attended by hundreds of people. A well-known event planning “niche” is working as a wedding coordinator.
Your primary role as an event coordinator is to relieve the event host of as much of the stress and burden of planning as possible. Your clients will still need to be making decisions regularly, but you’re the go-between, presenting them with the options and offering your professional opinion. You’re the person who gets called when there’s a problem, you’re the one “on the ground” on the day of the event making sure everything goes where it belongs, and you’re the one who needs to do all the last-minute troubleshooting and problem-solving as issues come up.
If you want to get into event planning, there are a few skills you need to have (or develop quickly!). You absolutely must be organized. Planning an event involves keeping track of all kinds of notes and papers, from client questionnaires to receipts to purchase orders and contracts. You need to be able to multitask, think on your feet, and (when applicable) delegate.
As an event planner, your job can be really exciting, but also stressful on occasion. People who love doing it, though, really love doing it. If you think event planning could be right for you, keep reading to learn how to start doing it from home!
3 Event Planning Courses to Kick Start Your Business
If you’re ready to make the leap and try your hand at being a professional event planner, good for you! There are a few things you’ll need to get taken care of as you set up shop.
I could lay out all the general steps and systems you need to to take to get your business up and running, but the very best thing you can do is learn from someone who’s actually done what you want to do. Finding the right event planning course will give you the specific knowledge you’ll need to start out strong.
There are three great courses I’d recommend you consider. When the time is right, try to take at least one of them once you’re serious about starting your at-home event planning business.
The Event Toolkit from successful event planner Melanie Woodward gives you everything you need to pull off a successful event. It’s all delivered digitally once you purchase, so you can use it again and again for every event you plan.
The price for the Event Toolkit is $97, and it comes with all of the following:
- An event planning checklist you can use for any event
- An event budget you can tailor to any event and use to avoid going over budget
- The event planning system Melanie used for years in her event planning business, including tools, resources, “insider secrets,” and even a guide to getting sponsorships
- A list of nearly 40 places to market your event
- A pricing guide so you can figure out how much to charge for your services
This is one digital product that keeps on giving, every time you use it. with everything you get, you’ll be able to pull off any event, from writing up the proposal to wrapping up the “tear down” after the fact. It’ll help you pull off everything from a homegrown party to a major conference, and you can go into it knowing you’ll have all your bases covered with the different lists and processes.
This looks like a great way to “dip your toes in the water” and see if event planning really is for you. At nearly $100, it’s nowhere near free — but it’s a solid package that will teach you the basics and beyond. If you’re thinking about going into event planning, make sure to pick up this toolkit so you can start strong and see how truly satisfying your prospective new career might be.
The QC Event School offers online courses, which I’d highly recommend doing if you’re thinking about starting an event planning business. I’m a huge fan of online courses for their ease and convenience.
QC’s online event planning courses are high-quality training that take you from start to finish — and you’ll see that reflected in the price tag. Their main courses center on general event planning and wedding planning ($748 each or $81/month installments). You can bundle the two courses together to get a full-fledged event planning course ($998 or $100/month).
They also offer more specialized courses in things like destination weddings, event decor, and managing your event business. This is the only decent-looking online course I found that deals with the business aspect of event planning ($748), so once you’re ready to commit to an event planning business you will probably want to come back to this one.
One of the things you’ll really love from the QC courses is the fact that they’re real courses. You’ll have assignments to submit and you’ll be paired with what they call a tutor — a real person who understands the business and can offer guidance when you need it. You’ll also receive a certificate once you’ve completed the course. This is a great option for when you’re ready to commit and you really want to start strong.
The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an event planning course online! When you’re ready to make a splash as the hot new event planner in town, this is the course to take.
When you enroll in the course, you’ll be paired with a mentor who will help answer your questions, guide you through your assignments, and contribute to your overall growth through the course. The course covers all the basics, from learning how to deal with vendors to setting up contracts to networking to generate business — all in addition to getting hands-on experience that teaches you how to pull off any and every kind of event.
The other thing I like about this course is that you receive a certificate from NYIAD upon completion, which can be a strong support in proving yourself as a new event planner.
Wrapping It Up In a Nice Bow
When you decide to go into event planning, you need to take all the same steps you would for any “side gig” or freelance business. That means things like setting up separate bank accounts for all your business money to go in and out, paying quarterly taxes, and registering your new business with your state (even if you aren’t incorporating).
All in all, I think event planning sounds like it could be a lot of fun for the right person! Is this a career path you’d ever consider?