How to Get a Job as a Meeting, Convention & Event Planner
"Back in the day, event planners usually had degrees in communications or public relations," says Shea, who's been doing event planning for SXSW for 23 years. "But anyone could be a planner if they have enough brass to make spur-of-the-moment decisions that impact thousands of attendees." Shea says certain degree programs will teach the basics of contract negotiations, scheduling, risk management, and insurance—any or all of which can help you lock down an internship.
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Meeting, Convention & Event Planners
"What relevant event planning experiences do you have?" - Red Cross Event Planner Candidate (Location Unknown)
"How does work effect your personal life?" - madivents Meeting Planner Candidate (Location Unknown)
"If you won the lottery tomorrow what would be your first impulse purchase?" - Red Frog Events Event Planner Candidate (Chicago, IL)
What is the Job Like?
"For 51 weeks, [event planning is] like building a bungee-jump tower out of toothpicks. Tedious and demanding,” says Shea. “On week 52, you climb to the top and tie the bungee to your ankle and hope everything holds. Then you dust yourself off and start all over again.” Shea says the job involves a lot of “tight-wire walking” because the most minute details can turn a success into a disaster (and vice-versa), all while operating in the spotlight. “I’ve seen plenty of tears over the years, but every planner deals with the stress differently,” he says. “You don’t have to be a genius to succeed in the job, but you have to thrive under pressure and actually love the challenge.”
Real Reviews From Meeting, Convention & Event Planners
+ "Flexible work environment. Work your own hours as long as you get the job done. No micro-management unless issues cause upper management to be looking over your shoulder. Continued ability to learn and grow within the industry through the various projects, participation in continuing education courses." - Innovative Events Senior Meeting & Event Planner (Folsom, CA)
+ "I had the opportunity to enhance my skills while having the freedom to exercise my creative judgment." - Shane Carr Photography Event Planner (Southaven, MS)
- "Very opinionated upper management- my way or the highway viewpoint." - Global Events Event Planner (Dallas, TX)
- "At times things can be disorganized because there is so much going on simultaneously, making things a little inefficient at times." - TOAST Santa Barbara Assistant Event Planner (Santa Barbara, CA)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.