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What is a Party and Event Planner?

Parties, events, meetings, and conventions gather people for a single purpose for a common purpose, and party and event planners work to ensure that the goals are reached. Planners coordinate every detail, from the location to arranging for food, printed materials, audio-visual equipment, and speakers or entertainment. The measure of success is how well the expectations were met.

Party and event planner activities

Meeting and convention planners find meeting and event locations, whether they are party halls, restaurants, hotels, or convention or conference centers. Selecting a site requires consideration of who the prospective attendees are and how they will get to the event. Being near a major airport is important for hosts having guests who will travel long distances and for whom time is an issue. A planner may also select a facility based on its attractiveness in an effort to increase the number who are invited to attend.

An important part of the party and event planner’s work is measuring how well the purpose was achieved. Once objectives are determined, planners try to measure if they were met and if the was successful. For formal business events and conferences, it is standard procedure to have attendees fill out surveys about their experiences. Planners may ask specific questions about what sessions were attended, the organization of the event, or how attendees felt about the overall experience. They may also ask for suggestions on what improvements can be made.

What to expect from a planner

People from a wide range of educational and employment backgrounds become party and event planners. While experience is the most common training method, there are some certification programs and college courses in meeting and convention planning available.

Those planners with college degrees have academic backgrounds in a different majors, most commonly in marketing, public relations, communications, business, and hotel or hospitality management. Those with degrees in hospitality management may start out with greater grasp of the industry than those with other academic backgrounds.

In order to serve his or her clients or company, a party and event planner must have excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills. They must also be good at establishing and maintaining relationships with clients and suppliers. A good background in accounting or bookkeeping is also helpful, especially for those planners who specialize in large events.

Hiring a planner

When hiring a party or event planner, the process is no different than hiring any other professional. Meet with the individual, discuss experience, ask to see a portfolio, and request references. When references are provided, make sure to call them.

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