Event planning involves organizing and arranging all of the many details that go into an event, such as a business promotion, birthday party, or fundraiser. The industry has grown enormously in the last 10 to 15 years, and recent research shows that almost $500 billion US dollars (USD) are spent every year on planned events around the world. This growth is due to improved economy and the trend towards corporate businesses outsourcing their meeting and planning functions.
Many different business and social occasions can benefit from detailed planning. Each event can come under a heading, such as celebrations, promotions, commemorations, or education. Celebrations can include parades, weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. Promotional events may be political rallies, product launches, and fashion shows. Commemoration events include civic events and memorials. Educational events could be meetings, graduations, and conferences.
Organizers have to handle multiple tasks in order to make the event successful. A planner may be involved in finding a site for the event, creating a design for it, and conducting research into the people requesting the event. Event planning also involves arranging the decor, food, and entertainment preparation. Sending out invitations and arranging accommodation may also be a planner's responsibility. His or her duties may also include supervising at the site and coordinating the event personnel.
The reason businesses or individuals hire an event planner is for his or her experience in this particular field. Planning and event is a time consuming business and sometimes a stressful one. For example, a wedding day may be stressful enough for the bride without having to worry whether the caterers are going to turn up on time. A professional planner has the time and contacts to make sure the occasion runs smoothly.
Event planning businesses themselves are varied, and planners are usually people who started their careers in one particular aspect of special events. Some may have branched off from catering companies to planning entire events. Others have worked as planners for a corporation and then decided to open up their own business. The years of experience they bring to planning an event are vitally important to making things run smoothly.
Another way into the job is to gain a qualification, such as a degree or certificate in event planning or management. Individuals may want to consider working to become a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) or a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP). It takes a lot of research and study to earn either certification, and the positions carry a great deal of responsibility.