How to Become a Certified Event Planner

Become a Certified Event Planner to grow your business and career

While it is not required to obtaining any form of Event Planner Certification, you will definitely have an advantage in a competitive job market with one.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. the Events and Wedding Planning industry is currently growing at a rapid pace of over 10% each year.

It is therefore important to know the exact steps to obtain your event planner certification.

Many different forms of event planner certification programs and certificates are popping up each year. Each offering different types of in-person, hands-on or online training to meet the demands of the industry. As a result of the number of programs available it is important to know how to differentiate the best programs, the steps required for each and the benefits of a “certification” vs a “certificate”.

Step 1: Training and Classes

training event planner certification

The first step to becoming an event planner is to obtaining training in the area. This is particularly important if you are new event planner with no experience. Training programs allow you to learn either through in-person or online classes about the different aspects of being an event planner, developing and managing events, working with clients, building a business and finding applicable jobs.

When looking for training programs to meet your needs, review the curriculum to ensure that it adequately covers all the areas in which you need the most assistance. For example, many event planners got started planning their own weddings or family events. This means that while they do have some experience with developing and managing events, they lack the skills and expertise needs to build a business. These skills include marketing your event planning business, sourcing clients, sales coaching for event planners and building customer relations to ensure repeat business.

See our list of recommended event planning certificate programs

Step 2: Gain Practical Experience

practical experience event planner certification

Once you have obtained training in your area of event planning it is highly recommended that you gain practical experience. Practical experience will allow you to apply everything you learned through your classes and get a better grasp on the reality of the industry.

There are many ways to obtain experience as an event planner and these include:

  • Volunteering
  • Internships
  • Hosting your own events

These opportunities will allow you to work on client events, gain practical experience on the ground and better prepare you for starting your own business and working with clients.

See our list of different ways to gain practical experience

Step 3: Get Certified

Once you have obtained training and gained practical experience in the industry your next step is to obtain your event planner certification. This means going through a governing body to complete an examination and testing of your skills and receiving a designation upon successful completion.

At the moment there are three (3) internationally recognized event planner certification within the industry, with others offering different forms of training and professional development.

See our list of recognized event planner certifications and the steps to obtaining certification

Step 4: Specialize or Enhance your Skills

professional development event planner certification

If you are a certified event planner it does not end there. Like any other professional, it is important to employ the continuous learning model. This means constantly updating your skills and expertise through periodical training and recertifications.

One of our personal favorites for sourcing new event planning business building tips is through YouTube channels such as The Event Certificate, Event Planning TV, The Event Managers Blog, and The Event Planning Blueprint.

Professional development is an ongoing process, so as you go through your business and career it is important to pay attention to the areas in which you might need more help and seek training accordingly.

One of our resident event planners noted that after years in the industry she was particularly lacking knowledge on the benefits of Facebook ads for her business. As a result, she sought out and found a Facebook advertising course specifically designed for event planners. This allowed her to upgrade her skills, learn new ways to market her business and gain more clients as a result.

For recommendations on professional development training be sure to contact us with any questions.

See our list of tools and resources to improve your event planning business