When I saw the movie “The Wedding Planner”, starring Jennifer Lopez, I had this glamorous image of what is was to be a Wedding Planner. At the time, I was 26 years old and working as an elementary school teacher. Becoming a Wedding and Event Planner was not on my radar. It was not until 10 years later that I decided to take the plunge into the world of Event Planning.
Here I am, almost 10 years after that, and I still get a steady stream of comments and accolades from people who believe that I live the life that Jennifer Lopez’s character did in the movie. Well, I am here to let you know that, sadly, I am not dating Matthew McConaughey, nor do I acquire a steady stream of multi-million-dollar clients. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding this career. Let’s dive in and debunk these myths.
- Event Planners Go To Parties
While, yes, the Event Planner needs to attend the event, that does not mean she is at the bar schmoozing with guests. The Planner and her team are working. Yes, working. The Planners are the ones who make sure that everything is running smoothly and are behind the scenes putting out fires. Let’s not forget there are more than weddings and other social events that need planning. Event Planners also plan meetings, corporate functions, and conferences. Ask any Event Planner and they will tell you that there are months and months of planning prior to the event. Meetings with clients and vendors, emails, phone calls, and organizing tons of information to name a few. And for the business owners? Add on managing finances, social media management, networking, and marketing.
- Anyone Can Do It
I have always told my kids that they can do anything, so long as they put their mind to it. And I will say the same to you. However, there is a level of skill and dedication that is required in this industry. You can take a course and learn the basics of Event Planning, but it is the hands-on experience that will really challenge you. Most of what we do entails budget management, short deadlines, and client relationships. Couple that with the necessary skills of quick problem solving, time management, multitasking, and great communication, and it can end up being a stressful career. Not everyone can handle that.
- Event Planners Only Work Big Events
A lot of what we see on television and in the movies are of large-scale events. In fact, you will see many planners post on social media mostly larger events they have planned. Well I am here to tell you that not all events are large events. I have planned a wedding for 27 people, a corporate luncheon for 35 people, and a 1st Birthday party for 50 people, just to name a few. Every one of those events planned had the same amount of creativity and dedication.
- I Don’t Have to Work Weekends
Ummm…yes you do. In fact, you will most likely work evenings too. The one truth everyone knows about having a career in the Events Industry is that is not a 9-5 job. We do work during the day planning the events, managing our marketing, and calling vendors. However, it is in the evening where we network and meet with clients. Most of our clients have day jobs, so the only time for us to meet with them is when they finish their workday. Thankfully, with video calls becoming the norm, we can take these appointments in the comfort of our homes.
Let’s talk money. A big misconception surrounding Event Planning is how much money there is to make. The Events Industry pulls in billions of dollars every year. There will always be parties to plan, conferences to book, and meetings to organize. So where do you fit in? If you are a successful Event Planner, you can make a nice living. However, it is important to understand that you will have to put in the work. It is not uncommon for an Event Planner to work 14-16 hours a day, especially during their busy season.