If you’re a creative social butterfly who’s also a natural leader, party planning could be the ideal career for you.
In fact, while party planning can be exciting, fun, and uniquely challenging, it can also be deeply satisfying. That’s especially true when you put on flawless events that celebrate your clients’ most important moments that their guests love.
So, what does it take to be a party planner? Here’s what you’ll need to get started.
- How to Become a Party Planner with No Experience
- 5 Key Qualities to Be a Professional Party Planner
- What’s the Difference Between a Party Planner vs an Event Planner?
How to Become a Party Planner with No Experience
You don’t need any special certifications or degrees to get into party planning, but you will need some fundamental knowledge, skills, and resources if you want to be successful.
The good news is that you can get on the fast track here with these insider tips from industry-leading party planners.
Steps to get into the event planning business without any experience:
1. Get some know-how and training under your belt
You don’t need a formal education to become an event planner, but a bachelor’s degree in event management, hospitality management, or a related field can help.
Beyond that, you could also take some workshops, online courses, or other training to acquire some key knowledge about the party planning business.
2. Build Party Planning Experience
You’ll need real-world experience in party planning to really get a sense of what this career entails. And one of the best ways to gain that experience is by interning or working for an event planning company. If you do, you may find a mentor to help guide you.
Alternatively, you can build experience on your own, planning parties for friends and family. That can help you understand the cornerstone needs for larger, more complex events.
3. Build your Network
The best party planners have vast networks of vendors, supplies, and other party organizers who they can call up for various needs, products, and services. So, start building up your network of professional contacts.
While you can do this at industry events and conferences, networking can also happen in less formal settings outside of the industry if you stay alert to these opportunities.
4. Dive into the Business
Start planning parties and events! Whether you get hired by an established events production company or you go out on your own, planning and throwing events can help you gain experience, continue to build your networks, and help you get into the party planning game.
5 Key Qualities to Be a Professional Party Planner
Professional party planning can be an amazing career, but it’s not for everyone. And some professionals will naturally be better party planners than others.
Still, regardless of whether you’re a natural, these qualities are essential to being a spectacular party planner, no matter what type of parties or events you throw.
List of qualities you need to be an event party planner:
1. Exceptional Communication
When you’re organizing an event, you need to clearly and regularly communicate with vendors, clients, and others. That’s how everyone stays on the same page, and it’s how plans and ideas for events come to life without any hiccups or extra headaches.
2. Organization Skills
Details matter BIG time in party and event planning, so you’ll need to be highly organized to track and manage it all. If you aren’t, things can fall through the cracks, and that could cause major disasters on the day of an event.
3. Problem-Solving Abilities
Even the best-laid plans can be derailed by unexpected happenings. So, you’ll need to be able to think on your feet, stay flexible, and adjust course if anything goes wrong.
If you’re a good problem solver who can keep a cool head under pressure, you’ll be able to effectively pivot and easily save the day if any problems arise during an event.
Unique ideas, fun concepts, and out-of-the-box thinking can go really far in the event planning world, where innovation can build excitement and stellar reputations.
5. Business Smarts
Finance, scheduling, billing and invoicing, and more are also integral to a successful party planning business. So, the best party planners have a strong business sense, and they are able to cultivate enduring relationships with both clients and vendors.
What’s the Difference Between a Party Planner vs an Event Planner?
Party planners focus on social gatherings while event planners handle any occasion or happening, from corporate parties and hotel events to festivals, parades, tree lighting ceremonies, and more.
Consequently, party planners tend to have a narrower scope of work, with smaller teams that usually handle gatherings like (but not limited to):
- Retirement parties
On the other hand, event planners tend to manage larger, more complex events, working with bigger teams to put on higher-budget extravaganzas, with commercial AV equipment, several vendors, and more.
If you want to get into event planning, then party planning can be a good place to start.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Do You Need a License to Be a Party Planner?
No. There’s no state or national licensing that certifies or verifies the skills of party planners. That means you don’t have to study or take a test to become a party planner, and there’s no standard “party planner license” you need to earn before you get into the business. You simply need the desire to pursue this career and the motivation to get skilled where needed.
How Much Does a Party Planner Make?
Party planners generally earn salaries between $25,000 to upwards of $75,000 a year, depending on experience and other factors. That’s when party planners work for companies, however. If they work on their own, as contractors or solopreneurs, good party planners can hustle and earn even more.
Now, you have the information you need to step into a new party planning career — and to hit the ground running, so you can make your venture as a party planner as successful as possible!
How Much Do Party Planners Charge?
Party planner charges can vary, depending on several factors, including, Type of party you’re throwing, How big the party is, Geographic location, The extras you want for the party, And the party planner’s experience.
Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from ~$30/hour to $100+/hour for party planners. Keep in mind some party planners may charge based on a percentage of the total party cost — and that the best party planners will be transparent about their pricing, giving you rates upfront, so you know what to expect.