Job Title: Event Planner
Type of Company: My company is a marketing agency providing strategy, research and live event production.
Education: BA in Development Studies, UC Berkeley MBA in Marketing, UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management
Previous Experience: Before Graduate school, I worked for an Adventure Travel Company organizing private tours for people to far-away places like Africa, South America and Asia. That was the start of my interest in travel, planning, organizing and events.
Job Tasks: I am responsible for creating and implementing corporate events. For example, for my previous client, we took 120 guests to the Super Bowl and other sporting events like the Pro Bowl, Kentucky Derby, etc. Some guests were there for networking purposes, others had won the weekend in a Sweepstakes contest.
Our job at these events to make sure that all aspects of the guests' weekend are well-run and smoothly organized so that the guests have a wonderful time. Several months in advance of the event, we create and send the invitations, manage a web site where the guests register for the program, decide on the hotel, restaurants and parties, set up all the transportation for the weekend, choose gifts that will go to the guests, arrange all the food and beverage, coordinate with lots of people like musicians, audio-visual engineers, caterers, hotel staff and any other detail you can imagine!
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: What I like best about event planning is being able to see a project through from beginning to end. I like having the sense of personal satisfaction that comes with seeing all the pieces of the event come together nicely and all the little touches appreciated so much by the guests.
The hardest part I think is the amount of hours we work onsite at an event like this - At the Super Bowl, for example, we are often up at 6:00 AM and working until midnight or later, but when you are with the right group of people, it's a lot of fun too!
Job Tips: Tip #1: You may need to volunteer your services at first to get in to the events world.
Tip #2: Make sure you like the people you are working with because you will be putting in many long hours with them and sometimes living in close quarters with them.
Tip #3: Hospitality isn't for everyone - make sure you like doing things for others, enjoy interacting with people and have excellent attention to detail.
Additional Thoughts: I think the most important personal qualities for being an event planner are a friendly nature combined with exceptional organization skills. Other important traits are reliability, street smarts, being able to make quick decisions and solve problems.
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