Are you the person that your friends turn to when they want to throw a party? Are you the friend the bride-to-be calls when she first starts planning her wedding? You obviously are good at party (or event) planning, or your friends wouldn't rely on you so much. Plus, you likely enjoy this role since you keep agreeing to help. Have you ever thought about using this skill to craft a career?
As America emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the events industry is predicted to experience significant growth in the next few years. This growth will open up many opportunities for those wanting to work in the event planning industry. If you love planning parties, consider these eight exciting careers that require your event planning expertise.
1. Event Planner
Event planners handle all of the details for things like conventions, trade shows, concerts, fundraisers, and civic events. They may work for a specific venue, like a convention center or hotel; a government agency, like a convention and visitors bureau; or a corporation. The minimum education required for an event planner is a bachelor's degree. Although it's helpful to have a degree in event planning, it's not necessary in most cases.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), event planning is a growing profession. Currently, there are approximately 138,600 event planners in the United States. That number is expected to grow eight percent by the end of 2029, a faster than average rate of growth.
The BLS also reports that the average event planner makes an average annual salary of $51,560. However, that varies quite a bit depending on the type of business or organization you work for, your experience in the job and the region of the country where you work.
2. Venue Manager
Unlike an event planner, a venue manager handles events for a specific venue, such as a concert hall, a convention center, or a hotel. Their job is to oversee all of the events that happen in that venue. In many cases, the venue manager is also responsible for hiring and managing the event staff as well as the financial accounting for events.
Venue managers typically must have at least a bachelor's degree along with good communication, time management, and organizational skills.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a venue manager in the United States is $54,787.
3. Customer Experience Manager
The role of a customer experience manager is one you may not have heard of. However, it's a growing career path in the United States and beyond. A customer experience manager is responsible for making sure that customers feel valued, increasing brand loyalty. This may involve adding more interactive displays in stores, hosting more events, or developing apps and loyalty programs.
A customer experience manager needs to have above-average technology skills as well as good communications and management skills. A bachelor's degree is required for this type of career, and a degree in event planning can be helpful.
According to Salary.com, the average annual salary for a customer experience manager in the United States is $59,228.
4. Wedding Planner
A wedding planner helps engaged couples create the wedding of their dreams. Wedding planners might work for a hotel, a resort or a destination, or they might work for a bridal store. Many wedding planners also choose to run their own businesses.
Job responsibilities for wedding planners can include handling catering, music, flowers, and other details of a typical wedding. If the wedding is to be outside of the bride and groom's home city, the wedding planner may also be charged with handling travel arrangements for the bridal party and attendees, as well as securing an officiant or minister to officiate at the ceremony.
Educational requirements for wedding planners are laxer than those for event planners, as the field is still growing and developing. However, a degree in event planning can give you a leg up and help you break into the field.
Salaries for event planners range widely. The BLS cites a range of between $25,000 and more than $200,000. In explaining this huge range, the agency says, "Wedding planners’ earnings are based on the work that they do for their clients. They often charge a fee that is determined upfront—sometimes as part of a package that includes a set number of hours or services; less commonly, they charge by the hour or take a percentage of the total cost of the wedding. As with workers in most fields, beginning planners usually earn less."
5. Catering Manager
A catering manager handles the food and beverages for events. As a catering manager, you could work for a hotel, a specific venue, or a restaurant. Catering managers generally supervise the wait staff for the event and act as a liaison between the guests and the staff. They also secure vendors for food, beverages, and tabletop items.
Catering managers are required to have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. However, greater opportunities are open to those with at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in food service or event management.
According to the BLS, catering managers make an average annual salary of $56,590. However, like salaries for the other jobs we've discussed, the salary for a catering manager can vary quite a bit based on location, company, experience, and job responsibilities.
6. Volunteer Coordinator
A volunteer coordinator is a type of event management position that handles the recruiting and management of volunteer workers. Volunteer coordinators might work for a venue like a concert hall or for an organization such as a charity that runs a lot of public fundraising events. He or she might even work for a prominent golf course that hosts several large events a year, including championship tournaments.
These professionals make sure that the volunteers know what their jobs are and have the proper uniforms and tools to perform them. Volunteer coordinators also handle the scheduling for volunteers.
Educational requirements for volunteer coordinators vary by employer. However, a degree in event management can be beneficial and offer you an advantage over applicants without four-year degrees. Strong organizational and communications skills are a must for this position. According to the BLS, the number of volunteer coordinator positions in the US is growing faster than average. Payscale.com reports that the average annual salary for a volunteer coordinator is $39,730.
7. Special Events Manager
A special events manager works for an attraction or company and coordinates and markets special events. For example, you might work for a zoo or museum and handle the site's special events calendar. A special events manager might also work for a retailer or a company. For example, you might work for a bookstore and handle things like book signings, author talks, and special VIP sales.
A bachelor's degree, ideally in event management, is required for a career as a special events manager. Experience in event planning and in management is also helpful. As with the other event management careers we've profiled, good time management and communication skills are a must.
According to Payscale.com, the average annual salary for a special events manager is $53,524. Again, as with the other positions, this number can vary dramatically depending on a number of factors, including location and who will employ your services.
8. Sponsorship Manager
A sponsorship manager is tasked with getting companies to help foot the bill for sporting events, fundraisers, and other big events. Job responsibilities of a sponsorship manager include soliciting sponsors, negotiating sponsorship packages, and acting as a liaison between the sponsors and the company or organization hosting the event.
A sponsorship manager needs to have good sales and marketing skills as well as good organizational and communications skills. A bachelor's degree, ideally in event management, is required.
According to GlassDoor, the average annual salary for a sponsorship manager in the United States is $75,319. The exact number will depend on your experience and the organization or company you work for.
If you’re interested in a career in the events industry, start it right by earning your bachelor’s degree in sports, entertainment, event - management or your MBA in Event Leadership from JWU Online. For more information, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].