What is event planning?

Event planning is the art of planning a convention, part of a exhibition, a ceremony or for example a sport competition. An event planner needs to work on budgeting, establishing the dates of the event, selecting and reserving a suitable location, acquiring all necessary permits from the authorities and coordinating all involved other event logistics. In the creative process of planning an event, the event planner needs to develop a theme, arrange artists and speakers, coordinate all necessary utilities, select and arrange the decor, tables, chairs, tents and all other requirements such as catering, security, toilets, emergency plans and so on. 

How do you plan an event?

First an event planner needs to establish the purpose of an event with his client: it could be a product launch, a company celebration, a sport event or a music festival. Then the event planner needs to work on the location, guest list and content, such as dancers, music or other forms of entertainment. The opportunities for locations are endless and typically match the overall event concept. Standard locations for events are convention centers, museums, hotel lobbies, shopping malls or any other type of interesting places outdoors like beaches, public places, parks or any type of arenas. Once the event location has been selected by the event planner (event organizer), he needs to look into preparing this event with staff, choose the entertainment and present the concept back to his client. He needs to look into all details to make the event a success: food, drinks, decoration, entertainment, music as well as budgeting, marketing, advertising and other logistics. Important for an event planner is to able to work within time lines and to be able to coordinate all parts smoothly to work perfectly at the actual day of the event. Only a perfect managed and organized event will be a success and satisfy a client fully. Event planners have therefore mostly flexible and quick thinking personalities, which can work around interruptions easily and have a mind for practical solutions.

How to become an event planner?

Event planning is a quite new career and requires training and experience. An event planner needs to be able to deal with pressure and work efficiently. To be able to communicate with many people simultaneously is crucial for an event planner to be become successful. Event planners are also knows as convention planners, meeting managers or conference coordinators. Whether this career is right for you, depends on your creative capabilities, your organizational talent and your ability to deal with stress. Event planners need to be very flexible with time, the working days around the actual event can be very long and demanding.

There are many B2B publications on the market, which educate the event market about trends and developments in their industry. One way to go, in order to get into the event industry, is seeking a job with an established event planner. Normally there are opportunities to start on a lower level, such as an assistant in one of the event related areas and then to work your way through once you have gained some experience.

Here a directory list of the largest event planners worldwide:

Abigail Kirsch, New York

A Joy Wallace Catering Production & Design Team, Miami, USA


Along Came Mary Productions, Los Angeles, USA


AMCI, Marina del Rey, California, USA


Barkley Kalpak Associates, New York, USA


Blue Plate, Chicago, USA


Bob Gail Special Events, Los Angeles, USA


Cirque Du Soleil, Montreal, Canada


CMS Communications, Los Angeles, USA


Deco Productions, Miami, USA


ECA2, La Plaine St. Denis (Paris), France


Eclipse Event Specialists, Washington, USA


Eddie Deen & Co., Dallas, USA


Eventmakers, Toluca Lake, California, USA


EventQuest, New York, USA


EventWorks, Los Angeles, USA


Everything Spandex, Baltimore, USA


Experiential Agency/(XA), Chicago, USA


Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, California, USA


Festivities Catering and Special Events, San Diego, USA


George P. Johnson Co., Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA


Global Events, Madrid, Spain


Great Performances, New York, USA


Hargrove Inc., Lanham, Md., USA


Hartmann Studios, Richmond, California, USA


Henry V Events, Portland, Oregon, USA


Imagination Group, London; New York; Hong Kong


Impact Productions, Westfield, N.J., USA


InVision Communications, San Francisco, USA


Jack Morton Worldwide, New York


JHE Production Group, Concord, N.C., USA


ME Productions, Pembroke Park and Orlando, Florida, USA


Media Event Concepts, Austin, Texas, USA


MGM Mirage Events, Las Vegas, USA


MVP Collaborative, Madison Heights, Michigan, USA


P.W. Feats, Baltimore, USA


Paint The Town Red, New York, USA


Paradigm Shift Worldwide, Northridge, California, USA


Party Planners West, Los Angeles, USA


Paulette Wolf Events & Entertainment, Chicago, USA


Ronsley, Chicago, USA


Sequoia Productions, Culver City, California, USA


SportsMark Management Group, Larkspur, California, USA


Star Trax Corporate Events, Southfield, Michigan, USA


Strategic Events, Atlanta, USA


Tamar Productions, Chicago, USA


TBA Global Events., Los Angeles, USA


TSE Sports & Entertainment, New York, USA


USA Hosts Destination Services, New Orleans, USA


Vok Dams Group, Wuppertal, Munich, Hamburg, Germany; New York; Beijing; Bordeaux, France


World Event Management, Lambertville, N.J.; Leeds, England