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How to Become a Certified Event Planner: A Guide to the Year’s Top Courses

3 minute read

By Christopher Brown

Planning an event is involves more than choosing a venue and sending out invitations. Those that do it well rely on a unique blend of skills including logistics, creativity, problem-solving, and attention to detail. Most of them understand the value of certification too. Those considering a career in this field would do well to take certification as seriously as the pros do. Fortunately, with a quick search, you can browse an impressive collection of online event planning courses.

The Importance of Certification in Event Planning

In an industry where anyone with a smartphone and a spreadsheet can claim to be an event planner, certification serves as a valuable differentiator. Being certified not only boosts your credibility but also enhances your employability.

Most importantly, the certification process itself exposes you to best practices, innovative techniques, and a wide array of skills necessary for organizing successful events.

Top Accredited Courses for 2023

When choosing a course, accreditation is an important factor to consider. Courses accredited by respected organizations assure potential employers and clients that your certification is credible and reliable. Here are some top accredited courses to consider:

Meeting and Event Planning Certificate Program – University of California, Irvine

UC Irvine offers a comprehensive online program for aspiring event planners. The curriculum covers everything from budgeting to vendor selection, giving you a solid foundation in the fundamentals.

Event Leadership Institute – Professional Development Courses

This program offers a variety of specialized courses that can be combined to achieve certification. It covers topics like event technology, risk management, and design.

Wedding Planner Institute – Certified Master Wedding & Event Planning

For those who dream of specializing in weddings, this course is the one for you. This program has a broad curriculum that covers the unique needs of wedding planning and often features industry experts as guest speakers.

Free Learning Options

It’s worth noting that if you’re on a budget, there are free options available to get you started. Websites like Coursera and Udemy often offer free introductory courses in event planning. These platforms provide valuable insights into the field and allow you to understand whether this career path is the right fit for you.

While these free courses might not lead to certification, they’re a great way to dip your toes into the waters of event planning. They can also serve as excellent supplementary resources, providing additional perspectives and tips that can enhance your main course of study.

The Importance of Networking and Mentorship

In a field that relies heavily on connections and word-of-mouth, networking is not just a bonus; it’s essential. While formal education will give you the knowledge and skills you need, interacting with experienced professionals can provide you with the unspoken rules of the game.

Many accredited courses offer networking events, alumni programs, or mentorship opportunities as part of their curriculum. Take advantage of these features to establish valuable relationships in the industry, which could lead to potential job offers or partnerships.

Specialized Courses and Niches

Event planning is a broad field, and choosing to specialize can give you an edge. If you have a particular passion or expertise, you may want to seek courses that focus on specific types of events, such as music festivals, corporate retreats, or charity fundraisers.

These specialized courses offer in-depth knowledge and can be beneficial for those who want to become experts in a particular niche. This targeted knowledge can make you more attractive to specific clients, and thus allow you to command higher fees.

Soft Skills That Make a Difference

It’s not just about logistics and coordination; successful event planning requires a unique set of soft skills that courses often address. Abilities such as multitasking, communication, negotiation, and crisis management are crucial in handling the complexities of any event.

Understanding human behavior and having a knack for problem-solving can make you exceptionally good at your job. Look for courses that go beyond technical skills to offer training in these crucial soft skills.

Find The Right Fit Today!

Becoming a certified event planner involves more than just acquiring a set of skills; it’s about mastering the art and science of creating memorable experiences. By investing in comprehensive courses, engaging in mentorship and networking, adopting the latest technologies, specializing in a niche, and understanding the client’s perspective, you can elevate your event planning career to new heights.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to refine your expertise, there’s a course out there for you. Continue researching online to find the one that will propel you towards a successful and fulfilling career in event planning.

Christopher Brown


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