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event planning major?


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Jun 18, 2008, 9:56pm   #1
MJDaisy's Avatar
Thread Starter
OMFG.
If someone wanted to major in event planning (wedding coordinator, party planner, etc)....what would one major in? communications? i am thinking of switching my major but i don't know what to major in. I am interested in event planning though.
Jun 18, 2008, 10:04pm   #2
amanda's Avatar
I Bleed Georgia Red
Public relations, from the job listings i've seen. Most event planning opens prefer a public relations degree, if they specify at all. Imo, that's one of those fields that you just have to work your way up in, you can't really major in it. But public relations would probably help get your foot in the door. I work at a major resort that does 75% of its business in large events (weddings, corporate meetings, etc), and most of our planners just have miscellaneous degrees. some of them are from PR backgrounds, but our PR folks don't do any of the planning. I'm in marketing with a journalism degree. It's all kind of a crapshoot once you have that piece of paper, honestly. Major in something that gives you writing skills, communication skills, and knowledge of Adobe creative suite is a plus. Other than that, doing internships with event planners or firms is your best bet at getting into that industry. A degree won't do it for you.
Last edited Jun 18, 2008 at 10:08pm.
Jun 19, 2008, 12:56am   #3
angellisa's Avatar
Member
many schools also have event planning certificates-- not really a major/minor, but more like a certification...when I was younger i wanted to be a wedding/special events planner, and even though I majored in poli sci thinking of law school, the idea of event planning has come to mind recently.

Like Amanda said, it is really one of those fields where you just work your way up, and build your resume based upon experience.
Jun 19, 2008, 1:43am   #4
MsTina's Avatar
Official Tailgater
The above suggestions are good but I would also look into a HRIM (hotel, restaurant, institution managment) major. At my school it consisted of your basic gen eds plus business classes (the skills you learn would probably be super useful) and the specialized classes of like proper food prep, wine tasting, bar tending etc. I think these skills learned in class will help you get a job in the event planning business.
Jun 19, 2008, 7:38am   #5
i
Member
^^ I second this because I work in F&B (food and beverage) and I don't know anyone who doesn't have a degree in hotel and restaurant management- whether its bachelors or masters.

Depending on the university's program, you can specialize in the event planning area. Oh and if you don't deal with high volumes of stress well, this is not the career for you. IMO, if you are really looking to switch majors see about getting a job with an event planner and see how that goes. It's a long, hard way to the top of the totem pole in this industry- like angelisa360 said.
Jun 19, 2008, 8:04am   #6
Melanie's Avatar
Compulsive Shopper!
^ I also agree. My sister holds a Bachelor's Degree in Event Planning & Hotel Management. There are several universities that offer degrees in the field.
Jun 19, 2008, 10:35am   #7
ladyjane76's Avatar
ladyjane
^^^^ and I also concur with this degree as well. My sister had hers from RIT in this field. However like amanda said working your way up could help. I was an event planner and I hadn't even went to school at that time. Just happened to be at the right place at the right time. I eventually met someone who had their own company in Vegas. Moved, went out there to work for them but hell thats a whole different story!
Jun 19, 2008, 10:39am   #8
BlueberryJane's Avatar
Member
my alma mater has a hospitality managment degree program
but like amanda said, its the experience that really counts
Jun 19, 2008, 10:41am   #9
j
Account Deactivated
My fiance went to a university where a student could create their own degree. As long as they could put together the courses and requirements to support it, they could get a degree in anything.
Jun 19, 2008, 11:15am   #10
MJDaisy's Avatar
Thread Starter
OMFG.
thanks for the responses everyone! i have a lot to think about.
Jun 19, 2008, 11:57am   #11
twinkle.tink's Avatar
Choose to be happy
What kind of events do you want to do? Weddings and personal events (birthdays, anniversarys, etc) are very different than corporate events as are charity events. Think about that as you think about what kind of degree you want. If you want to do the personal/wedding things hospitlity management would be best. If you want to do more corporate things I would focus more on marketing.

As some of you close to me know, this is my field; event planning and promotions. Although, I 'officially' quit work about 2 years ago, I still do consulting with some of my favorite big accounts.

I debated if I should post this here or not....I would never want to discourage anyone from continuing their education....education is so important, but I have to say in my experience success in this field has very little to do with what degree you hold.

To be really successful you need to have some qualities, that I have found to be unteachable. You must have a certain creative spark and intuition. You must have the ability to pull things together that others do not see, but once they are together it seems like the most common sense thing. You must also be a problem solver and have a very even temper and quick mind. As you can imagine, in this field the larger the event or promotion is, the more problems occur, you must be the one who is calm and who is the 'hero' on a consistent basis.

It is not an easy field. I know many people think, oh what a fun and easy job. It is not. I worked for years for a large company and saw many people come and go...most had degrees...most failed. It is a lot of hours, a lot of headaches and a lot of frustration. It can also be a lot of fun, very creative and very fulfilling.

I will be perfectly honest, I have no degree...I fell into the field by 'accident'. I was working, and doing very well in a related field. When I started working with a national account on one tiny bit of their promotions, they loved my ideas and kept pulling me into more and more projects, even though they had an event/promotions group they used. The owner of events/promotion group for and I just sparked and he actively worked on me to come to work for him full time. Word of mouth and referrals are the life blood of the industry and an take you farther than any degree.

If you are serious about the field, my advice would be do some serious thinking about what kind of events you want to do...become an intern, this is the perfect time. Expect to make very little, if any money and as intern and expect to work like a slave...but keep your eyes and ears open. With in a couple of months you will get a good idea of if this field is for you and what courses you feel you need.

Good luck :) PM me anytime.
Last edited Jun 19, 2008 at 12:00pm.
Jun 19, 2008, 12:38pm   #12
digby723's Avatar
Back to reality
^That's great advice twinkle.

I'm getting my AS at a community college and decided to get a BA in communications when I'm done. (Should be done w/ the AS in May). I know that if I decide to become an event planner, I will likely never use either, but, they are good to fall back on.
Jun 19, 2008, 2:56pm   #13
Laurie8504's Avatar
chocolate...where?
Along with the above fantastic suggestions, Leisure Studies may be another major to check out.
Jun 24, 2008, 9:50am   #14
Michy1215's Avatar
Member
I just graduated w a BA in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management and I want to be an event planner. I do know people that went to other schools and majored in communications or marketing though
Mar 10, 2009, 9:50pm   #15
T
Member
I read over all of your helpful info and I had been thinking lately about doing a double major. My major is in Dental Hygiene, but I wanted to do party planning on the side for family and friends. Nothing major just a something like wedding planning, small parties, things of that nature. Could this be something I could take on once every 6 months or so, or is it more overwhelming than that?


Thanks!
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