How to Be a Good Planner without Having a Degree

How to Be a Good Planner without Having a Degree

Here's a secret most universities don't want you to know: you can be a good planner without having a degree in event management. In fact, most successful planners don't have a degree in this field, since the education programmes in event management are rather new.


According to Tomas Pernecky, the editor of Approaches and Methods in Event Studies, it is only recently, with the international growth of planned events and new industry standards, that we can witness the increase of university programmes offering courses in event planning. No doubts that having a degree in event management can be a plus, especially in the first few years when you want to break through the industry. However, being a good planner is more about accumulating work experience than high grades. And the classroom is not necessarily the most appropriate environment to develop a problem-solving mindset and strong communication skills.


So don’t be discouraged if you don't have the possibility or the time to go back to school. Here are some ideas that will help you start your professional activity without having an event management degree.



1. Try and fail, try and fail, try and fail again

The best way to learn how to be an event manager is to plan small events and fail. It sounds counterproductive, but it’s true! By doing so, you’ll be able to gain firsthand experience and develop a healthy attitude towards failure.

In his book The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable, the author Seth Godin notes, "Fail fast and cheap. Fail often. Fail in a way that doesn't kill you. This is the only way to learn what works and what doesn't." Accept that you won't always get things right, yet know that you have the power to learn from your mistakes and use them as an opportunity for improvement.


Call to action: Take a notebook and write down the things you did incorrectly while designing and planning an event. Identify the reasons why these mistakes occurred and find a way to avoid them next time.



2. Take event professionals out for a coffee

If you want to be a good event manager, learn from the best. There's nothing more valuable than a talk with someone who has years of experience in the industry and could share their knowledge. Don't be afraid to invite them for a coffee. You could tell them that you are just starting out and want to learn more about this career path.


Call to action: Make a list of ten distinguished event managers who are developing their networking or professional activities in your city. Send them an email introducing yourself and highlighting why you admire their work, and then ask them if they'd meet you for a coffee. Keep it short and professional. If there's no reply, don't get discouraged. Event managers are insanely busy, so give them a few days to respond and then follow up politely.



3. Transform into your learning platform

One of the best things about the internet is that you have instant access to education. So if you want to become a great event manager, don't ignore the overflowing quantity of online learning resources. You can start with the content we publish on Apart from the useful articles and tips, you can read our book or watch our TV episodes.  


Call to action: Dedicate a few hours a week to educating yourself. Create your own learning schedule and decide on which topics you want to focus. Then visit our site and enjoy the content we specifically created for you.



4. Use Quora to clarify your doubts

Event managers don't have multiple forums or platforms where they can bounce ideas off each other and ask work-related questions. However, Quora is a good tool when it comes to reaching out to people who could help. If you have questions or doubts related to event planning, don't hesitate to use Quora and create a new stream of useful information.


Call to action: If you don't have a Quora account, create one - it's free and only takes a few minutes to register. After getting familiar with the site, ask your question, adding the 'event management' or 'event planning' tag.



5. Attend other events

Attending other events is a great way of learning and observing what other event managers do, either as an event volunteer or an attendee. When attending the event, bring a notebook and jot down all the things you like or dislike. By doing so, you’ll know what aspects you could improve and what things you could avoid when planning your own events.


Call to action: Make one list of events you are interested in participating as a volunteer and another list of events you are interested in attending. See the volunteering and/or the registration conditions, then decide where and when you want to attend. Prepare your notebook and write down the things you want to pay special attention to (the registration process, session dynamics, moderation style, engagement methods, etc.).



Wrap up

Nowadays, you have all the necessary tools to become a great planner without having a degree in event management. Always be aware of the learning opportunities at your fingertips and know that you can develop a problem-solving mindset, strong communication skills and a proactive attitude through accumulating work experience. 

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Marcela Vazquez
New|2019-05-01 - 03:28u

Excelente este sitio Recién estoy comenzando en el ámbito de los eventos y me interesa aprender mucho

Jesha Moises
New|2019-05-09 - 00:23u

I would like to start on my job because this is my opportunity to get my own job. Thanks!

Tee-Neace Blackwood-Mayers
New|2019-05-12 - 17:23u

I want to because an events planner and a small business owner on all sort of events

rhea brown
New|2019-05-13 - 04:02u

I love planning parties. I think it would be a dream for that to be my job.

Monika Niezgoda
New|2019-05-31 - 17:16u

I would love to become a Professional event planner. I have experience in organizing events and trips for friends, but would like to mąkę it my career.

Karyn Pringle
New|2019-07-02 - 00:29u

My sister and I love putting together parties and have done a few weddings and want to venture into our own business. I would love to get more information to be prepared for the unthinkable.

Jerry Duke
New|2019-07-14 - 23:21u

Looking forward to learning more/different ways to approach planning events.

Lorna Zvingilas
New|2019-08-12 - 14:17u

Great info, thank you

Michelle Harris
New|2019-08-12 - 20:45u

I've just recently became intrested in becoming an event planner. I'm looking for ideas and tips on some of the best ways to enter the field!

Catherine Kurowska
New|2019-08-19 - 22:59u

I am ready to comit more time to a career that has always interested me.

Lashundra Thompson
New|2019-09-26 - 22:34u

love it great info

Heather Best
New|2019-10-25 - 09:20u

I have always been interested in event planning and i would like to develop my skills to allow me to move forward to be a freelance event planner.

Shakira Rodriguez
New|2019-11-08 - 14:07u

Interested learning more about event planner

LaQuita Jones-Hunt
New|2019-11-09 - 17:24u

I want to become an event planner.

Nytoria Spikes
New|2019-12-18 - 01:35u

Just starting this buisness from ground zero no degree no real big experience other than family parties

Lisa Davey
New|2020-01-08 - 08:28u

Pls send me updates

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