Event planning can be a challenging yet rewarding field, but there are quite a few misconceptions floating around. Hollywood and television have perpetuated many stereotypes that simply don’t hold true and this can discourage some truly talented people from considering making it a profession. On the flip side, it can also give people a glamorized idea that doesn’t hold up to what it’s really like. So here are the top 7 myths about event planning– and what it’s really like.
Myth #1: Event Planning Equals Wedding Planning
Sorry, I hate to burst your bubble, but this simply isn’t true. Events can be anything from weddings to corporate conventions and everything in between. Many planners don’t even do weddings. Some do, but it’s often a specialization.
Party planning is often a subset of event planning, and even that does not always equal wedding planning. Bar Mitzvahs, anniversaries, 40th birthdays, and the like are much more common for party planning. Then there are the corporate event planners who sometimes do parties for galas and the like, but mostly do things like conventions and board meetings. So unless you choose to specialize in weddings, event planning does not equal wedding planning.
Myth #2: Event Planning is Glamorous
Because of the romance and glamour surrounding wedding planning, people start to think that all event planning is glamorous. Food tasting, wine sampling, shopping, and networking with big names seems to be the opinion of most people (thanks, Hollywood!), but really it’s a lot of hard work to make an event come together. The bigger the event, the more work goes on behind the scenes to make it come out right and it all goes through the event planner.
Myth #3: Event Planners Spend Their Time Going to Parties
Thanks again, Hollywood, but really this is just not true. There is so much more that goes into planning an event than showing up on the big day to attend. Plus, let’s not forget that the planner doesn’t stop working just because the event has started. Planners work the events to make sure that all that planning goes as smoothly in real life as it did on paper. It’s the planner’s job to take care of last minute details.
Even while any given event is taking place, the planner is taking notes on how things go, what they might do differently at their next event, and what last minute details they still need to tie up for tomorrow’s event. And they often have to take care of their own business concerns, like finances, marketing, and social media, especially when they’re first starting out.
Myth #4: Event Planning is a Part-Time Job
Event planning is not a spare time kind of job. Sometimes it can be a part-time job, but often the level of detail that an event will need means that you need to be prepared to deal with the phone calls and consultations on a full-time basis. Even small events can have a lot of moving parts that require more time than most people would realize. Event planning is not a 9 to 5 kind of job, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a part-time job- not if you have a decent client list!
Myth #5: Event Planners Only do Big Events
Not true. Even a small event can be a lot of work. Everyone recognizes the need for an event planner with a large event, but until you get into the details, it can be easy to think that a smaller event doesn’t need the help of an event planner. That is until you get into it. Even small events can be a logistical nightmare, depending on what it is. Event planners bring their professionalism to even the small events, making them run smoothly so that the hosts can relax and enjoy the day.
Myth # 6: Anyone Can be an Event Planner
While technically correct, anyone can learn to plan events, not everyone has what it takes to be an event planner. Event planning as a profession is tough. You have to be creative, good communicator, extremely organized, able to coordinate many moving parts, and have a thick skin for the stress of dealing with people at their most demanding. It takes a lot of dedication to build the skills necessary to make a good event planner.
Part two of this myth is that technology allows anyone to plan events. Again, technically this might be true in some cases, but the creativity and professionalism of an event planner will make an event much better and more memorable than any algorithm could. Only an event planner will be able to successfully choose the wow-factor that will bring out just what each event needs.
Myth #7: Event Planning is Always Fun
Sorry, but if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that this isn’t true. While it can be a lot of fun, event planning is a lot of work. Event planners work on tight deadlines with a lot to answer for. It can be very stressful at times to pull off multiple events in any given time frame.
Event planning is a challenge, but it is also quite rewarding. If you have the right personality and skill set, event planning can be an amazing field.