An Ode to Event Planning

Have you ever tried to plan an event and it seems like everything always goes wrong; some item doesn’t arrive on time, or the music is off, maybe even the decorations clash with the theme of the event or are just plain tacky? Well there are people out there who can help. Many people believe that event planning is easy and anyone can do it. As an event planner with almost 10 years’ experience, I can tell you now that that train of thought is completely wrong. There is nothing easy about being creative while at the same time completing ridiculous request from your client while all the while trying to make your vision and the client’s vision one. This blog post is titled, “An ode to Event Planning” because, as an event planner I don’t believe that we get as much recognition within the Public Relations sector as we should.

PRSA International Conference in 2014
PRSA International Conference in 2014

When you hear the words event planner most people think of weddings, birthday parties, and concerts. But there are so many more types of events that we plan within a day. I have planned everything from team building programs for organizations to corporate events and conferences. Many PR firms and other companies utilize event planners to complete the events and programs that they don’t have time to deal with. Most companies don’t have event planners on the pay role to help them with each event that they need to put on for the public or in-house. What many people do not know is that many PR firms and agencies actually have event planners on their staff to help with each client’s needs. Just because someone is an expert at putting together a campaign doesn’t mean they are good at planning, designing, and implementing a successful event. Although I am graduating from this university with a degree in Public Relations, I will always consider myself an event planner first and a PR practitioner second. As Johnathan Wickham beautifully puts it;

Event planning is a relatively new career field. Although the job itself is not new, many colleges and universities are beginning to offer event planning as a major or field of study. Event planners are trained to handle special events. If you are in inexperienced employee assigned to handle an event, you can spend most of your time just trying to find a good caterer or a good venue. Most professional event planners are invaluable for their contacts and lists of approved caterers, venues, entertainment, décor, etc. Many event planners are also trained to handle budgeting, advertising, and marketing of the event. They are also responsible for the planning of the event as well as on-site coordination on the scheduled day. If planning an event is in your company’s future than an event planner will be an important asset.- Jonathan Wickham

Post by Megan Patterson, 2014 Account Coordinator
Megan Patterson is a senior at UNC Charlotte graduating in December. She plans to venture off into the event planning field after graduation.


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