How to Become a Top Event Planner in New York City

February 4, 2020 Jessica Stewart

NYC is one of the most exciting and challenging places to break into the event planning business. New York is the second highest-paying state for event planners, with NYC leading the way.

An event planner is both a fast-paced and rewarding career path. You get to bring a vision or idea to life then execute all the major and minuscule details.  

Yet, competition is high in this industry and location. So, you'll need to master certain tips and techniques to succeed in the business. 

Read on to learn the secrets of how to find success as a top event planner in NYC.  

Expand Your Skill Set

Experience in event planning is crucial for making headway in this industry. Many event planners have a degree in communications, business, or hospitality management.  

Others complete coursework or take event planning certificate programs. These can be completed at NYU, FIT, Wagner College, or CUNY Lehman. 

You'll also want to consider an internship for gaining hands-on experience. Assistant or coordinator roles can also provide this. If you're just starting in the field, a mentor can be a helpful resource.  

Event planning is listed as one of the most stressful jobs in the country. Yet, the right skills can help you excel at your job, making it much less overwhelming. 

Proper organization is key for being successful at event planning. Time management, attention to detail, creative thinking, and communication are other essential skills. The ability to multi-task will help you navigate this fast-paced industry as well. 

Event planners are also skilled in certain software and technology platforms. These help with project management, promoting events, and managing guest lists.   

This includes Trello, Bizzabo, DoubleDutch, Microsoft Project, and Slack. Eventbrite, Cvent, and Social Tables are a few other programs to learn. 

Define Your Brand

It helps to determine what type of event planning you want to place focus on. Finding your niche will allow you to better understand your target audience. This helps you to be more effective in your marketing and promotional strategies. 

Some event planners only focus on weddings or corporate functions. While a party planner in NYC would focus more on social or celebrity events. As one of the largest cities, it's easier to find success in New York through a niche market. 

Embrace Digital Marketing Tactics 

Certain digital marketing tactics allow you to expand your target audience. They help you to attract and engage with potential clients to capture new leads. 

A website is essential for promoting your brand to the public. Not having a website may even result in losing business. A website features an online portfolio of your background, experience, and services.

Be sure your website is easy to navigate, highly visual, and mobile-friendly. Include an impressive photo gallery and easy to find contact information.   

You also want to use social media channels to further promote your services. Most event planners have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. 

These are great tools for helping to plan events and find inspiration. Do this by following the best event planning companies in NYC. Social media is also an easy and effective tool for attracting Millenial audiences

Practice Proper Reputation Management 

A strong reputation is essential in the event planning business. This is true from both word-of-mouth and digital perspectives. 

Online reviews are an important part of reputation management. As potential clients will use these to rate your services before reaching out to you. 

Ask satisfied clients to share their experiences with the digital community. Have them leave reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and The Knot. These positive ratings will help to boost business for a New York party planner. 

It's also important for an event planner to place value on any online feedback they receive. This includes responding to reviews and answering questions and concerns.  

Network, Network, Network

The best Manhattan event planners know that success is all about who you know. This means it's key to make and cultivate connections with others. These personal and professional relationships bring about more leads for event planners. 

Focus on connecting with industry movers and shakers and business owners in the city. Networking with other event planning professionals is also important. 

It's helpful to follow the city's most famous event planners on social media. This way, you can learn from their examples, get new ideas, and stay ahead of trends. You can also join professional organizations based in the city. 

Another tip is to maintain personal relationships with top vendors. Doing this allows you to collect a roster of the best professional minds in NYC.  

This includes hotel managers, catering companies, florists, and photographers. Public relations specialists will also help ensure your events get proper coverage. 

You also want to network further by building important client relationships. Past clients are essential for recommendations and bringing in new business.  

Seek New Learning Opportunities 

The most innovative event planners never stop learning. They work hard to stay on top of the latest trends in their industry. This includes reading industry blogs, magazines, and publications. 

Many event planners also attend classes, conferences, and trade shows. The annual Event Planner Expo offers excellent educational and networking opportunities. Events like these also help to hone your planning skills

Score Some Great Press 

The top event planners in NYC are often given shout-outs in the press. Gaining coverage in local online and print publications helps increase your exposure. Blog write-ups and social media mentions are other great PR opportunities. 

The New York Times, Vogue, Page Six, and Gotham Magazine are top publications to strive to be in. Brides Magazine, The Knot, Style Me Pretty, and New York Magazine are great niche media outlets. 

This is why a top NYC event planning company will often work with a PR professional. They can help to gain some local media exposure to enhance your reputation. It's also a great idea to include a press gallery on your website.  

The Key to Becoming a Top Event Planner in NYC

Becoming a top event planner takes skill along with creative marketing tactics. The most successful event planners also define their niche. They are always seeking new networking and learning opportunities. 

Looking to expand your event planning knowledge and connections? Learn more about the next Event Planner Expo and all the benefits of attending. 


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