Becoming a NYC Event Planner: What Does It Take?

May 17, 2022 Jessica Stewart

Are you highly organized, love interacting with people, and creative? Event planning is an exciting and dynamic career that requires you to plan events that people enjoy attending.

This is a fast-paced career that requires you to do something different each day. Although it’s known to be a stressful job, knowing that your work helped raise thousands of dollars through a well-prepared event is exhilarating. 

Read on to learn all about NYC event planners and what it takes to become one!

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Some relevant course work includes accounting, hospitality management, and meeting management. However, event planners can come from all kinds of backgrounds, such as hospitality management, marketing, or public relations.

The common thread is that the course work deals with interacting with people in a professional way. Many employers will require you to have a bachelor’s degree before they consider hiring you.

However, experience also holds a lot of weight for employers when they’re determining if they should hire you. 

2. Gain Experience

As you’re in college and once you’re out of college, focus on gaining as much experience as possible. Start by completing an internship. The hands-on experience will help you determine if event planning is really something you want to get into.

Afterward, you may enter the field in related occupations, such as an administrative assistant, catering coordinator, or public relations. Planning out smaller events will help you ease into the world of event planning and become familiar with the software used to handle large amounts of data. 

Some other job categories that translate into event planning well are: 

  • Project Management

  • Operations Management

  • Marketing Specialist

  • Training Management

  • Social Media Specialist

Join a professional organization as well to increase your knowledge of the field and network. 

3. Become Certified

Although it’s not required, obtaining a certification will help you stand out to employers and also let clients know that they can trust your expertise. Two options are the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation exam and the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation. 

Both certifications will require you to have experience and the completion of an exam. 

4. Specialize

As your contacts, experience, and knowledge of the field grows, you’ll find that there are specific kinds of events that you may enjoy more than others. Once you choose a defined event planning position, you’ll discover that searching for jobs is easier. You can find specific positions that suit your event planning skills better than others.

Corporate Positions

Large corporations need event planners for product launches, employee training, trade shows, and more. They include: 

  • Meeting Planner

  • Activities and Events Planner

  • Event Operations Manager

  • Conference Planner

  • Association Event Planner

  • Exhibition Coordinator

  • Special Events Planner

  • Legal Marketing and Events Planner

  • Marketing Coordinator

  • Convention Planner

Nonprofit Positions

Nonprofits need help generating donations through fundraising activities and coordinating volunteers. Some positions are: 

  • Program Manager

  • Program Supervisor

  • Executive Assistant

  • Community Relations Manager

  • Development Director

  • Sponsorship Coordinator

  • Communications Assistant

  • Development Specialist

  • Fund Development Coordinator

  • Donor Relations

Hotel and Restaurant Positions

Hotels and restaurants are hospitality industries that need event planners to coordinate events. Some roles include: 

  • Catering Sales Manager

  • Hotel Catering Sales Manager

  • Host

  • Convention and Catering Operations Manager

  • Catering Services Manager

  • Catering Manager

  • Social Catering Manager

  • Assistant Catering Director

  • Director of Special Events

  • Catering and Special Events Manager

Tourism and Resort Event Positions

These event planners typically work for resorts, cruise ships, and exotic tours. Some job titles are:

  • International Tourism Sales Manager

  • Project Coordinator, Chamber of Commerce

  • Communications Specialist, Chamber of Commerce

  • Public Relations Specialist, Chamber of Commerce

  • Parks Volunteer Coordinator

  • Assistant Resort Manager

  • Resorts Operations Manager

  • Resort Promotions and Marketing

  • Resort Marketing Coordinator

  • Festival Coordinator

Sports Positions

You can find yourself working for sports organizations, managing game day operations, or managing facilities. Some positions include: 

  • Field Sports Manager

  • Tournament Director

  • Assistant Campus Operations Manager

  • Director of Event Marketing

  • Senior Special Events Coordinator

  • Event Project Manager

  • Game Day Staff

  • Operations Supervisor

  • Event Manager

  • Site Development and Programming

Finding Event Planning Positions

Besides word of mouth through networking, you have many options available to you as you begin your job hunt.

You’ll also find that the job outlook is positive: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, evening planning jobs are expected to grow by 33 percent between today and 2022. This percentage is higher than the 11 percent average growth rate for all occupations.

If this sounds good, here are a few resources you can utilize today to find a job:

  1. - This is one of the most popular sites for event planning job listings. You can also have your resume reviewed for free. 

  2. - You’ll be grouped with team members to work on an event planning project. 

  3. - This is the largest network of business events strategists. They also offer membership programs that will help you enlarge your network.

  4. LinkedIn - Utilize the jobs section and focus on creating an eye-catching profile.

  5. - Browse their career section or become a member to meet other professionals in your field. 

  6. - You can upload your resume for free and quickly apply to multiple jobs.

  7. - Employers pay to post here, so you’ll only find serious prospects in your local area.

  8. AMA - American Marketing Association is one of the largest associations for marketers in the U.S. You don’t need to be a member to access their job board.

Exciting Career Opportunities for NYC Event Planners

Event planning is an exciting career that requires flexibility, a love of to-do lists, great rapport with a variety of personalities, and the stamina to work long hours. Many NYC event planners find their jobs worthwhile as they bring people together and help their organizations earn thousands of dollars.

Interested in attending New York City’s #1 trade show for event planner networking and industry insights? Purchase your tickets today! 

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