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How do I get Event Planning Certification?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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Whether you are considering a career in the field of event planning or are an established event planner and wish to enhance your portfolio with an official qualification, you may wish to get event planning certification. To earn this type of certification, you must complete one of the many event planning courses offered throughout the US. Many of these courses are split into two primary components: core units, which cover the basics of event planning, and electives, which provide a specialized knowledge of one or more types of event planning.

Event planning certification courses are offered by the adult education departments of many colleges and universities, by vocational and hospitality schools, and by business training institutes. In many cases, classes are held in the evenings and on weekends, allowing participants to earn certification without disruption to their jobs. Some programs even offer web-based classes, enabling students to complete coursework at their own convenience. Most event planning certification programs can be completed in approximately nine to 18 months.

Once enrolled in an event planning certification course, you will be required to complete a curriculum which usually consists of mandatory core units and a selection of electives chosen by you. Core units are designed to teach you the fundamentals of event planning, thus giving you the skills to plan many different types of events. These classes will likely cover topics such as time management, budgeting, marketing, choosing event venues, and negotiating with vendors.

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In addition to these core units, you will in most cases also be required to complete one or more elective units. These electives allow you to gain an in-depth knowledge of those areas of event planning that most interest you. You may, for instance, choose to study wedding and party planning, trade show planning, or sporting event planning.

Some event planning certification courses also include a mandatory internship unit. You may be placed in this internship by your school or university, or may be required to find it yourself. While an event planning internship is generally unpaid, it can provide you with valuable hands-on experience and help you establish contacts in the planning field.

After successfully completing all required coursework, you will be issued an event planning certificate. Depending on your program and the state in which you complete it, this certification may be sponsored by a state hospitality association. You can then add your new qualification to your résumé, giving it a distinction which may help draw future clients.

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