Event Management Courses

Event management courses and programs are widely available. You can take classes at community colleges, state colleges and universities and also online. While we cannot recommend specific schools or courses, we can give you guidance on what knowledge you need to gain from any particular program.

Although there are no strict educational guidelines for event managers, many community colleges offer certificate programs. Hotel and restaurant management programs are also offered at the community college level. The average yearly tuition of community colleges varies by state. However, you can expect to spend approximately $3,000 a year. Online certificate programs range from $500 to $2,000.

Most employers seek experienced planners. If you need experience to round out you resume, we

suggest volunteering for a community event, a local non-profit or perhaps a church bazaar. Any relevant experience will help. A solid course of study should prepare you to:

  • Understand how to research, plan, design, coordinate and ultimately evaluate an event.

  • Review and determine the different marketing strategies available to you that would be appropriate for the event you are managing.

  • Recognize the various types of events and understand their unique requirements.

  • Submit a complete project proposal for an event.

  • Understand what to look for during an event site inspection.

  • Understand the budgeting process of event management.

  • Learn about software that is available to help you manage an event.

  • Learn communication concepts and brush up on leadership abilities.

  • Learn to manage volunteers and staff within an organization.

  • Gain perspective in contracting resources such as catering, a/v technicians, lodging and entertainment.

  • Understand various design elements and how they relate to event management.

It is important to find a program that has a proven track record of success. We recommend that you supplement course work with on the job training or perhaps an internship. It will help balance your career. After all, real world experience is priceless!

How Much Can an Event Planner Expect to Earn?

Based on March 2010 data, from Salary.com, the base salary for an event planner ranges from $47,000 to $64,000 a year as follows:

  • 25th percentile = $46,958

  • 50th percentile = $54,800

  • 75th percentile = $63,940

This compensation is for an individual who manages all aspects of planning an event, including negotiations and accommodations. Salary.com has also indicated that this salary range generally requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field and 2 to 4 years’ experience. Less than a bachelor’s degree would command a smaller annual salary.