Schools Training

5 Ways to Get Practical Experience While Still in Event Planning Courses

26 MAR 2012
Career Path : Business

You have one year of event planning courses under your belt and you’re frothing at the bit to try planning a real-life event. Well, why not? Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Organize a fundraiser for your favourite charity

Most charities encourage members of the public to organize their own fundraising events. Who is better qualified to do such a thing than you and your fellow classmates in your event planning courses?

Better yet, why not kill two birds with one stone by organizing a fundraiser for extra credit? Help a local charity, advance your own knowledge, and impress the teachers of your event planning courses – now that’s smart thinking!

2. Volunteer to organize a graduation party (or two or three)

Most business colleges offer more than just event planning courses. Why not offer to organize the end-of-the-year parties for the students in the other programs? It will give you a chance to put your skills to the test and perhaps even establish connections with people in other professions that may serve you well after graduation.

3. Organize your next family event

Is your cousin getting married? Is your mother’s side of the family gathering at the cottage for a long awaited reunion? Make sure that everyone knows that you’ve been taking event planning courses and that you are looking for events to practice on.

4. Volunteer to organize a holiday party for a local hospital

Learn the fine art of hosting a seasonal event by offering to organize a party for free for a local healthcare facility. It can be for patients, staff, family – just so long as it gives you a chance to try your hand at lessons learned in your event planning courses!

5. For cash – organize children’s birthday parties

Organizing a birthday party may seem like child’s play to you as a student enrolled in event planning courses, but I’ll tell you a secret: many parents find it extremely stressful. You may find a ready market in the form of parents anxious to offload party planning responsibilities for a small fee.

One advantage of starting with a young clientele? Very young children are usually unable to lie. You will know right away whether or not your event planning courses have been successful, whether or not they:

  • liked the food
  • enjoyed the entertainment
  • appreciated the music
  • loved the venue, including the decorations
  • liked the party favours

You can even ask them what they thought of the invitations: they’ll tell you.

As your organize each event, don’t forget to add it to a spreadsheet, so that when the time comes to interview with potential employers or clients that you will be able to tell them exactly how much real-life experience your have, in spite of being a new graduate of event planning courses. That’s being action-oriented!