What Is an Event Planner? (With Duties, Salary and Skills)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 1 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An event planner may work in various industries to design engaging, well-organised experiences. They consider all aspects of events, including schedules, meals and entertainment. If you enjoy planning, organising, designing and working with people, you may want to know more about this profession to see if this career path is suitable for you. In this article, we explore what an event planner is, discuss the duties, salary, requirements, skills and environment of this role and outline the steps for how to become an event planner.

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What is an event planner?

An event planner, also known as an event coordinator or event specialist, is a professional responsible for organising and coordinating meetings and special events for individuals, businesses, non-profit organisations or other groups. Those in this role might work for a company or freelance. They could work in various industries, like hospitality and tourism, recreation, arts and culture, sports, fundraising, corporate marketing or non-profit. Here are some events they might plan:

  • Ceremonies

  • Parties

  • Weddings

  • Corporate gatherings

  • Fundraisers

  • Conferences

  • Exhibits

  • Fairs

  • Trade shows

  • Black tie galas

  • Festivals

  • Auctions

  • Tournaments

  • Fashion shows

  • Concerts

Related: What Is a Freelancer? Definition, Skills and Popular Jobs

What does an event planner do?

An event planner's specific tasks vary depending on several factors, but their typical duties include:

  • Meeting with clients to understand the purpose and specifications of the event

  • Planning the cost, time, location, program and guests of the event

  • Inspecting and choosing venues to make sure they meet the client's requirements

  • Signing venue contracts, negotiating prices and ensuring adherence to legal requirements

  • Planning food and beverage arrangements, involving food and health safety, catering companies, dining set up, menu design and pricing structures

  • Ensuring the functionality of audiovisual setups for event presentations

  • Planning transportation and housing for overnight events, including air and ground travel and hotel arrangements

  • Monitoring event activities to ensure the satisfaction of clients and guests

  • Reviewing event bills and approving payments

Average salary for event planners

The average salary of an event planner is ₹19,440 per month. However, their salary may vary based on factors like their organisation's type and size, their geographical location, their credentials and their experience level. In general, event planners who have more work experience and who have earned special credentials can negotiate for higher pay or charge customers at a higher rate.

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Event planner requirements

The career path for event planners involves a combination of the following requirements:


To become an event planner, you might need a bachelor's degree in event management, hospitality management, business, communications, public relations, marketing or a related field. Individuals without a college or university degree may still qualify for an entry-level position, but they may need to have at least one to two years of experience in the field. Earning certifications can be a great way to bolster your qualifications if you lack extensive formal education.


Many companies prefer candidates who have completed formal training. Their training might include shadowing a senior event planner and performing their duties under supervision until they feel comfortable doing tasks on their own. Many colleges and universities also offer training programs in event planning. These training programs can take anywhere from two to four years of study and usually involve both lectures and practical event planning work.


Event planners can distinguish themselves by earning a professional certification. Here are some of the most common certifications for this profession:

  • Certified Special Events Professional: Offered by the International Live Events Association, this designation recognises event professionals who have successfully shown the ability, knowledge and skills necessary to fulfil all elements of a special event. To get this certification, candidates must have at least three years of experience in event planning and pass the CSEP exam.

  • Certificate in Event Management: Offered by the Royale Institution, this program teaches candidates fundamental event planning skills through a three-month-long online course.

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP): Offered by the Events Industry Council (EIC), this designation is for event planners who specialise in the organisation of meetings and conventions. Candidates for the CMP have to pass a written examination covering meeting management.

  • Advanced Hybrid Event Program Design and Strategy: Offered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the EIC, this certificate course teaches students how to design, plan and implement multi-channel programs. This includes strategy development, market analysis, budgeting, ROI measurement and marketing.

  • Event Crisis Communications Certificate Program: The MPI offers a multitude of diverse certification opportunities, including the Event Crisis Communication Certificate Program. In this course, students learn how to respond to an event crisis effectively and use proper communication channels to minimise risk and damage.

Event planner skills

Event planners work in an exciting, dynamic career field, and there are many abilities that can help them succeed in their roles. Here are some beneficial skills for event planners:

  • Attention to detail: A good event planner can pay careful attention to minute details to ensure an event is successful and guests are safe and content. These details could include proper spellings of names, a guest's dietary preferences, seating charts and accessibility.

  • Organisation: It is important that event planners are highly organised, as they prepare the design of complex, multifaceted events. They are experts in managing numerous tasks, vendors and to-do lists while keeping their clients and guests happy.

  • Networking: To host enjoyable activities, event planners need an extensive network of professionals, such as photographers, caterers and bands. It is helpful if they can form positive, lasting relationships with skilled professionals so they can call upon their help for future events.

  • Communication: Event planners coordinate many different team members, so they tend to have strong speaking and listening skills. It is important they can share their own ideas and recommendations to clients, listen to client needs and convey information in a clear and concise way to event staff.

  • Creativity: Event planners use creativity to ensure an event is unique and entertaining. They use their artistic abilities to design beautiful and relevant themes, decorations and other factors, all while staying within budget.

  • Interpersonal skills: Ideal event planners are comfortable establishing and maintaining relationships with vendors, as this helps an event operate well. They also use interpersonal skills like friendliness and empathy when interacting with clients and team members.

  • Problem-solving: Events often occur on a strict schedule, yet unexpected situations are unavoidable. Skilled event planners are resourceful and flexible so they can make quick decisions and solve problems quickly and effectively.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition and Examples

Event planner work environment

To perform administrative duties such as booking hotels, reserving event venues, scheduling client meetings and registering guests, event planners typically work out of an office. They may also travel to a client's location to discuss event requirements. As the date for an event gets closer, event planners might work long hours, including evenings and weekends. Depending on the number of events that their employer is responsible for, event planners may sometimes need to work at a fast pace.

How to become an event planner

Here are common steps to become an event planner:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

While not always required, a bachelor's degree can help an aspiring event manager get a more advanced position and negotiate for a higher salary. Formal education can help students gain invaluable skills and knowledge that can serve them throughout their careers. Relevant majors to focus on include marketing and hospitality management.

Related: How To Become An Event Manager: A Step-by-Step Guide

2. Gain work experience

Prospective event planners may enter the events industry by applying to an entry-level position in a related field. They may also seek job shadowing opportunities with a professional event planner to know what it is like to work behind the scenes at events. With enough work experience, many event planning professionals decide to work freelance.

3. Choose a specialisation

While knowing basic event planning skills is important, having a speciality can help you stand out to potential employers. Event planners can specialise in a certain type of event, especially if they want to start their own business. You can choose a speciality such as birthdays, weddings, conferences, business meetings, mall events, fundraisers and corporate retreats.

4. Obtain certifications

Event planning certifications may help event planners impress potential employers. The content in certification courses and examinations can vary depending on the event planning area. Each certification holds different requirements, but most require event planners to have completed a training program, obtained a certain number of years of experience and passed certification exams.

5. Join a professional organisation

Joining a professional organisation helps new event planners form important connections and increase their job opportunities. It may also lead to other useful resources, including continuing education options. Consider trying to form a relationship with a mentor, a more experienced professional who can provide you with valuable career advice.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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