Considering a Career in Event Coordinating? A Guide to Beginning your Journey in This Industry

Article Written By: Taylor Ritz | Photo Credit: Russell Wynter | Event: Wild West Music Fest 2023

If you are a young professional who is new to the event industry, getting your foot in the door can seem like a daunting challenge. I know, I know – you may be thinking, “How do I gain experience without having the job first?”

Well, let’s backtrack. While experience is crucial for preparing for a career in events, it is not necessarily dependent on a prior full-time job. Get experience anywhere and everywhere you can. Volunteer for local events in your community, such as a 5k run, a walk for a cause, or even the local farmer’s market. Gaining experience at events like these may not seem like much, but you’ll genuinely begin to understand the importance of timely setup, vendor placement, crowd safety, and the significance of having volunteers at an event! Not only this, but you’ll meet incredible groups of people heavily involved in the events industry who can guide you to other event experiences.

Let’s talk about internships! Holding a part-time internship allows you to gain a better understanding of the event planning process and witness it in action. Internships will give you the full nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes experience for an entire production including organization, on-site planning, creative processes, proposals, and more. This will give you the opportunity to test the waters and see if event planning is really for you! In addition, you’ll typically have a mentor who is there to support you every step of the way. This is a huge benefit to take advantage of because creating and building a relationship like this can really pay off in the long run.

Attend all types of events! Going to a variety of events will help you discover what piques your interest and makes you feel eager to know more. Whether you attend charities, weddings, concerts, or bachelorette parties, you will be able to feel which type of event you are naturally drawn to. Listen to this instinct and challenge yourself to look into the field more. Leaning into your interests will be the key when discovering which field of event coordinating you belong in. Even more, you could go directly to a local agency and ask them questions about event coordinating in their industry. More often than not, people are very happy to talk about their jobs and what they do!

While the events industry typically demands a specific skill set for success, there are a few skills and characteristics that you can work on and perfect before you enter an event interview. Organization, public speaking, interpersonal skills, time management, and leadership skills are always desired in events and can always be added to your skillset.

Starting or changing your career may seem intimidating, but with the right preparation and curiosity, you’ll be well-prepared to excel as an event coordinator!