Event Planning- Glamorous or Not?!

As a new intern at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation, I didn’t realize how many careers could all be considered “corporate communication” titles. It is a small office, consisting of six women and myself. Their titles are: Annual Gifts Officer, Major Gifts Officer, Administrative Associate, Special Events Officer and Finance and Stewardship Officer. One of the main issues associated with all of these titles is how wordy they are and the fact that all of these women undertake several tasks outside of their job titles.

Our professor often touches on the realities of event planning; I can relate well to this since I work under the Special Events Officer at NHRMC Foundation. The realities of this corporate communication position are long hours, planning with some very opinionated committee members, having to constantly be organized, the ability to multitask and working with a limited budget (especially in a non-profit office). Third party events are also a majority of this position’s responsibility. So far for our Pink Ribbon Event, there have been third-party events consisting of: Monty Miller’s Boot Camp, Rock for the Cure, Pink Martinis at Ruth’s Chris, TrySport’s 5k and Angie’s Amazing race…and these are just for one event! The special events officer is responsible for attending all of these.

This is just insight on ONE corporate communication career, the list of other titles is almost infinite. While event planning may not be as glamorous as films such as “The Wedding Planner” portray it to be, it is a very rewarding and fabulous career for the right person!

-Emily Hunter

21 thoughts on “Event Planning- Glamorous or Not?!

  1. I agree that event planning is a wonderful job for the right people. It requires a lot of patients and a lot of hard work. I think it is ridiculous how terribly films portray jobs like being an event planner.

    • I would agree that this is most certainly a career that needs to be suitable for the right person. This field is not as glamouras as the media portrays and this fallacy gives many people a false impression of the kind of work that goes into this realm of work. Event Planning is often misinterpreted of the work that a publicist does and these jobs, while both rewarding, needs the most suitable person for the job.

  2. I agree that event planning is much harder than most assume it to be. Many people think weddings and birthdays. However, I helped out a Mariott with event planning and it’s a lot of corporate meetings and business fairs. And with things like that most businesses have their own format. They already know how they want it set up, what types of products they want used, etc, you don’t have much creative leeway. It also takes knowing the business inside and out such as what permits you need and things like that. It’s a demanding field and in being a part of it, you just have to grin and bear it.

  3. Before learning what event planning and marketing really meant in class the other day, my perception of an event planner was one who planned fun and entertaining events. I didn’t realize the time, effort, organization, skills to multi-task, and hard work it took to plan events. I had always thought of event planning as how they portray it in the movies because it looked so fun and exciting. Little did I know, there is much more to it than that. I thought I wanted to pursue a career in event planning, but now that I am more knowledgeable of the type of person it takes to take on those responsiblities, I have decided that is not the job for me. Im glad I found out now though, or I would’ve been in for a rude awakening.

  4. I intern at the UNCW Alumni Relations Office and most of what they do in plan alumni events so that graduates can remain connected to UNCW. This weekend I assisted in multiple events for Family & Alumni Weekend. My supervisor did not eat and was constanstly on edge due to stress. Event Planning requires a great length of research and amazing organizational skills. By hosting the events at UNCW, catering services assisted in much of the event where if the venue was office campus even more event preparations would have needed to be done.

  5. Before coming to college, I have to admit that I based my future plans off of movies such as “The Wedding Planner” and “Sex and the City.” They make event planning and public relations look so fun and glamorous. After being in college and hearing professors (and now students) give testimonies of their experiences in the industry I have a totally different out look on my future. I realize that it takes a lot more than just invisioning fabulous weddings in your head to be an event planner and while the outcome is very rewarding it comes with a lot of stress and one must have a lot of patience. Thank you for this student example it is always nice to hear what we do (or do not) have to look forward to in the future.

  6. Before coming to college, I too, thought that event planning would be as glamorous as the media portrays it. I even admit that I was inspired by the movie “The Wedding Planner”. When I first saw it, I immediately decided that that was the career I wanted and started buying bridal magazines. Mind you, I was seven years old. To this day, I still want to be a wedding planner, but I realize now that it is just not as glamorous as I once believed. Reading this blog just reaffirmed that event planning is what I want to do and, no matter the hardship I have to endure to get there, the end of the event will always be worth it.

  7. I agree with everyone that event planning seems to be portrayed incorrectly in films. I wrote this blog because I too thought it would be glamorous and yes, parts of it are. But you have to love ALL parts of it- which I do. I think the main traits you need to aquire to be any kind of event planner are, patience, time-management, organization, grace and the ability to multi-task and think on your feet. If you have all of those or think you might be able to learn all of those traits then the rest is mainly about experience and networking.

  8. When I use to her the title of Event planner, i would just laugh and think it must be cool to have a bunch of money and blow it all in a way that makes everyone happy. After learning the harsh realities of Event planning in class and how much extra work goes into them through your blog i have realized that event planning is a job for the strong willed and brave at heart. i have never done any real event planning myself, but Im sure most people have can agree that it is probably almost impossible to please everyone at an event. That is including the event comers and the people that put the work in to create the event. planning and hosting a great event must be very rewarding, like you said.

  9. In my previous job I was a birthday coordinator at the Childrens Museum in Charlotte, and was one the best jobs ever. You are in charge of every aspect of planning a childs birthday party which can range from so many themes. It was a lot of fun and games, but when it came down to arranging all the tiny details to pull it off, and coordinate 6 birthday parties at a time, and annoying needy parents, it became stressful. However, it was rewarding after seeing the children happy opening their gifts and enjoying their special day, and when I would go home I would say… wow i pulled it all off, and it was great! But its another long day to do it all over again!

  10. The media always tries to glamorize event planning careers with movies like The Wedding Planner to TV shows like My Fair Wedding. What people don’t realize are the harsh realities of event planning like long hours, angry clients, and no time for your own life. While having the ability to put together events is a gift i think not many people are given that ability. It requires a huge amount of patience and energy and most people would probably be over it within hours. Event Planning is definitely an important part of corporate communication but quite possibly one of the most difficult.

  11. I’m very glad to read this and learn about all the different aspects of event planning. I work for the programming board on campus and plan events- and there is so much that goes into it. I know I am only getting a small taste, and actually doing it for a career seems like what I do times 10. It already takes up so much of my time so I can only imagine what it would be like if I worked as a full time event planner.

  12. “The Wedding Planner” is the perfect example of over-exaggeration for wedding planners. Although there are definitely perks to the job, movies like that fail to mention the bad encounters with customers who are dissatisfied with the outcome of a wedding and blame the planner. We cannot forget those other clients who are next to impossible to satisfy and make the planner’s job a living nightmare. Many jobs have downsides but the movies fail to mention them. As for event planning, I think if a person can get past dealing with the impossible clients, they can truly enjoy their job with the wonderful clients!

  13. I have to agree with you that event planning is hard work. I have helped plan several events throughout high school and college, and there is so many things you have to do in order to make the event a success. From making sure you pay attention to every little detail, to logistics, to budgeting, to staff, it is a lot of planning and hard work. On a side note, I can imagine your life as an intern at the NHRMCF. I have worked with them the past four years at the Coastal Classic and know exactly how they are, but they are a blast! It is very true that just because you have the title of administrative assistant, that you will not only be doing that job but multiple other ones as well. Event planning is rewarding though, because pulling off an event and seeing the results are AMAZING!

  14. To be honest, I have thought often times that I want to become an event planner. After Com 295, and reading your blog, I have reconsidered. I do enjoy to plan events and I love the satisfaction of watching people enjoy themselves. I like how you used the “Wedding Planner” to express how this job is not the picture perfect job as it is shown in movies. All jobs have there downfalls, I just dont think I’m ready for no sleep, long hours, and constant stress.

  15. I know that event planning will not always be a glamorous area of marketing. Sure the wedding planner makes it look fun, but that is just wedding planning itself, not event planning in general. Sure wedding planning may be fun and glamorous, but that assumption may only come from Hollywood. As far as Event planning goes, there are all sorts of clients that are on the list that will seek your services. You can never be too sure about the client or sponsor you will be working with. And, there will all sorts of products that will be included in your marketing services. The idea of various types of products will call for research on the product which is hardly a glamorous process for most people. Though I think that if you can get past the idea that life is just weddings and cakes, you will set yourself up for an easier experience. You will be able to enjoy the idea of gaining knowledge and experience form other people, products, and services.

  16. Event planning is not for everyone. Having a passion for this is a must. The movie the Wedding Planner shows the fun side of event planning. It does not show the leg work that goes into having a successful event. The long hours, clients wanting caviar on a fish stick budget and wanting you to figure out how to pull it off can get old really fast! Again, having a passion for this, in addition to a lot of patience is a must. Seeing your hard work turn into a successful event is priceless!

  17. I just recently had an internship with an event planner at a winery, and the majority of the events we were planning were weddings. From my experience in event planning, “The Wedding Planner” does an awful job at portraying what an actual wedding planner does and the hard work that goes into just one event. The hard part about wedding planning (and planning for any kind of event) is the clients you are planning for. At my internship I had several wedding that i was helping plan at the same time. Its all about juggling each clients needs and satisfying their needs at the same time to keep them happy. What the movie doesn’t tell you is that you will encounter brides that are EXTREMELY difficult to work with. While there may be clients they are hard to work with and will make your life as a event planner a living hell.. there are also the clients who are great and you have so much fun with them in planning their special day. The fun clients are the ones after the event is over you can smile and laugh with and really have a good relationship with. As i have learned, wedding planning can be so much fun, you sometimes just have to get through the hard clients to get to the fun ones. But thats the same with every job. Your always going to encounter different kinds of customers. In my opinion, thats another fun part of the job though!

  18. I honestly never knew how much work went into being an event planner, I only knew of what the media glamorized it to be. The stress, time and commitment that an event planner must put into the career is very demanding. I would imagine it would have to be a career that someone really loves and is passionate about, otherwise the weight they carry would crush them. Props to those that can though!

  19. I believe Emily makes an excellent point regarding the glamorization of corporate communications. People often make the misleading assumption that these ocupations are very glamorous, when in fact the majority of communication careers are anything but. Its important to recoginize this reality when entering the job market.

  20. Thank you everyone for your insight! You all have made valid and important points about event planning and orther careers in corporate communication. We appreciate your ideas and support!

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