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Dressing for Success in the Event Industry – The Do’s and Don’ts of Event Planner Style

By Holly Barker
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Dressing for success as an event planner can be challenging. Long, active work days need you to keep moving quickly, and always be prepared for the unexpected! You need to have your essential go-to outfits that are made for comfort and convenience. Here are some tips to consider when selecting outfits to style yourself.

You never know what type of circumstances may come up at your events where you may need to blend in with the crowd, or have a place on you to hold cell phones, keys, pens, etc. People rely on event planners to come prepared and ready to go at events, and to set an example for those working on the event team.

There are some do’s you may want to research and incorporate into your closet, and then there are some major don’ts that you will want to be sure you get rid of!

Dressing for Success in the Event Industry – The Do’s and Don’ts of Event Planner Style

Do Wear Outfits with Pockets

If there is one thing event planners always wish they had more of it would be pockets! They come in handy for providing essential storage for small items such as keys, cell phone, chargers, pens, safety pins - the list goes on and on! All types of event planners from wedding planners to corporate event planners love pockets! Your most important tools as an event planner sometimes need to be kept on your person at all times.

For example, some handy tools needed as a wedding planner could be wire clippers, safety pins, double-sided tape, headsets and mints! The best wedding planners always have their tools on them at all times, so making sure you look for dresses or trousers with deep pockets is a must!

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Do Wear Layers

It’s a fact that all event venues vary by temperature all day long. It’s important to think through where you will be working on an event. During the tour of the space be sure to ask what the temperature is usually set at, and if it tends to get colder or warmer during the day and evening.

Look for comfortable tops that can layer with nice looking tunics underneath. You may even want to wear a cardigan or blazer for a casual, but professional look and then are able to remove it if it gets stuffy and warm as you are running around keeping the event running smoothly! Also keep in mind venues that require you to go inside and outside throughout the day. In this case, you may want to wear a nice blouse paired with a darker jacket incase there are any weather issues.

Do Wear Darker Colors

Not all event planners wear black when running an event, but it is usually nice to prepare outfits that are darker in color. Darker colors tend to come across as more professional, and help planners to blend in where needed. For example, if there is an issues with a mic for a speaker, it can feel easy to sneak onto the stage or next to it to see what the issue is and fix it. Can you imagine doing something like this in front of thousands of attendees wearing a bright floral print? It’s a great feeling to know you blend into the background for these daunting tasks!

Another thing to note about darker colors is that they are an easy go-to for anyone on the events team to wear. When everyone on the team are wearing darker colors it helps to create a uniformed look, and for event attendees to be able to spot the team easier at the show! You want to be easily identified as the staff at every event, so planning a darker color pattern as the uniform to wear is a great idea.

Don’t Wear Uncomfortable Shoes

There has never been an event planner who swears by wearing heels or dress shoes all day at an event. Think about event planning as a fast-paced workout from very early hours in a day to very late hours, and sometimes this can be the routine for up to a week for some events! You want to ensure you select flat, comfortable shoes for every event you plan.

A lot of what comes with being an event planner requires climbing in and out of vendor vehicles to grab supplies, stepping up on ladders to hang decor, and carrying heavy boxes from one side of a venue to the other. So, it’s important for the planner and their team to wear comfortable shoes in these situations. This goes for both men and women - at the end of a long day it’s nice to have tired, but not painful feet. Look for flats that are not only comfortable, but also nice looking with closed-toe options.

Don’t Wear Impractical Bags

This one sounds weird, but imagine having to pack event tools you use all day, food and water into a bag to bring with you onsite. The best bag most event planners travel with is a backpack. A lot of larger tote bags or purses with one strap can really be painful on your shoulders at the end of a long week of hauling your bag from room to room and meeting to meeting! An easy backpack with two straps will feel much better on your body.

Look for nice backpacks you can use onsite and every day in the office. If you’re wanting to not have to carry a backpack to evening events and dinners, pack a small lightweight cross body purse you can pop into the backpack. Cross body bags are perfect for items you need with you at all times!

In Conclusion

Go through your go-to garbs you wear as an event planner and think through which pieces of clothing work and don’t work for your day to day events. Do you have pieces you feel comfortable wearing all day? Have you come home with sore feet after an event? Think about what has worked for you and what has not, and then you will be able to figure out your perfect event planning wardrobe that fits your event planner style!

about the author

Holly Barker
Holly Barker is a Digital Native with a passion to help shape events and brands through storytelling, creativity and digital magic. She has over 10 years of experience consisting of social media marketing, events and promotional management, digital marketing, and brand development. Follow Holly at @holsk.
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