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From the moment a child is born, parents fantasize about what career their offspring will eventually hold. Is event planner on your top ten wish list? Possibly not. But you just might want to reconsider that.
A study commissioned by the Institution of Engineering and Technology found that only one percent of parents wanted their daughters to grow up to be engineers, while 11 percent wanted their sons to pursue that line of work. What would those numbers look like for event planners?
Do you want your children following in your footsteps, with the pressure and the unsociable hours? At first thought, you may not want that for them, but the event planning field also has a lot to offer and is a profession to aspire to. Of course, what one parent wants for their child, may be a nightmare for another. So let’s take an in-depth look at the good and the bad sides of this career choice.
The Inside Scoop
With the top job choices of pre-teens now ranking as sports star, pop star, and actor/actress displacing the career field choices of 25 years ago of teaching, banking, and medicine, it’s not hard to realize that some parents want their children to have a career with more exposure. However, kids don’t seem to want a career as much as they want to be stars.
In event planning, you are the wind beneath your client’s wings and if everything is running perfectly, your efforts go largely unnoticed. People believe things magically fall together. Perhaps, if we retitled event planner to celebrity event planner, it would hold more appeal.
But this industry is also a service industry. You are bringing smiles to people’s faces, making dreams come true, and creating amazing experiences for others all while receiving very little credit. It’s a lesson in humility, which in today’s selfie world isn’t such a bad thing. Your child may not spend a lot of time in front of the camera as an event planner but they’ll be surrounded by people who do - and what better way to know the inside scoop?
Excitement and Adventure
Event planners keep crazy schedules where evenings and weekends are not always their own. If parents enjoy seeing their children and having them gathered around the family table on occasion, they maybe won’t want them to grow up to be event planners.
But, if on the other hand, parents want excitement and adventure for their children, event planning does offer that. It offers travel and luxury stays in hotels and plenty of airline miles and contacts for when you do take a vacation of your own. Event planners sometimes work with people in other countries or other parts of the country and that’s a great way to round off your education, finally visiting all the places you read about in school and finding out first hand about different cultures.
While event planners may keep crazy schedules, those who are self-employed are able to accept events or decline them. This allows them to work around family schedules. For instance, some event planners work only weekend events so their weeknights can be spent home with the family.
They Have Stories to Tell
An event planner’s lifeline is their phone so if you’re a parent who believes you should put away all technology when you spend time with the family, you probably won’t see your event planner child frequently, at least not their faces. There’s always something they’re tending to and smartphones are the easiest way to allow them to be physically present, even if their mind is elsewhere. Still, it’s good to see the tops of their heads, right?
But that is an old-school way of looking at things. Event planners are always online and connected. That means if you’re willing to communicate the way they do, you’re likely to be able to keep in very good touch with them, even if they travel far away. Yes, they may miss out on family weekends but the stories they will regale you with when they return are worth the wait too.
They Are Well Travelled (In Theory at Least)
Such a glamorous life with all that travel but if you ask your event planner children about the cities they’re visiting, they’ll probably tell you they rarely have time to enjoy them. It’s rather a large waste only seeing the insides of hotels and venues. But maybe you can talk them into gifting you some of those unused airline miles!
Event Planning Creates Focus
If your child is going to be a successful event planner, they will need an extraordinary amount of focus and attention to detail. But they also need the ability to see the big picture and multi-task. Event planning requires a very strong mind and versatility of task. In a world of specialists, the event planner makes a name for themselves by succeeding at it all. This is a great source of pride for parents of event professionals.
They Get Active
With the long hours, event professionals can sometimes ignore their own health. They simply don’t have time to investigate every ache and pain. If they do, you can assume it’s reached near debilitating seriousness. We won’t even talk about how they eat on the road, but maybe, just maybe, some of those farm-fresh meals of local produce they’re serving their guests make it into their stomachs.
But wellness is becoming a larger part of conferences today. Our event-planning progeny are paving the way for healthier options. And have you seen the statistics for people who sit at a desk all day? We can assure you at least that your event planner is leading a very active lifestyle.
Event Planning Provides a Good Living
If you have a creative child you most likely don’t worry that they can find work. What you’re probably worried about is whether the work a creative person selects can provide a good enough living. Writers, artists, and actors struggle to pay bills until they get their lucky break, which may never come.
Event planning allows a creative person to indulge their sense of whimsy and artistic eye, while putting their skills to work in a lucrative career that delivers a steady paycheck. Win-win.
Planning Never Stops
Good event planners orchestrate every part of an event. Some people may even call them bossy. Perfectionist or control freak? While this level of detail is ideal for their career, you may not enjoy it at the Sunday dinner table or the Thanksgiving meal.
Then again, being related to someone who knows the best caterer in town personally, the top venues, the latest food trends, and can plan an intimate dinner party for 50 in one afternoon sounds like a pretty valuable connection to have.
They Address Practical Issues
While event planners are busy creating dreamlike worlds and indulging fantasies, they are also considering other needs that hopefully go unrealized. Today’s event planners are tasked with creating contingency plans and handling security for their events. They must attend to the desires of their attendees while protecting them from things that no one wants to think about.
The beauty of event planning is in the duality of its nature. Event planners must be creative, yet practical. A child who takes on event planning as a career must learn balance early on and that will help them throughout their lives, both personally and professionally.
A Fulfilling Career
Okay, it had to be said. While eventprofs make a good living and enjoy the perks of travel and frequent flier miles they often don’t have time to use, when you divide the hours they work with the money they’re paid, it can seem like a labor of love. Wouldn’t taking hits in the NFL and risking traumatic brain or sports injury be easier?
But as a parent, you know money isn’t everything and if you have a unique child - one who’s able to put others’ needs ahead of their own, negotiate difficult situations and personalities, be both creative and practical, and exist on little sleep - event planning is an industry with plenty of room for growth. You can work in the hospitality end, create your own event planning empire, or host parties for non-profits. Event planning is a fulfilling career and one that’s hard to match, regardless of salary.
They Thrive Under Pressure
While most jobs have a modicum of stress at certain times of the year, event professionals deal with pressure as a regular part of theirs. As a parent, it’s difficult to think of your child as having to undergo constant demands as part of their profession. You probably cringe every time you watch shows like Bridezilla, knowing your child does battle with those kinds of demanding foes every day.
While the job is pressured, if your child is one of the few that have a knack for this career it’s likely they would be bored with anything else. Some people love the stimulation of a charged situation and enjoy the addictive feeling of making something work when no one else could.
Instead of worrying about your event planner’s blood pressure, think about how few people could do what your child does and be thankful that they found a “safe” position that allows them to excel. After all, people who are drawn to stress often select jobs that put them in harm’s way. Your event planner has found a job to indulge their need for performing under pressure without risking their life.
They Make Their Mark on the Lives of Others
If your child is an event planner, they have a job where they must always be “on.” That means clients get the best (of them) and families get the rest (of them). You may see the worst side of your event planning child because it’s hard to perform every day. They most likely show you the non-gracious side when they’re trying to wind down or they may seem withdrawn when initially visiting. After all, you can only please so many people a week.
Yes, the dark side of event planning may cause your son or daughter to occasionally feel withdrawn and need to take time out for themselves but that can be a healthy pathway. Plus, no event planner can remain withdrawn for long. They’ll bounce back and join the group merrily because that’s the type of personality they are.
As an event planner, your child is in charge of - and enjoys - helping others and loves to focus on other’s interests. We need more of that kind of selflessness and care in every industry and your child is making their mark on the lives of others in a positive, non-selfish way.
A Special Type of Person
Event professionals function in much the same way hospitality professionals do. There’s no day shift or night shift. Eventprofs work them all. They’re up early and go to bed late. Because of these fluid schedules, event planners may have problems sleeping. If you’re a parent to one, you may have learned early on that the Hollywood saying “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.” is fitting so you don’t disturb that much-needed sleep, whenever it’s occurring.
But event planning is an excellent career if you have a child with an incredible amount of energy. When they were young you might’ve been concerned about how they drifted and floated from one thing to another. They couldn’t sit still. Maybe they even bounced from job to job early on.
That’s not likely to happen with event planning. It provides enough of a challenge and stimulates multiple areas of the brain including problem-solving and creativity. Event professionals are often super energetic people, who love stimulus, thrive under pressure, plus they love to serve others. They may not get 8 hours of sleep each night, but there are few jobs that can hold the attention of people who are talented enough to translate their unique skillset to event planning.
If parents want their children to be able to create fantastical worlds that bring people joy, if they want them to have a job that is fulfilling and allows them to solve problems on a daily basis, if they want them to feel comfortable in front of all types of groups and travel, if they don’t want them to get bored with their surroundings or sit behind a desk all day punching a clock in and out, then those parents may just be happy to see their children select a career that is at once challenging and full of freedoms. Maybe, event planning’s not such a bad gig after all.