What You Should Know Before Becoming a Wedding and Event Planner in Hawaii
A career as a wedding and event planner in Hawaii is exciting and challenging. Instead of staying in a cubicle all day, wedding and event planners can mingle with others, speak to multiple vendors and must stay on top of the details for everything to turn out right. If you’re looking for an exciting, fast-paced career with opportunities for growth and building a reputation, wedding and event planning is the perfect opportunity.
The role of a wedding and event planner in Hawaii is multifaceted. Luckily, Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations in the US to host an event, and you have plenty of resources to work with. However, you need excellent communication/negotiation skills and decisiveness to handle urgent situations, often with little notice.
At a fundamental level, event planning requires listening to your clients and bringing their ideas to life. The position also entails making budgets, dealing with suppliers, managing staff and contractors, monitoring activities and dealing with unexpected challenges.
If you leverage your marketing skills and network well, wedding and event planning in Hawaii is quite rewarding financially.
At its core, this job is a field job. You will be doing a lot of thinking, talking and acting. This means you need to be creative and goal oriented. You also need to cultivate interpersonal skills as you will be dealing with numerous professionals within various industries.
Some of these skills you’ll get as you start working with clients. Others will require you to take professional courses. Some skills you may find helpful as an event planner include:
- Time management
- Event management
- Human resource management
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer relations management
- Basic computer skills
- Quick thinking
You can take educational courses to prepare you for a lucrative career in event planning and management. These programs increase your knowledge, sharpen your skills and boost your credibility.
You should focus on programs that contain courses/topics that are relevant to event planning. These include financial management, event planning and hospitality. Other courses like Sales and Marketing or Food and Beverages can also expand your knowledge. Here are a few programs to get you started.
- Hawaii Community College. Through the Hawaii Community College, the University of Hawaii offers online event management and design training courses. Students will learn how to design, plan, implement and evaluate weddings, parades, corporate events, festivals and other kinds of events.
- Maui College. The college offers a Certified Wedding Planner course. This is a good fit for those who want to focus on weddings.
Hawaii Memberships and Certifications
If you want to impress big clients and employers, getting certifications is a must. Certifications have two advantages: they boost your credibility and expand your network. The best certificates in this regard are those offered by associations of event planners.
- National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). This is an association of caterers, event planners and event professionals. They award certifications and awards. They also organize conferences for their members.
- American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). The institute is maintained by the American Planning Association (APA). They offer certification in event planning and also set ethical guidelines for practicing event planners. to become a member of the institute, you must:
- Be an APA member,
- Have a college degree,
- Have at least two years of professional experience in the event planning industry
- Those who qualify need to pass an exam before they are certified.
Salary Expectations in Hawaii
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those just starting out with no experience average about $29,830/yearly.
However, the average salary for event planners in Hawaii is roughly $58,460. Those in the top 90th percentile earn an average of $81,530 each year. That is more than three times the starting average. There were 700 event planners in Hawaii, according to the BLS, within the period under review. With some time and effort, you have the opportunity to flourish in this field, especially in a state renowned for its dazzling events and spectacular weddings.