Becoming a Wedding and Event Planner in Iowa

Planning a huge event is no easy task. This is why professional wedding and event planners are often hired to organize and prepare for these occasions. These tireless individuals do more than just planning; they visualize the overall look and feel of the event, orchestrate it, and bring together several components into a successful whole.

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If you are outgoing, enjoy interacting with different people, and can think fast on your feet, then wedding and event planning might be the perfect job for you. to get you started, here is an elementary list of what event planners do in a regular workday:

  • Connect and communicate with clients to visualize the overall concept and purpose of their events
  • Arrange and plan the primary details of the event, starting with the date and location
  • Organize the services and products that would be needed, such as vendor services, decorations and food
  • Keep the client updated and in the loop throughout the planning process
  • Be readily available during the event to make sure that all the components are present and working smoothly

Requirements and Certifications

As of this writing, there are no specific educational requirements to become an event planner in Iowa. However, attending university courses and learning about the field would be a helpful tool in your journey. a degree in one or more of these courses can be a valuable asset to become a successful planner:

  • Hospitality Management
  • Event Management
  • Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing

Aside from these courses, event planner certifications are another way to earn valuable insight and good credentials in the trade. Although not a requirement to practice in this profession, becoming certified will undoubtedly help you learn more about your work and give you a well-deserved edge. Here are a few event planning certifications that you can apply for:

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). This is a globally recognized certification that is administered by the Events Industry Council (EIC). It shows you have the right experience and knowledge to conduct meetings according to high and exacting standards.
  • Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP). This is a certification that is awarded by the International Live Events Association (ILEA) to those who have been proven to have the skills needed to design and bring together exceptional special events.
  • Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM). This is administered by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and was designed to strengthen key meeting management and leadership abilities for professionals to level up their careers.

Relevant Education in Iowa

A number of colleges and universities in Iowa offer some of the courses listed above in various degree levels. Here are some educational institutes around the area:

  • Iowa State University in Ames, IA, offers degrees in Hospitality Management, Event Management, Communication, Marketing and Public Relations.
  • Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA, offers degrees in Hospitality Management, Communication, Marketing and Human Resources.
  • The University of Iowa in Iowa, IA, offers degrees in Communication Studies and Marketing.

Aside from these institutions, there are also various online schools you can attend to learn how to be an event planner. Some examples include The QC Event School or the Quincy College Event Planning Program.

Salary and Career Growth

A convention and event planner in Iowa earns an average annual pay of $49,530, which is a little lower compared to the national average of $51,560 per year. The highest-earning planners in this state, however, have reported annual wages amounting up to $78,390.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are currently about 880 event planners employed in the state of Iowa, which can be subject to change as the average growth rate for this profession is at a high national average of 8 percent.

Working as a Wedding and Event Planner in Iowa

There are a couple of paths you can take after deciding to pursue a career in wedding and event planning. You can choose to establish your own business or work for another company. Multiple companies are now looking to hire competent event planners and coordinators in Iowa, especially in its largest city, Des Moines.

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