How to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in South Dakota

Planning a large event like a wedding or a corporate meeting can certainly take its toll on a person. Aside from coordinating with various vendors and suppliers, they also have to innovate and think of ways to turn the client’s concept of the event into a reality. Because of these complex tasks, this role is usually delegated to professional wedding and event planners.

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If you are outgoing, enjoy working with others for a common cause, and can think fast on your feet, then event planning might be the perfect occupation for you. It can sometimes be hard work and leads to long hours, but it will undoubtedly result in a rewarding and fulfilling career.

What You Need to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in South Dakota

There are no official educational requirements needed to work as an event planner in the state of South Dakota. However, two things that would help you advance in this career path would be obtaining relevant education and gaining first-hand experience in the field. to find out whether or not you are a good fit, here are several essential skills that are important for every event planner to possess:

  • A high level of creativity
  • Excellent organization skills
  • The ability to communicate effectively with others
  • Being meticulous and highly detailed
  • Maintaining a calm demeanor even in stressful situations
  • The capacity to make quick and effective decisions

Some universities and colleges offer relevant courses such as Hospitality and Event Management, Public Relations, Marketing, Communication and Human Resources to help you hone and develop these skills.

Universities That Offer Relevant Education in South Dakota

There are not a lot of educational institutes in South Dakota that offer the courses listed above, but here are some of them and a brief description of each to get you started:

  • South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, offers degrees in Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management, Events and Facilities Administration, Communication Studies and Public Relations.
  • The University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD, offers degrees in Communication Studies, Marketing, Public Relations and Human Resource Management.
  • Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD, offers degrees in Corporate Communication, Marketing, Public Relations and Human Resource Management.

Aside from these institutions, you can also opt to choose from numerous online-based courses to learn how to be a planner. The QC Event School offers lessons directly related to planning weddings and corporate meetings, while the Quincy College Event Planning Program is an intensive six-course, 90-hour program that will teach you how to manage different types of events.

Salary and Career Growth of Wedding and Event Planners

Event planners in South Dakota earn an average hourly wage of $19.91, which amounts to about $41,410 per year. This rate is lower than the national hourly pay of $24.79. Higher-earning event planners in this state, however, can make up to $27.91 per hour.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are only about 240 convention and event planners employed in South Dakota as of this writing. Although small, this number is still expected to rise as the average long-term growth rate for convention and event planners for 2019 to 2029 is at a high of 8 percent.

Job Opportunities as an Event Planner in South Dakota

Before you begin your journey as a wedding and event planner, there are a couple of big decisions to be made first. You can either establish your own event planning service, where you’ll have more control over your time, or you can work as a planner or coordinator for another company. Opportunities for convention and event planners in South Dakota are most abundant in the cities of Sioux Falls and Box Elder.

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