Becoming a Wedding and Event Planner in Wisconsin
If you like working with people, paying attention to details, problem-solving, and keeping busy, consider becoming a wedding and event planner. These professionals plan and produce all types of events. Some specialize, for instance, in weddings or corporate events, while others do a little bit of everything. Here’s what you need to know to become a wedding and event planner in Wisconsin.
What Does a Wedding and Event Planner Do?
Before getting started, be sure you understand what this career entails. It’s much more than just throwing a party. An event planner:
- Meets with clients to discuss the event and budget
- Scouts and books locations for events
- Finds and hires vendors and negotiates contracts
- Supervises events to keep things running smoothly
- Checks in with clients regularly
- Makes sure events stay within a budget and invoices get paid
Planning and running a successful event requires a lot of leg work. You must be very well organized, good at communicating with others and solving problems on the fly. You can expect to work evenings and weekends for events.
What You Need to Work as a Wedding or Event Planner in Wisconsin
There are no formal requirements to meet or licensing for event planners in Wisconsin. Employers may only hire planners with a certificate, degree, or credential, so it’s essential to consider formal training.
If you plan to strike out on your own, education is still a good idea. Alternatively, you may choose to work for or intern with an event planning company to learn the trade first.
To be more marketable to clients and employers, consider working toward a credential from a professional organization:
- Events Industry Council
- Society of Government Meeting Professionals
- International Association of Exhibitions and Events
- American Association of Certified Wedding Planners
- Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
Event Planner Academic Programs in Wisconsin
A post-secondary certificate or degree in event planning or a related subject is a good way to start your career. All of the following schools offer associate degrees in event management:
- Madison Area Technical College, Madison
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay
- Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton
- Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee
These programs include approximately 60 credit hours of courses and take two years to complete on a full-time basis. They have classes on topics like hospitality accounting, marketing, fundamentals of meetings and events, food and beverage, supervision, and risk management and crisis planning.
Salaries and Career Outlook for Wedding and Event Planners.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that meeting, convention, and event planning is growing at a rate of 8% through 2029. This means the agency projects more than 15,000 new jobs for event planners during that time. The BLS does not record wedding planners separately, so they are included in this statistic.
The growth in the industry is reflected in statistics for Wisconsin from Projections Central. Expect to see nearly 7% growth in the state for event planners.
According to the BLS, event and meeting planners earn a median annual salary of $51,560. Average wages for Wisconsin wedding and event planners range between $46,310 and $50,000 per year.
Job Opportunities in Wisconsin
Working as a wedding and event planner gives you multiple options. You can find employment with an event center, professional organization, government agency, resort, or entertainment or recreation facility.
Alternatively, you can be an entrepreneur and start your own event planning business. It can be tough to break into the industry this way, so you may want to work for someone initially to build experience. However, with time and effort, your business will thrive as you make the right connections and fine-tune the details of your craft.