How to become an Event and Wedding Planner in West Virginia
Weddings, conferences and festivals are events that have no season and can happen at any time. Wedding and event planners in West Virginia have a plethora of opportunities to grow their business and gain essential experience.However, planning events, especially significant ones like weddings, may be challenging.
While it is not as glamorous as the movies make it, you can turn a passion into a promising and fulfilling career with the right approach and credentials. You must be prepared to go the extra mile to satisfy your clients, especially when the unexpected happens. That means occasionally taking on menial jobs when a worker cancels at the last minute. It may require you to do the cleaning and packing because you’re short-staffed at an event.
Despite potential setbacks, the career itself is rewarding and fulfilling. If you are creative and have a passion for bringing people together, event planning might be the career for you.
Requirements for Working as an Event Planner in West Virginia
There are no requirements in place for working as an event or wedding planner in West Virginia. However, adding some skills to your knowledge base can enhance your experience and that of your clients.You will need to hone your organizational, networking and creative skills to gain marketability and earn high in this industry.
A degree or certification in hospitality, business, or communication can be a major asset. It helps you sell yourself and cover more career ground in no time.
Training opportunities in West Virginia for Wedding and Event Planners
West Virginia universities and colleges have many programs in place for an aspiring event planner. You’ll start training and honing your skills with courses like public relations, catering and business management.
These courses will provide you hands-on experiences that will enhance your employment and career as an event planner. Below are a few schools to consider if you decide to pursue a formal Education:
- West Virginia University, Morgan town, offers a degree in hospitality and tourism management.
- Oglebay Resort and Conference center, Wheeling, run an event management school.
- Pier point community and technical college, Fairmont, offers a degree in events management.
- Mountwest Community and technical college, Huntington, offers a bachelor of applied science in hospitality management.
Luckily, you don’t need to stress about your location. Virginia institutions such as American Public University System, Charles town offer online event planning and hospitality management degrees.
Relevant Professional Qualifications to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in West Virginia
Certifications can help boost your credibility and professionalism as an event/wedding planner. So, combine formal education with professional certifications, and you are on your way to becoming a top-rated event planner.
The fun part is that you can take these courses online at any time of your choice. You also get to choose from the numerous options available. Here are some great options to consider:
- Certified Professional in Catering and Event (CPCE): This professional certification is endorsed by the National Life Event Association (ILEA) after satisfying some requirements.
- Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP): This is majorly for event planners working under government jurisdiction. to be considered for this certification, you must have an active SGMP membership and at least a year of experience in the hospitality industry.
- Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE): The National Association for Catering and Event (NSCE) offers this certification after taking an exam and participating in the courses outlined.
Salaries and Career Outlook
West Virginia has about 170 event planners with an average hourly pay of $2.72 and $45,170 in a year. Top earners look to earn about $65,270 in a year, but as a starter, you can earn up to $26,060 and look to earn more over the years.
Opportunities in West Virginia
West Virginia is known as the “mountain state” due to its topography and culture. The unique landscape attracts tourists for hiking, mountain climbing and skiing all year long. So, events such as festivals and cultural exhibitions are everyday activities.
Use the crowd to your advantage! Organize fest and hiking events to put yourself out there and build your event planning career. You can begin with places such as Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown and explore as you grow.