From award ceremonies to concerts and even office year – end functions, the lifestyle of an events planner can be seen from the outside as a glamorous job where you’re essentially paid to throw parties. With this said, we see countless individuals drawn towards a career in event planning and management without realising that the job might be a bit more laborious than expected. Having been in the industry for a long time now, our team know a lot about these misconceptions. We have seen some people embrace the career with huge success, while others quickly discover that it’s not for them, so we caught up with a few of our event gurus to find out what it really means to be an event professional.
What’s the Number One Eventing Misconception?
The “glitz and glamour” associated with events has nothing to do with the life of an event planner, except that they create this glamour for others. Our Director & Chief Growth Officer, Kim Winstanley explains “…80% of the event is in the build-up – all the unglamorous stuff is still involved; that is the admin, budgeting, planning etc. Don’t expect to just revel in the 20% fun, which is the glamour of meeting celebrities and working on big productions! Most newbies are VERY overwhelmed by the pre-event intensity – and this is what seems to always be their undoing.”
How did you know this is what you wanted to do?
“I always knew I would end up in planning, and never hated that I did. It also helps that I enjoy it.” – Thuto Masihleho, Project Coordinator.
“I’m a people’s person – I love get togethers – and if they are going to happen, I may as well organise them. I’ve been involved in the hospitality industry since I was 18, and I’ve never looked back. I think it is mainly an instinctual thing. It can be learned, but instinct plays a very big role. – Kim Winstanley, Chief Growth Officer
“Every time I was in a different field I kept being pulled back into eventing in one way or another.” – Sharon Chimhanda, Project Coordinator
Eventing is not for you if…
“…you have a 9-5 mentality, poor time management, and love short cuts in the build up to an event – which needs time and precision to plan. – Kim Winstanley, Chief Growth Officer
“…you only enjoy being on site. 95% of the success of an event is determined by all the grind, hustle, hard work, admin put in, in the lead up to an event. Anyone who says they love the “glamour” that comes with it, because there’s no such thing when you’re on the planning side. – Peaches Khumalo, Senior Project Manager
“…you want to have a consistent, predictable life. Eventing is super intense, and not for the faint-of-heart.” – Sharon Chimhanda, Project Coordinator
“…you are not willing to go the extra mile. It’s not for those that see no solutions with 1000 problems coming their way. You need to be willing to learn, teach, take care of your client, manage expectations, and know how to adjust at any given moment. It is easy to spot a person who will not be prepared for such an industry. This is not a career for the faint-hearted.” – Thuto Masihleho, Project Coordinator
Event Planners On The Fence
We’re not saying that you have to have it all figured out… When it comes to making career choices or changes, the best way to know if a certain profession is for you, is to test it out! We have amazing individuals on our team who started off not knowing if event planning was the right fit for them – turns out, it was:
“I didn’t know this was for me. I was brought in as a Projects and Admin Intern. I had no idea what this job entailed, but I knew I had to walk into the job with an open mind and willingness to learn about the events industry. I’ve learnt so much from it, enjoyed it and gained valuable experience.” – Abigail Cruickshank, Admin & Project Assistant
“I’m from a Film and TV industry and wanted change, I wanted to do something that would excite me. I wanted to use my creativity and be able to organise a project from the beginning to end. – Lele Dinte, Project Manager
If you’ve got the opportunity to enter the event space but have no experience, or you’re thinking of switching careers, we encourage you to consider the comments above and compare them to your skill set and temperament but also don’t be afraid to take a chance and jump in head first! You never know, your passion might be just outside your comfort zone.