Why You Can't "Become an Event Planner in 30 Days"
Everywhere I turn lately I see get rich quick schemes. My social media feeds are full of them, and I'm sure yours are too. Promises of wealth, health, and happiness with little to no effort. I'm all about being efficient and not working yourself to death, but there's a huge difference between that and the promise you'll "become" something in 30 days or less by not doing much more than you're doing now.
Today, I got an email about a course that claimed I could "Become an Event Planner in 30 Days." That's a flat out lie, and here's why:
1. "Becoming" anything takes some time.
Whatever your goals are, it's a journey to accomplish them and it's filled with ups and downs. There's no magic solution to any of your problems, nor is there a way to accomplish your goals without putting in the time and taking actions. You have to make an effort to get what you want - there's no way around that.
2. Experience trumps courses, every time.
You can only learn so much from reading and listening to other people. Some things you have to learn from your own experiences. I am a firm believer that you should always be learning something new, and looking for ways to add to your knowledge, but you also need to get some experience under your belt. Customers aren't going to take a risk with their special events on someone who has no experience planning or executing events. That experience could be anything from volunteer work to professional experience.
3. Sales don't happen without effort.
You can't just take a course and then claim you're an event planner. You can't just post your services on Facebook and expect people to pay you. You can take all the courses you want, but until you have introduced yourself to people who actually need your services and showed them what you are capable of, you won't have a chance at securing any event business.
4. Relationships are a major business component. Without them, you won't have a business.
Even corporate events are very personal experiences. People need to trust you. They need to have some sort of relationship with you. There has to be authenticity or they won't even think twice about what you have to say. You won't build those relationships overnight. A course definitely isn't going to create those relationships that lead to business opportunities, nor will they tell you how to find them.
5. Getting a certificate in Event Planning is not a requirement, nor is it of much value.
Don't get me wrong. Education is vital to your success. You definitely need to have a knowledge of the industry and some of these courses will help you learn the basics- common vocabulary, some best practices, and a general idea of the anatomy of events. They fall flat though when they claim the certificate you receive will be valuable. It is no more valuable than the content in your head. The events industry only recognizes a couple designations, among them the CMP and CSEP. For both, documented professional experience is required (3+ years), you have to apply and be vetted before you're even considered a candidate, and you have to sit through a proctored exam to earn the designation. Something that won't be accomplished in 30 days.
I can relate to wanting a quick way to get to my end goals. Sometimes it's so difficult to appreciate where I am in my journey. I get anxious and want what I want NOW! Along the way I learned that no matter what goals I have, I've only succeeded with the ones that I've actually worked towards. The ones I've consistently taken steps to accomplish. There have been no shortcuts - nothing has happened in 30 days. Sometimes the journey needs to be longer. If you make peace with that, you'll reach your success in due time.