The job of a corporate event planner is to manage all prior preparations for meetings for their clients or employers, such as handling contracts, registering attendees, selecting and booking locations, staying within budget, arranging travel, and coordinating distribution of materials. The bachelor’s degree program in Hospitality Management will provide students with training for this career. Several schools offer event planning concentrations.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Hospitality Management
People of different educational backgrounds may seek to become event planners; however, a Hospitality Management bachelor’s degree would best serve these professionals. Students enrolled in these four-year programs can expect to become adept at meeting planning, in addition to restaurant, hotel, and resort management.
Enrollees may often concentrate on areas of specific interest to acquire strong business skills that can be applied in most industries. Hospitality Management program graduates may find professional roles with higher levels of responsibility sooner than those with baccalaureate degrees in related fields of study (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)).
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to providing ACT or SAT scores. Individuals may transfer into the program upon completing an associate degree in the field and graduate in about two years. Periods of tight deadlines and high stress will be experienced by meeting planners, so organizational skills, excellent communication, and attention to detail are important; professional experience or previous coursework to this effect is favorably looked upon.
Coursework in Hospitality Management bachelor’s degree programs combine core coursework and general education classes, in addition to elective courses. Coursework may include topic areas such as:
•Management of employees
•Food and beverage operations
Those who successfully complete the program can seek different entry-level careers in fields that could range from corporate event planning to tourism. The positions commonly sought may include:
•Guest services assistant
•Front office assistant
Job and Wage Outlook
A much higher-than-national-average job growth rate of 44% has been predicted for meeting, convention, and event planning professionals over the 2010-2020 decade (BLS). A bachelor’s degree in the hospitality management field should give applicants the best chances of employment (BLS). In May 2012, convention, event, and meeting planners took home an average annual wage of $45,810.
Continuing Education Information
Professional meeting planners may seek voluntary certification in order to showcase their skills and knowledge in the field to potential employers; the Convention Industry Council is an agency that offers the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation, which has a wide recognition and can be obtained through passage of an exam, apart from documentary evidence of prior achievements, work experience of three years, and current full-time employment. Schools also offer Hospitality Management master’s degree programs, whereby students are trained to assume managerial and leadership roles.