The event planning sector is on a steep rise. The industry has many sub-sectors, with specialists earmarked for each. To become one of these specialists, you need several skills like marketing, customer service, market research, communication, people management, and more. But more importantly, you need professional training, which can be possible through an event planning certification course.

A plethora of event planning certification courses are available in every size and structure. You can hone your event planning skills by attending these courses and bolster your opportunities to find work in the industry. 

Let us understand the different categories of event planning certification courses and the popular ones under each of those categories.

Accredited event planning certification courses

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Prominent institutions offer accredited event planning courses worldwide with a standard syllabus covering theoretical and practical training. Courses can be full-time or part-time but always with a structured curriculum.

These courses constitute many subjects, topics, and exams that a candidate has to complete to avail the certificate. Some of these courses can take as long as four years. 

Accredited courses are also approved by a professional body. This approval ensures that the course is up to date and relevant to the event planning sector.

Which schools offer them?

Here are some of the popular schools that offer accredited event planning certification courses: 

  • University of West Florida: It is one of the best universities in the USA, offering an accredited event planning certification course. Situated in Pensacola, this university has a large public certificate program for event planning. 

To apply – Click here

  • UCLA: Situated in Los Angeles, California, this popular university offers an elaborate event planning and management program. Planning, executing, and managing events becomes easier.

To apply – Click here

  • Edmonds College: This is a university situated in Lynnwood, Washington. Their event planning certification course spans nine months and covers 43 credits. 

To apply – Click here

  • San Diego State University: This large state university offers a meeting and event planning certificate that takes around six months to complete. 

To apply – Click here

Benefits of opting for accredited event planning certification courses

Having an accredited event planning certificate will help students in several ways:

  • Employers can assess and determine the knowledge of the student and the credibility of the program. This amps up the hiring opportunities.
  • Once a candidate graduates, they always have the flexibility to opt for higher degrees that will boost their knowledge and chances of getting high-paid jobs.
  • The candidates also get to attend placements organized by the school/university they graduate from, reducing the effort to go look for jobs.
  • Few popular universities provide recognition not only within the country but also around the globe.
  • Provides high-quality education, access to world-class peers and professors from the same domain of expertise. It’s a great place to build solid connections.

Drawbacks of opting for accredited event planning certification courses

  • It is very expensive to pursue an accredited certification course.
  • Longer course duration.
  • Not all accredited courses and institutes provide high value.

Event planning certification classes

Non-accredited event planning certification classes

The non-accredited event planning certification classes are not recognized by any professional organization or external accreditation bodies. These courses are not required to follow any set standards. People often think that non-accredited courses have no value and are not worth the time and money. But they cannot be more wrong. 

These classes pose great opportunities for aspiring event planners. They are ideal if you are a hobbyist as they are not as expensive as the accredited courses. 

Even though these courses have no professional recognition, they are still worth mentioning on your resume. The course duration is often much shorter, ranging anywhere between 3-6 months. The price of the course is also quite nominal and affordable for most people. These classes usually do not conduct exams.

Here are some of the non-accredited event planning certification classes: 

YouTube Classes

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Undoubtedly, Youtube is the biggest free education platform on the internet. Youtube is a great place to learn about event planning in your free time. Many YouTube channels are solely dedicated to event planning training by professional event planners. They educate the viewers based on their real-life experiences. These channels are a great place to be if you are just starting on event planning. 

As expected, these channels do not provide you with any certificates, but they do provide quality content. Once you are confident with the subject, you can always try to contact the creator and request them for an advanced course for certification. Here are a few channels that provide quality content on event planning –

Local Seminar Classes

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If you feel learning from a mentor face to face offers more value than learning from a screen, try to get into seminar classes offered by your local group or community.

Many local coaching institutes provide regular 2-3 hours of in-class seminars where they teach you about the latest developments in event planning. Usually, weekend classes are available for working professionals.

Professionals and trainers from the event planning sector host these seminars. Some of these seminars also provide participation certificates. You can always add this certificate to your resume.

Local Meetup Groups

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This is more like a club where all like-minded people come together and talk about new advancements in event planning and share stories about their event planning experience. You can look out for these meetups online and select the one closest to your place.

These meetups will enrich your knowledge. If you are a hobbyist, they will inspire you to dig deeper into the field of event planning. The attendees usually come from different organizations with sound field experience. You can interact with them and learn from their stories. If things go well, you can also land up an opportunity to join their company in the future.

Facebook Groups/Forums

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This is like Meetup groups. The only difference being all the event planning hobbyists, students, and professionals communicate via a digital medium, the most popular one being Facebook. 

There is a wide array of groups on Facebook to become a member and learn about event planning. These groups provide educational materials, resources, access to various certification courses, tips, and much more. Here are a few groups you can follow on Facebook: 

  • Event Planners Forum: A private trainer, professional planners, and a business coach run this group. The group focuses on providing quality education, mentorship, and training.
  • Event Technology Help: This group gives updates on the latest technologies to use for event planning. They mostly share knowledge about everything related to event planning.
  • Event Planners Club: The group primarily focuses on event planning activities. Apart from that, it offers great tutorials, inspirational stories, tips, and networking opportunities.

Hashtags to Follow

It is never easy to stay abreast of the latest happenings by following groups and communities on the digital platform. The best way to stay updated and gain more knowledge is by following a few hashtags dedicated to event planning. 

A few of the must-follow hashtags on social media include – 

  • #eventplanning
  • #eventprofs
  • #eventtech
  • #eventplanningcourses
  • #meetingprofs
  • #eventhour
  • #eventtips
  • #bizbash
  • #eventplanningtips
  • #eventtrends

Event planning certification online

Accredited event planning certification online

With online certification courses, you get the best of both worlds. You get certified without having to step out of your home to attend the course. 

Various event planning professional bodies recognize these online courses. Most of these event planning online certification courses allow candidates to opt for self-paced or live courses.

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One of the best examples of such a course is the “Online Event Planning Course”. The New York Institute of Art + Design (NYIAD) designed and mentored this online course. This institute has accreditation from the DECA (Distance Education Accrediting Commission) and the New York State Education Department. The course covers everything you need to start your career as an event planner. They have 6 Units, and it is a self-paced course. 

LaSalle University is another excellent school that offers quality online event planning certification courses. This university has accreditation from the Middle State Commission on Higher Education and holds many other professional accreditations and associations. They have a well-planned standardized 4-semester program.

QC Event School offers another popular course called the Private Event Planning course. It has accreditation from the International Live Events Association and BBB.

Non-accredited event planning certification online

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Though no professional body recognizes these online event planning certification courses, they still carry good value in the job market.

Industry professionals offer many of these online event planning certification programs through their own LMS platforms or via reputed online platforms like Coursera, Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy. The educators are professionals, and they provide high-quality content and resources.

Few of the event planning non accredited online courses include – 

Benefits of event planning online certification

Here are some of the benefits of taking such non-accredited online courses – 

  • They are self-paced; you can complete the course at your speed.
  • 24/7 access to all the materials.
  • You can learn from the best in the world from anywhere.
  • Access to the student forums.
  • Revisit lessons at any time.
  • Cost-effective as there is no accreditation 

Drawbacks of online event planning certification programs 

Here are the negatives of picking such courses:

  • Since the course is available for a long time, one tends to delay most of the learning.
  • You will miss access to a physical instructor. If you don’t understand the concept in the video, it will be difficult to get in touch with the same mentor to learn more about it.

Event planning certification: Types

Wedding and event planning certification

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Weddings are one of the most elaborate and hectic events, even though they are replete with precious and beautiful moments. Everyone wants their wedding to be grand and memorable, and it is the responsibility of a wedding planner to help them achieve it. 

Many schools and professional bodies offer courses on wedding and event planning. Most of these courses equip you with practical skills and tools essential for planning such personal events. Having a wedding and event planning certification online will broaden your recruitment scope as you can work for a wedding planning or an event planning company.

Here are two popular courses catering to wedding and event planning:

  • Event and Wedding Planning Course (QC Event School)

This course helps you plan and organize parties, industry special events, weddings, and more. It even helps you with the theme and atmosphere selection for various events. Post-completion, you get an industry-recognized certificate.

To apply – Click here

  • Getting Started As A Wedding Event Planner (Udemy)

This is a beginner’s course where you would get a brief detail on building your portfolio, basics of event planning experience, what types of services you can offer, how to sell these services, and the common mistakes to avoid. Udemy provides an unaccredited certificate, but the course in itself has a huge value.

To apply – Click here

Corporate event planning certification

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Another huge event planning industry is corporate planning. In many large enterprises, they have a separate division or a team of event planners responsible for all the events conducted inside or outside the company.

Keeping investors and customers informed about a company’s progress is very important to corporations. Biggies like Google conduct at least two public events a year to release their new products and get in touch with their developers’ community. These events are usually large-scale and need months of planning.

If you wish to become a corporate event planner, here are a couple of courses you can take to enhance your CV and experience – 

Apart from wedding planning, they also provide a great corporate event planning course. It is 8 weeks long and has an impressive program and curriculum. They offer 24 CEU credits after the completion of the course and a course certificate. The course includes e-books and online course material.

To apply – Click here

This course provides you well-rounded training on corporate event planning. They have an excellent syllabus and well-built course content. It is a self-paced course, and the instructors give one-on-one feedback for your assignments. 

To apply – Click here

Event planning certification: Going local

Event planning certification NYC

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If you live in New York or in its vicinity, here are some great places for you to learn event planning and get certified- 

The college offers a helpful year-long program on event planning. The program is worth 30 credits, and classes revolve around accounting, business communication, and writing related to event planning. Students are also required to attend hospitality classes.

To apply – Click here

Located in Oswego, New York, the college offers a basic event planning certification program. The program has two successive courses, each 2 weeks long. The first course covers topics like negotiations, logistics, contracts, and hospitality. The second course covers finance, non-profit planning, marketing, and merchandising. To get the certificate, candidates must complete both courses.

To apply – Click here

Event planning certification Los Angeles

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Here are some event planning certification programs in Los Angeles that you can check out –

  • Wedding Planning Course at Carson, South Los Angeles

This course teaches you everything from selecting a venue to developing the budget for a wedding. Costing just $125, this course covers everything you need to orchestrate a memorable event for your clients.

To apply – Click here

  • Event Planning One Day Training

This event takes place in Regus. California, Los Angeles, US Bank Tower. Each month, there is classroom training for a day. The entire course covers 11 modules where the audience can learn about types of events, technical staff, vendors, brainstorming, administrative tasks, getting organized, and much more.

To apply – Click here

Event planning certification Atlanta

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Our next stop is Atlanta. It is again a great place to learn about event planning. So if you are in Atlanta, make sure to check out these certification courses –

  • Emory Continuing Education

This institute offers you a course on event planning that lasts anywhere from 8 months to 18 months. The university is in Atlanta, GA. The program lets you explore the aesthetic details of event planning and behind-the-scenes logistics to make the events safe and functional. They also teach you how to build a solid reputation for your business and provide positive ROI to your clients.

To apply – Click here

  • FSB Event Career Training Program

This body conducts a Wedding and Event Planning certification class every year in Atlanta. This two-day event will explore the role of a professional wedding and event planner. They also provide necessary resources for the students to help them get started in their event planning business.

To apply – Click here

Popular free event planning certification

Many event planning professionals want to share their knowledge and help event planning enthusiasts to live their passion. They offer event planning certification free of charge. These courses are also valuable since industry experts are teaching them. Here are a few free event planning courses:

Event Marketing Course and Certification by Eventbrite

Top industry experts mentor this course on the Eventbrite platform. The course duration is six hours and it is divided into five different modules – social media, event discovery, website conversion, paid advertisements, and email marketing. The course also offers an excellent user experience and will walk you through all the concepts in the form of video lectures, articles, exercises, and quizzes. 

Once you complete the course, you’re awarded a free certificate and a LinkedIn badge to promote your newfound talent.

To apply – Click here

Event Sponsorship Course and Certification by Eventbrite

This Eventbrite course is mentored by the president and CEO of the Sponsorship Collective, Mr. Chris Baylis. This course will help you get equipped with the skills to recruit and manage sponsors for your events. This free course is 5 hours long. 

It has all the benefits usually offered by Eventbrite, including a free certificate and a LinkedIn badge.

To apply – Click here

Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning by reed.co.uk

Training Qualification UK Ltd conducts this certification program. The syllabus comprises five units covering topics like marketing methods, human resources, customer service, market research, and communication. Also, the course offers free resources and study material.

To apply – Click here

Other free courses without certification include:

Benefits of opting for free certification

  • Learn from industry experts.
  • Be updated with new event planning developments free of cost.
  • Access to student forums and communities.
  • Certification and badges that can be shared on professional platforms.

Drawbacks of opting for free certification

  • Most certificates are not recognized.
  • Limited knowledge as the free content is not comprehensive; most courses ask you to upgrade to learn more.
  • Some courses don’t offer certification.

Event planning certification (paid)

Here is a list of paid event planning certification courses. Most of these courses are mentored by professionals, and the certificates are recognized globally. The course creators are highly credible, making the certificates even more lucrative.

  • Event Planning – Where to Start by Skillshare

Event planner Hanna Ashcroft teaches the course. The course gives you real-world experience on what to expect in event planning. The topics include audiovisuals, finding a venue, equipment rental, and event budget. Though it is paid, the course can be accessed free through a 30 days trial program of Skillshare.

To apply – Click here

Over 60,000 students have taken this course on the LinkedIn platform. The course is mentored by Valeria Berry. The course has 10 modules with a total duration of 50 minutes. It is aimed at beginners. You can avail yourself of this course for free through a 30 day LinkedIn Premium trial.

To apply – Click here

Other popular paid courses include:

Benefits of opting for a paid certification

  • Courses are offered by professionals and reliable online sources.
  • The certificate has great value.
  • Provides access to student forums.
  • Many professionals recognize the certificate.
  • Learn a new skill set in a short time.

Drawbacks of opting for a paid certification

  • Sometimes the courses might be overpriced.
  • You might not get 1-1 with the mentor even after paying for it.

Wrapping Up

There are endless courses, workshops, and seminars through which you can earn an event planning certification. There is a growing demand for event planners and companies are realizing the importance of hiring event planners.

By completing an event planning certification, you can fall under their radar and get hired. You can also become a freelancer or start your own event planning business.