A Party Plan

My daughter has been working in a commercial bank for the last three years planning events for banking clients and training workshops for personnel. She enjoys it. How should she pursue this as full-time employment?
–Dennis Brennan, Via the Internet

Event planning can be an exciting entrepreneurial prospect for those who organize parties, weddings, and business functions. It is also a burgeoning corporate career opportunity that spans a number of industries, with multiple levels of responsibilities. For example, corporate planners handle events and meetings related to company sales, promotions, product introductions, and retreats. But there are also association planners, trade show organizers, and consultants or independent meeting planners.

The pay isn’t bad either. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average planner earned $60,714 in 2002, more than a 10% increase from two years prior.

As for college courses, event planning titles can be found under curriculums that include hospitality, retail management, and tourism, but your daughter should research her options through industry organizations. Tell her to start with Convention Industry Council (www.conventionindustry.org), Meeting Professionals International (www.mpiweb.org), and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (www.ncbmp.com).

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