Whether planning an intimate birthday party for close friends and family or a lavish wedding with hundreds of guests, special event producers make the host's party plans come to life. The event planning industry is dominated by women -- according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, women made up 73 percent of all event planners. From birthdays to bar mitzvahs and everything in between, special event producers help plan and manage parties and special events, like company picnics, award shows and sporting events.
Most special event producers do not receive formal training in event planning; rather, they learn on the job. Several companies offer event training, such as the Special Events Institute, which offers courses in event planning. Along with formal or on-the-job training, event planners must have excellent organizational and planning skills. They must be able to multitask because they often plan several events at any given time. The party planner must be creative, with an eye for design to help bring a host's party vision to life.
The main job of a event producer is planning parties, including birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, baby and wedding showers and holiday parties. She also plans special events like business conferences, corporate retreats, award shows, industry expos, conferences, auctions, sporting events and company picnics. Part of the planning process, the producer meets with the party host to determine a guest list, food and beverage menu, location, theme and budget. She also coordinates with outside vendors, such as bands, DJs, decorators and caterers, depending on the type of party.
Along with planning events, the event planner fulfills secondary tasks like attending the event to take care of any problems that arise. The producer may also coordinate and even take part in clean up and tear down after the event. Some special event producers provide specialty services, such as video screens rentals, electronic scoreboards and live scoring equipment for golf tournaments and car races. Along with renting the equipment, the company also provides trained personnel to manage the scoring and equipment at the event. Other event producers and companies assist with live stage shows, coordinating everything from lighting and sound to promotions.
Where They Are Employed
A special event producer can be self-employed and work independently, or she may be part of a larger company that specializes in event planning. Event planners also find employment with event vendors, like reception halls, caterers and rental companies. In some cases, the event producer's entire career is based on planning and managing one event or series of events. For example, the Alliance for Arts and Culture employs one person to oversee a yearly film festival, which includes planning all fundraising and promotional events leading up to the festival.
- Special Event Production, Inc.: About Us
- Alliance for Arts and Culture: Special Events Producer - Job Information
- James P. Reber: Fundraising Consulting and Special Event Producing Services
- Special Event Productions, Inc.: Events
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Household Data Annual Averages
- Special Events Institute: About Our Program
Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.