What Are the Best Majors for Event Planners?

Image of an event planner for our FAQ on What Are the Best Majors for Event Planners
event planning degree

It takes organizational skills and creativity to pull off a successful event. Event planners have both. When you plan an event, you put your communication and problem-solving skills to the test. You also tap into your specialized training. But where do you get this training? And what kind of training is it?

In this article, we cover the best majors for event planning. We also discuss what event planner degree will get you hired after you graduate. If you want a career as an event planner, read on.

Here you’ll find information about the kind of majors for event planners potential employers look for and other details about the job, including:

  • Earnings potential
  • Job outlook
  • Licenses and certifications

What Does An Event Planner Do?

Large events, such as conferences, need planning and organization. An event planner is the person in charge of planning the event. In this role, you do everything from securing a venue to managing a budget. Event planning job details are vast. It takes education and training to carry out all that’s required for a successful event.

Some event planners specialize their training. They focus their skills on certain types of events, such as:

  • Company party planning
  • Corporate business meetings
  • Executive meetings
  • Product launches
  • Public relations events
  • Trade show events
  • Weddings

But no matter what area of specialty an event planner has, they do many of the same tasks. Typical tasks an event planner does include:

  • Coordinating lodging, transportation, and dining
  • Establishing the date, time, and location of an event
  • Handling vendor contracts through bidding and negotiations
  • Keeping the cost of an event within a client’s budget
  • Organizing equipment deliveries
  • Registering and checking in attendees

Why You Need an Event Planning Degree

You need a degree for an event planning career. Sure, there are ways around a college education if you want to work in hospitality management. Maybe you have tons of experience working alongside your event planner parent or have interned with a public relations firm. But if you don’t have experience or connections to the event planning industry, consider a college degree.

Without a college degree, your career prospects become limited. Employers look for candidates with event coordinator degrees. But what kind of degree for event coordinator jobs do you need?

Bachelor’s Degrees for Event Management Jobs

If you want to work in event planning or management, you need a college degree. Most employers seek job candidates with two things:

  • An event planning degree
  • Event management experience

You can get experience while you earn your degree. Many event planning degree programs offer internships as part of the degree requirement. But in four years, you can turn your event planner major into a college degree and experience. Both of these can make you a strong candidate for a job in the event planning industry.

What Is the Best Degree Path to Becoming a Meeting and Event Planner?

What to Major in for Event Planning

Majors for event planners come in many different forms. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in event planning, event management, or a related discipline. Read on to learn which college major for event planning will help you succeed in the industry.

Event Management

An event management major prepares students for careers where they plan events. This event planning major is one of the most popular choices for those seeking work in the industry. It teaches you how to plan, budget, and organize:

  • Conventions
  • Events
  • Professional conferences
  • Seminars
  • Trade shows

There are around 60 schools that offer programs for aspiring event planner. These programs offer classes that teach you about budgets and finance and hospitality law. You also learn how to manage special events.

Hospitality Management

If you want an event planner job, you will need experience in hospitality management. Good news! There are plenty of hospitality management majors from reputable schools.

As a hospitality management major, you take classes that cover topics such as:

  • Hospitality financial management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Strategic management

You can also study culinary theory and practice if you plan to work as an event planner in the restaurant or beverage management industries.


Marketing is a popular major. It is also a top choice for students in search of event planning degrees. In fact, some marketing programs offer concentrations in event planning.

In a marketing program, you study everything from advertising to public relations. Your courses cover a wide range of business topics. Popular marketing courses include:

  • Consumer behavior
  • Global marketing
  • Logistics strategies
  • Product and price management
  • Public relations

Marketing is a good major for aspiring event planners who want to work in product launch campaigns.

Public Relations

In a public relations program, you learn skills needed to work in different areas of PR, such as event planning. You take classes that teach you how to create and promote a favorable public image. You also learn how to write material for communications media and public relations campaigns.

Public relations degree programs are great for aspiring event planning professionals. They give you experience in all types of communication. The skills you gain in a public relations program can help you find work in the event planning field.

Other Event Planner Majors

Looking for other event coordinating majors? Here are two favorites.

Business Administration

Another popular major event planning specialists get is business administration. A business administration degree can help you find a job in the event planning field.

In a business administration program, you learn how to control different business functions. You also learn how to organize them. These skills help you in an event planning job. Some business administration programs even offer concentrations in hospitality management or public relations. Both of these give you more relevant training.

Business administration courses cover topics like:

  • Business strategy
  • Finance
  • Logistics
  • Organizational leadership
  • Research and development management


Another good event planning degree is communications. You can major in communications and gain relevant skills that will serve you well as an event planner.

Communications degrees teach you how to think critically. You also improve your listening, reading, and writing skills. But the biggest benefit from this degree is that your communication skills improve. This is ideal for an event planner role.

Associate’s Degree in Event Planning

In some cases, an associate’s degree can qualify candidates for entry-level jobs in the hospitality industry. But most employers looking to fill event planner jobs want candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Some employers will take a two-year degree with at least two years of work experience in:

  • Beverage management
  • Business administration
  • Event planning business
  • Hotel and restaurant management
What Is the Best Degree Path to Becoming a Meeting and Event Planner?

How Much Money Can Event Planner Majors Make?

According to the BLS, meeting, convention, and event planners earn an average salary of $49,470/year. The lowest 10% earn less than $30,170. The highest 10% make over $96,000/year.

But you can increase your earnings if you choose to work in high-paying industries. There are four industries that pay event coordinating majors the highest wages. These include:

  • Religious, grant-making, and civic organizations: $56,620/year
  • Administrative and support services: $51,530/year
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation: $47,410/year
  • Accommodation and food services: $47,260/year

You can also earn higher wages if you live in high-paying areas. There are certain states that pay event planners above-average wages.

High Paying States for Event Planners

  • Alaska: $87,710/year
  • New York: $78,490/year
  • Washington: $70,810/year
  • District of Columbia: $70,470/year
  • Massachusetts: $65,500/year

Job Outlook for Event Planning Degree Holders

The job outlook for event planners is favorable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 18% growth through 2031. This is a much faster growth than the 5% average for all other jobs.

Growth will result from recovery efforts following the COVID-19 recession of 2020. As people congregate after spending time away and workplaces start planning events, a demand for event planners will rise. But not all businesses or organizations will return to in-person events. Virtual meetings and events will continue. As a result, employment growth could steady during certain times of the year.

But to get the best event planning job prospects, consider getting a bachelor’s degree in event planning or a closely related discipline. You should also have relevant work experience.

What You Can Do with an Event Planning Degree

With education and training, you can qualify for many event planning jobs. But you need to know what major is event planning before you get started. Remember, event planners major in everything from business to communications. They also study marketing and public relations.

Once you have an event planning degree, you can work in any of the following jobs.

Convention Planners

A convention planner is responsible for the planning and organizing duties at conventions and conferences. Most convention planners have degrees in:

  • Business
  • Event planning
  • Hospitality management

But armed with an event planning degree, you can find work in hotels and at large convention centers.

Event Planners

An event planner arranges the details of any large-scale event. They plan everything from award ceremonies to corporate events. They organize food drives and charity gatherings. They also put together parties for product launches and store openings.

Exhibition Organizers

An exhibition organizer plans, produces, and promotes displays for exhibitions. They work with conference and exhibition facilities. These specialized organizers are sometimes called show or exhibit managers.

Meeting Planners

A meeting planner is in charge of planning large meetings for organizations. They work in niche industries, such as healthcare and education. Healthcare meeting planners, for example, specialize in the organization of health conferences and workshops.

Corporate meeting planners are responsible for planning large meetings, such as internal business meetings or meetings between businesses.

What Is the Best Degree Path to Becoming a Meeting and Event Planner?

Event Planner Licenses and Certifications

Beyond a degree, some event planning jobs ask for certifications. They help you demonstrate your knowledge and specialized skills. Certifications can help you stand out above competition, especially if other applicants hold the same degree that you do.

Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP)

A CGMP designation is for event planners who work for government agencies. You can work for agencies at the following levels:

  • Federal
  • Local
  • State

To qualify for this certification, candidates must work as a meeting planner for at least one year. Candidates must also be a member of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals for six months. To get this certification, you must pass a three-day course and qualifying exam.

Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM)

You get a CEM designation from the International Association of Exhibitions & Events. It demonstrates that you’ve met the professional standards for events managers and exhibitors. To earn the credential, you must complete nine courses.

Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

The Events Industry Council issues the CMP credential. The designation shows employers that you have knowledge in areas such as:

  • Facility operations & services
  • Financial & risk management
  • Logistics and strategic planning

To qualify for the CMP, applicants must pass an exam and show proof of education and experience.

Important Qualities Every Event Planner Should Have

Sure, you need a degree and experience to work as an event planner. But did you know you should also have certain qualities to succeed on the job? According to experts in the hospitality industry, event planners should have these qualities.

Communication Skills

Solid communication skills are beneficial to any job. As an event planner, you are in constant communication with:

  • Clients
  • Colleagues
  • Staff
  • Suppliers

You communicate directions and give clear expectations. Both oral and written communication skills help you do your job easier and more effectively.


Wedding event planners develop creative solutions to fit budget constraints. They solve issues that arise during the planning phase. They also address budgeting constraints. To tackle the challenges of the job, you should be creative.


Event planners manage many details all at once. To do the job well, you should be organized and pay attention to details. Why? Because your job is to identify problems before your clients do.

Wedding planners find invitation misspellings. Event planners correct improper seating arrangements. Whatever issues need resolved, an event planner can help if they’re detail-oriented.

Interpersonal Skills

Successful event planners maintain positive working relationships with clients and suppliers. Good interpersonal skills help them create good working relationships.

Negotiation Skills

In order to secure quality products at a reasonable price, and to keep costs within a client’s budget, you must be able to negotiate. Event planners should have strong negotiating skills.

Networking Skills

Event planners work with diverse groups of professionals. These include:

  • Caterers
  • Musicians
  • Photographers

They also connect with and build relationships with vendors. It these relationships that help them save their clients time and money. To do the job, you should have good networking skills.

Organizational Skills

Whether you plan corporate events or work in wedding planning, you need strong organizational skills to make your event a successful one. Most event planners know how to multitask. They ensure every detail meets or exceeds the expectations of their clients. Without organizational skills, an event planner might not meet a tight deadline.

Problem-solving Skills

Most jobs want a candidate with strong problem-solving skills. This is also true for event planner positions.

A major part of an event planner’s job is to anticipate problems and find solutions for them. Event planners come up with innovative ways to please their clients and prevent them from having to deal with issues.

Related Resources:

What Is Event Management?
30 Best Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management
5 Jobs With a Bachelor’s in Tourism
5 Ways Technology Has Changed The Hospitality Industry For the Better
5 Ways to Keep Pace and Stay Ahead of the Curve in the Hospitality Industry

BDP Staff
January 2023

This concludes our article on the best college majors and degrees for event planners.

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris