Event Planning Courses & Programs

Find Event Planner Schools Near You

Get into an inspiring career that utilizes your natural energy and love for detail.

Event planning courses are designed to help you develop the skills necessary for succeeding in an industry that is never boring and always about delighting other people. This kind of education can maximize your organizational talents while giving you the chance to begin a vocational journey that can lead to great pay, enriching relationships, and a lasting sense of accomplishment.

Why Event Planning and Management Is a Field Worth Going Into

Special events bring people together. At their best, they provide fun and memorable experiences that facilitate a sense of community and create opportunities for people to learn, be entertained, or network with others. In short, events do a lot of good. And event planning schools offer one of the most direct paths into this worthwhile field.

All you have to do is look at a few compelling stats to see why becoming an event professional can be such a smart idea:

  • In Canada, the trade show and event planning industry generates about a billion dollars a year and directly employs more than 7,600 people.*
  • It's estimated that more than 160,000 Canadian weddings took place in 2015.**
  • Promoters and presenters of events related to sports, the performing arts, and other entertainment generated revenues in excess of $2.4 billion in 2012.***
  • Every year, nearly 200 major festivals take place across the country in addition to several smaller ones.****

Since large urban areas tend to have the most events, a lot of people choose to go to one of the cities mentioned above for their event planning courses. Vancouver, for example, is a popular choice because of its tourism appeal. The Vancouver Convention Centre has almost 500,000 square feet of functional exhibit and meeting space. And the city's downtown core is home to about 13,000 hotel rooms.†

Career Possibilities in the Events Industry

This industry provides many ways to make an impact and find success. In fact, the potential for getting into an area of the field that matches one of your strongest interests is very good due to the immense variety of event types that exist. For example, business conferences, trade shows, public exhibitions, concerts, corporate parties, weddings, theatrical shows, festivals, and hockey games are all made possible by the skill and dedication of event pros. And those are only some of the more common examples.

When it comes to specific professional roles in the events industry, two stand out. Here is how they often differ:

  • Event planners—Typically, these are the people who work directly with clients from the beginning idea stages of an event all the way through to its completion. They help make a lot of the most critical decisions related to aspects like where and when an event is held, who to get involved, and how everything should come together. As part of their work, they often look after budgeting issues, negotiating with vendors, arranging for publicity, booking transportation and accommodation needs, reviewing invoices, and overseeing almost every aspect of an event to ensure its success.
  • Event coordinators and managers—Whereas event planners work for clients, people in event coordination or event management usually work for particular venues or individual vendors. Their most important work is generally carried out on the actual day of an event. They ensure that the details of an event plan are correctly executed and that everything is well organized on-site.

Despite the above distinctions, the job title you have in this industry is frequently dependent upon the employer you work for. You might be called an event planner, event coordinator, or event manager and have responsibilities that overlap the different roles. Or, if you work for yourself, you get to decide what your title is.

Also, many event pros choose to specialize in a particular area, meaning they have titles like wedding consultant, conference planner, or festival organizer. And some people eventually decide to go full-time into promotions management because they enjoy event marketing and public relations the best.

Salary Potential for Event Professionals

Event planners in Canada can make good salaries. For example, the nationwide median annual wage for people working full-time in event planning, coordination, or management is about $46,900. But many earn over $69,992.‡

Plus, those who go on to specialize in the field of promotions can increase their salaries even more. The median salary for a promotions manager in Canada is nearly $80,000. And the highest earners in the field make more than $130,000 per year.‡

Event Planner Training Requirements

A one-year diploma in an area like event planning or event management is usually enough to get started. For many, entering this field is a fast and fun process, especially since many colleges and vocational schools make their programs super convenient. In some cases, you can even take event planning courses online.

Beyond your diploma, any extra certification through a professional body is usually voluntary. For example, some people choose to earn a designation like Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) through an organization such as the International Special Events Society of Canada.

Investigate Your Options Today

You deserve a career you'll enjoy, and an event planning school can help you make it happen! Simply go to the convenient search box on this page and enter your postal code to find a school right now!

Main Sources

* IBISWorld, "Trade Show & Event Planning—Canada Market Research Report," website last visited on April 30, 2018.

** Weddingbells, website last accessed on September 5, 2017.

*** Statistics Canada, website last accessed on April 7, 2016.

**** The Canadian Encyclopedia, website last accessed on January 25, 2018.

Tourism Vancouver, website last accessed on April 10, 2017.

Job Bank, Government of Canada, website last accessed on February 28, 2018.