Many people use the terms event planner and party planner interchangeably but they’re not the same and this can be the biggest peeve for professionals in both verticals. Event planner is a very broad, general title in the event industry. A party planner is a smaller subset of that. It’s a term that refers to an event planning professional who specializes in parties.

A party planner, as the title sounds, coordinates and plans all the activities surrounding a party. The mission for a party planner is to ensure that guests and the clients enjoy themselves. Return on investment is less important in this field but every client wants good value. As long as you stay in budget and the clients are happy, you’re having a successful event.

Things to Consider About a Party Planning Career

Before jumping up and giving notice to your boss, followed by a quick announcement that your latest career goal is to become the number one party planner in the world, consider these things:

Parties are rarely hosted during traditional business hours.

Sure, it happens. You might plan a retirement party during regular business hours, but most of your events will be on evenings and weekends. You may be particularly busy during the holidays with Christmas and New Year’s parties. Are you ready to give up your freedom and social life during those prime times?

Party planners aren’t party goers. 

Even if you’re hosting parties for some of the biggest names in Hollywood, you’re there to work and it’s not the same as being a guest. You probably won’t even have a moment to stage a planned photo bomb with your favorite celeb. Keep this in mind before you switch careers because of the glamorous allure. Actually it probably isn’t all that glamorous when you are the one in charge of every last detail.

Party planners must be discrete.

Nobody wants to see unflattering details of their event in the gossip pages. Nor do they want guests to be “tattled” on in the rag mags. If you’re a party planner you need to adopt Las Vegas’ tagline of what happens there, stays there.

Networking and referrals are your keys to success. 

Meeting planners can do a couple of meetings well and have future bookings because of the repeat business of the same meeting or conference being held every year. Party planners, on the other hand, are only guaranteed that one party. If your client loves you, maybe they’ll hire you for another party but then again, they may only throw one blow-out party a lifetime. That’s why referrals are so important. If your clients love you, they’ll tell their friends and you’ll get work that way. You also need to network. Learn referral marketing and the art of networking before you jump unprepared into this business.

Still interested? Check out our next post where we elaborate on how to get into this business!