Are you interested in pursuing a career in the event planning industry? Kasey Larson, founder of DBY Invitations, visited Illinois State University to speak to students about the industry and what it is like to work in event planning. Larson is an event planner in Chicago and has been in the industry for 15 years. Larson was one of nine keynote speakers at COM Week 2014.
On Wednesday, April 16, Larson was introduced with a warm welcome from Dr. Peter Smudde, giving the audience a bit of background on Larson and how she got into the industry. Audience members were encouraged to use the hashtags #COMWeek2014 and #EventPlanning if they were tweeting about the event. From there, Larson spoke a bit more extensively about her academic background and how she made her way in the event planning industry.
Larson focused on the reality of event planning because often times the career is glamorized, and people go into the industry with a skewed expectation of what they will do. She went on to explain that event planning is more than just showing up to events after putting it all together. There is a lot of paperwork, organization, anticipation and you have to have the ability to work with other event planners.
Larson referred to event planners as similar to the Red Cross because “we know when the hurricane is coming. We hope it doesn’t hit but we are prepared just in case.” The time frame for an event planner is that you have 364 days to plan for a one-day event, and you have to utilize all the time you have. Larson said she is always working, even if she thinks she isn’t working. It is all about multi-tasking.
Larson wanted to tailor the presentation to what people were interested in hearing and wanted to know, which led to the Q-and-A portion of the event. Larson gave insightful information based off the questions she was asked, including what it takes to be successful in the industry. She said that you have to be street smart, open, curious, hungry for success, willing to take risks and stay up to date on what is trending in the world. Larson also spoke about the confidence needed in the industry. If you are not confident and don’t own it, you client will not trust you or take you seriously.
The presentation on event planning was very insightful, and Larson provided the hard facts about the industry, which can be helpful to many who are interested in an event planning career after college.
By Maggie Ziemann
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.