Public Relations/College Planning

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Question
Hello,
I just started my senior year in high school and I am trying to find out what I want to go into for college. Right now I'm considering becoming and event planner/meeting and convention planner. I hoping to get some advice on what majors think about or how to go about becoming this.
Thank you!

Answer
Before jumping in, consider that these careers are less glamour and a lot of work! I know dozens of event planners who love their careers, but most are flexible and willing to work long hours, often evening and weekends. Attention to detail, detail, detail is KEY. Also, the income can vary and few get rich. It is highly geographically based. Tourism areas have a need for event planners as large corporate groups flow in and out, people use those as destination weddings and galas, and charities are more numerous. There are few event production companies that number more than just a few in-house planners. Event planners often work in teams of 2 to 3 people or solo.

The plus side - no two days are ever the same. You can thrive at being creative and making someone's dream a reality; you constantly meet new people and are privy to wonderful stories. Plus, how fun is it to pick out florals, dιcor, themes, menus and event keepsakes. Ultimately, seeing a room transformed from bare bones to dazzling is that moment of pride.

Today, the best way to get into the field is by having a mentor or being part of a family that already works in the industry. Otherwise, a formal education is good advice. A well rounded background can prepare you for other professions should you decide to be a part-time event planner and also combine that career with marketing, public relations or even real estate (surprising overlap of skills required!)

Florida International University has a very popular academic program and is in a hot area of employment in this field. In fact, many Florida state universities offer this as a major. It is a good idea to pick a school in a geographic area that you plan on keeping as your career --event planning is heavily about networking and who you know!!

I can't advise you which school to select, but make sure your program is also broad-based and includes some business classes. Event planners should get Event Planner degrees and pick a minor carefully for you backup career choice. Most event planners I know, never left their first choice careers, but I live in Florida where opportunities abound.

Go to the U.S. Occupational Handbook to learn more
www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm  

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Linda Hamburger

Expertise

I can help advise on career track; how to promote on a budget; how to find a good practitioner and just about anything relating to the practice of PR and marketing communications. Over 12 years as an Adjunct Professor of Public Relations and Marketing and frequent guest speaker.

Experience

PR Consultant Linda Hamburger is an award-winning publicist with an excellent track record of success in promotions. With more than 20 years experience in the Public Relations business, Hamburger has received countless bylines for published articles and has had case studies featured in PR Week, Businessweek, and Ragan's Media Report and more. Hamburger received a MA in Public Relations from Michigan State and a Master of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. Currently she represents clients in the events industry, real estate law, and other agencies as an independent consultant. Founder and Moderator of the South Florida Public Relations Network (www.sfprn.com) and the PR Daily Digest. She works under her own independent consultancy, On Call PR and On Call Resumes.



Organizations
Founder and Moderator of the South Florida Public Relations Network (www.SFPRN.com)

Publications
Truthfully too numerous to list. A "Google" search might show a few.

Education/Credentials
MA Public Relations; Master of Public Administration (MPA); BA Journalism/Mass Communications

Awards and Honors
• Women in Communications Creative PR Olympics Merit Award • Finalist, Event Solutions Marketing Professional of the Year Spotlight Awards • Speaker, BizBash Funshops Fort Lauderdale and Miami • Speaker, Florida Scholastic Press Association District Conference • Vice President, Gold Coast Public Relations Council; Secretary; Board Member • Winner, Best Corporate Public Relations Program, Bernays Award • Implemented / supervised volunteer and student internship programs • Member, Adfed; Panelist resume writing workshop • Speaker at Events Expo, Orlando; University Campus Guest Lecturer • Introduced internship program of 50 students for the Source Awards • Past Secretary, Advertising Federation of the Treasure Coast • Communications Briefings, “Top Tips”

Past/Present Clients
Creative Spark Consulting; Anson Williams, celebrity; Starmaker Products, skincare line; ME Productions, live events productions; Rabideau Law, real estate practice; Swim Week Miami; Biscayne Tennis; Multiple Sclerosis Foundation; Little People of America; National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI; Considering Your Career; American Alliance for People with Disabilities; many others...

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