To be a meeting and event planner, one must have a strong attention to detail as well as interpersonal skills when communicating with others. This is important because event planners are dealing with people every minute of the day, and to be successful in this competitive field their customers must be satisfied.
However, in a technologically dominated world where face-to-face time is not easily available, event planners must look to social media to keep their customers well-informed and satisfied. Social media can also be used as a great tool for networking with other meeting and event planners for jobs as well as internships. Astonishingly, this occupation has a projected 44% growth rate according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobs are out there, it is just a matter of finding them. Because the use of social media has grown exponentially, employers are now posting jobs on social media sites and prospective employees are now looking for jobs through these sites – these include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Most people today know and use Facebook solely as a social outlet to keep up with friends and family. However, companies and prospective employees are realizing the capacity it has for job networking because most people are familiar with Facebook. For instance, the College of Extended Studies at San Diego State has a Facebook page for only meeting and event planning students. This site is important for them because the coordinators and directors post jobs and internships available to these students. As an illustration, Donovan’s Steakhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, and Bliss Events have all posted on the page to help the meeting and event planning students find a job or an internship. Postings vary from the restaurant industry to the bridal industry to meet every student’s dream career.
Twitter can also be useful when finding job postings on the go. If one is a follower, they can get updates on their phone almost instantly from companies or certain industries that may be hiring. The purpose for the CES Meeting and Event Planning Twitter page is to inform students of job openings and class information as immediately as possible. This is critical because a student looking for a rewarding career in the meeting and event planning industry can get updates without having to check their email every hour or having to sift through job searching sites.
LinkedIn is crucial in social media if one is looking for a job and wanting to network with other professionals within the same industry. CES acknowledges this and created a LinkedIn page for all students in the Meeting and Event Planning program. What sets this apart from Facebook and Twitter is that the meeting and event planning instructors are very involved in helping their students find jobs and internships as well as updating them with relevant information. For example, meeting and event planning instructor Annette Gregg posts etiquette tips and job boards for her students. Even people who already work in the meeting and event planning industry post job opportunities on the LinkedIn group.
All in all, social media is key for career searching, establishing and maintaining relationships, and most of all networking with other industry experts. It is also great for communicative purposes and customer relations purposes. Since all of these things encompass a meeting and event planner, MEP students should also reach out to these outlets to make the best and the most out of their careers.
To find more information on SDSU’s College of Extended Studies Meeting and Event Planning program, please visit www.neverstoplearning.net/meeting