…On being a Special Event Planner

Why Be A Special Event Planner?

People often ask me why I have so much passion for being a special event planner.  Obviously, this isn’t always the easiest business.  Whether you are planning a wedding or considering event décor or live entertainment, there is no doubt that your days can often be long and tiring.  However, the fact of the matter is that I feel as my time spent special event planning in Cancun (as well as the other cities in which I have worked) have been some of the most rewarding days of my life.

Here are three of the top reasons why I recommend being a special event planner:

1.   You get to be a part of people’s happiest days

Whether you are planning someone’s wedding, graduation, or party, when you are a special event planner, you have the opportunity to be a part of other people’s most cherished memories.  Needless to say, this can be very rewarding.  You really get a deep sense of satisfaction when you see that you have helped to make other people so happy.

2   You get to see others enjoy your work

With many jobs, there is very little reciprocity involved.  You may be creating a product or a service that helps people, but you never have a chance to see them benefit from your efforts.  However, when you are a special event planner, you can see others enjoy what you have created.  Often you will even have people offer you their heartfelt and sincere thanks.

3.  Explore your creativity

If you are a creative person, you likely have found that with most jobs you don’t have a chance to use your imagination. This can actually be very depressing for people that love to create. However, creative people thrive as special event planners. They have the opportunity to conceive of a vision and then bring it to life!

Being a special event planner also gives you the opportunity to be courageous and take risks. Sometimes you will have a bold new idea when it comes to décor, themed events, tents, dance floors, floral arrangements, or a host of other elements. When you are a special event planner, you can take your ideas and run with them!

As you can see, I love my job, and that is why I am so enthusiastic about teaching others to be special event planners as well.  If you want to get started learning today about how to be an event planner, click here for more information.

About the Author: Jorge Zurita is a Special Event Producer & Consultant. He is the founder and owner of the SARAO Special Event Design, Planning & Production Company. SARAO is an industry leader that has worked with Fortune 500 companies as well as clients including Sony, DuPont, American Express, and Microsoft. Zurita is dedicated to assisting those seeking to enter the world of special event planning through a variety of resources including his 210-page book “How to Become a Successful Event Planner,” a comprehensive educational program entitled “Always Great Events,” as well as the Event Planning Masters initiative. He is also available for speaking engagements; interested parties can contact info@sarao.com.mx.

Visit his company website at: http://www.sarao.com.mx for information and sign-up for a free online magazine with articles, trends and ideas for the special event and hospitality industry. Discover hip decor tips, tested team building strategies and a series of event videos, as well as news on event planning, free advice, the latest communication resources on the market and much more! Visit http://www.JorgeZurita.com today.

Stay Tuned…

My partner and I will be attending the Bridal Expo in New York on Saturday.  Stay tuned for highlights! #excited!


2.5 million people get married every year

• The most popular months for weddings are June, August, September and October

• The average age of a first-time bride is 26; the groom is 28

• More than 115,000 weddings are officiated in Las Vegas every year

• More than 20,000 weddings are performed in Hawaii each year

• The average wedding has 186 guests

• The average cost of a wedding is around $16,500 – $20,000 (not including rings and honeymoon) – for the average wedding with 186 guests, that’s $88.70 – $107.53 per person!

• Wedding Receptions can top $8,000 – $12,000, with a sit-down dinner

• The average cost of an all-appetizer cocktail reception is $4.55 per person for hors d’oeuvres

• The average person eats seven (7) appetizers per cocktail reception

• A cocktail reception should last 45-60 minutes

• Canapés are tidbits served on a “bread” foundation, such as toast, crackers, puff or
flaky pastry

• An hors d’oeuvre should be eaten in 1-2 bites

• A bottle of wine serves six (6) glasses – plan on 3-4 drinks per person, per hour

• A champagne cork exits the bottle at 38-40 mph!

• American’s love hot dogs and eat more than 16 billion per year – yes, they are okay to serve at an upscale party, just dress them up, such as Franks in a Blanket

• According to the USDA, Americans waste almost 25 percent of all of the food produced in the U.S. each year – plan your wedding reception carefully to minimize waste and donate extra party food to a local food bank

• Plan a theme wedding reception – the most popular forms of entertaining are:
– Barbecues or cookout parties – 42%
– Dinner parties – 26.9%
– Cocktail parties – 9.6%

• A Fête is a cocktail party in honor of someone

• A Soirée is a very elegant “coat and tie” affair

• The typical hors d’oeuvre has only 30-75 calories each

• According to James Beard who is recognized as the father of American gastronomy and who penned the first major cookbook devoted to hors d’oeuvres in 1940, hors d’oeuvre means “outside the work … or meal.”

Event Planning Made Easy

Event Planning Made Easy

These are some things you need to consider when planning an event:


Who is your target audience–members of your group, the general public, the media, or some combination? What are their interests, needs, and any special considerations you need to keep in mind when you plan a program for them?

Who is available to help plan and put on the event?


What specific content or kind of event do you want to put on?

What do you want the event to accomplish for the participants?

What do you want the event to accomplish for your organization?

What is the event you have in mind going to cost? (You will want to prepare a detailed budget, including all speakers and performers’ fees, food and lodging, transportation, equipment and facility rentals, materials, publicity, printing, postage, and any other anticipated costs.)

What resources (money, materials, facilities, etc.) do you have to work with?

Are there any sources that might be able to help you with money or material assistance?


When is a good time to hold the event so it will be accessible to the most people?

Are there any conflicting events, holidays, or other things you need to schedule around?

How much lead time do you need to schedule facilities, get publicity out, arrange for speakers, performers, etc., and acquire necessary materials and services?


Is your facility easy to find and easy to get to for most people?

Is it accessible for people with disabilities?

Does it have the equipment and services you need?

Those pesky details…

Timing–It’s a good idea to work out a timeline when you start, so that everyone understands what has to be done when and how their part fits into the whole.

Publicity–What is the best means of reaching your target audience? What publications do they read, and can you afford to advertise there? Where do they go regularly that you can post flyers? Can you borrow or buy a mailing list, or include a flyer in someone else’s mailing?

Money–Is there anyone who might co-sponsor your event and lend financial (or other) support? Will cash flow be a problem (that is, will you need to pay for things before the anticipated income comes in?), and is there someone who can loan you startup costs?

Follow-up–After the dust settles, it’s important to get together with your group and evaluate the event. What went well? What would you want to make sure to do again the same way next time? What could have gone better? What would you recommend doing different in the future? Write it all down for future members’ reference. Don’t forget to give yourselves the appreciation you deserve for a job well done!