Types of Events

There are many different types of events. The type of position you look for as an event planner will dictate the specific events you will be working with. For an event planner of a party planning company, you will have the largest range of events to work with. As an event planner of a corporation, hospital, or university, your experience will be limited to the specific needs of each organization. When you choose to work for a foundation as an event planner, your skills may be utilized for an annual gala. Once you have narrowed your search to the types of events you are interested in, deciding your career path will be much easier.


A wedding is a union between two people who wish to spend their lives together. It is customary to celebrate the union with a celebration among family and friends. A wedding can be small with just two people plus a person to officiate the ceremony such as a priest, rabbi, justice of the peace, or minister. In some states it is legal for a friend or relative to be ordained for one day to perform a wedding ceremony.

Weddings can also be enormous, elaborate events involving a few hundred people or more. The average wedding in this country has two hundred people on its guest list. Weddings are as unique as the couples getting married. As a wedding planner, you must be open to new ideas as well as be familiar with traditional wedding customs of different ethnicities.


Gala events take place at large venues and often involve a few hundred guests. The occasion for a gala may be to celebrate milestone events such as anniversaries or birthdays or to raise money for various causes. The menu varies from cocktail-party fare to a multi-course-dinner. Cocktail or formal attire is required for a gala.

There are many different ways you can be involved in galas as an event planner — working for a nonprofit company and planning its fundraising event; as an event planner for a banquet hall, restaurant, or hotel; or as a planner for a catering company. Chances are as an event planner a gala or two will cross your path in your career.

Large Casual Events

A large casual event is a business or casual gathering involving at least one hundred guests. These events are less formal than galas and take place in the afternoon as well as the evening. A large casual event can be a company picnic, bar or bat mitzvah, or a family reunion. In some cases, children are included on the guest list, which involves diversifying the menu and entertainment.

You will most likely work a large casual event if the venue you are working for is popular among families. A catering manager is a good career choice if casual events interest you. Event-planning companies are also experienced in planning large casual events.

Corporate Events and Dinners

In recent years, many corporations have elected to hire in-house event planners. In this position, you would be responsible for planning meetings, scheduling in-house catering, and coordinating dinners with clients. Any large off-site employee or client event, such as a holiday party, would fall in your domain. As a corporate event planner, you may also be responsible for arranging travel and expense accounts for employees.


Many of these events will pique your interest as you consider the field of event planning. Keep in mind your lifestyle, personality, and skills when considering where to concentrate in this industry. You will benefit more from carefully choosing your specialty and will create a sustainable career in the process.

The job description of a corporate event planner or meeting planner is the same in a university or medical setting. Event planners in the hotel and restaurant industry usually form strong relationships with corporate planners. While you may decide to not work for a corporation, it is beneficial for you to familiarize yourself with the position. Whether you decide to work in catering, restaurants, or fundraising, booking corporate events regularly can be lucrative.

Intimate Dinners

An intimate dinner can be held in a private residence or the private room of a restaurant or hotel. Thirty guests or less meets the requirement for an intimate dinner. Dinner can be casual or formal and involves at minimum a three-course meal. Guests can range from family members to clients to colleagues. Hired servers for an intimate dinner should adhere to proper serving etiquette, even in a casual setting.

Private dining rooms in restaurants and hotels are used frequently by members of the corporate, collegiate, and medical communities. While the restaurant and hotel industry plans the bulk of intimate dinners, it is possible you will see a fair amount of intimate dinners while employed by a catering company or personal chef.

Cocktail Parties

A cocktail party takes place during evening hours, and it can work well at a wedding, gala, business, or social event. Various venues can fit such a party since the guest list can span from a handful of guests to a thousand. A typical cocktail party provides seating for about half the guests and serves a menu of passed hors d'oeuvres and appetizers with some stationary items.

  1. Home
  2. Being an Event Planner
  3. How Events Are Born
  4. Types of Events
Visit other About.com sites: