Event Planning Course Curriculum Details

Penn Foster’s online event planning course includes four sections of valuable training for you to build essential event planning skills. Course topics include Foundations of Event Planning, Types of Events, and more.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To help provide students with the knowledge and skills required to be a professional event planner, as well as the basic business and self-employment skills necessary to operate an event planning business.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Outline the role of the event planner and explain the importance of the interview process in determining the budget, size, and style of events.
  • Identify the various events associated with event planning, including birthdays, silent auctions, religious celebrations, and showers, and describe the processes that must be followed to successfully schedule and plan these events.
  • Describe the responsibilities associated with planning and organizing an event, including working with vendors and selecting venues.
  • Summarize the important business considerations involved in running an event planning business, such as financial management, business planning, marketing, and staff considerations.

In this course, you’ll develop the foundational skills to help you gain success in the program. You’ll learn how you can improve your study skills, so you’re able to use a number of tools that will help you to enter the professional world.


  • Identify skills needed to be a confident and independent online learner

In this course, you’ll study the role of the event planner as well as the typical services that they provide. It’s important to understand how to evaluate your business idea and set yourself apart from the competition. You’ll examine the importance of professionalism and manners and how to contract with clients and vendors. Finally, you’ll cover typical event styles and themes, event marketing and promotion, and ways of organizing and controlling events.


  • Evaluate whether your business idea is lean enough.
  • Study new ways to explore the business activities of your competitors to your advantage.
  • Understand the reasons for doing market testing designed to fail fast.
  • Describe the difference between investment funding and donation funding.
  • Evaluate which qualities of an entrepreneur you already possess.
  • Explain the difference between crowdfunding and angel investors.
  • Define the term event planning.
  • Recognize the different types of event planners.
  • Identify the various roles necessary for planning an event.
  • Summarize the difference between the terms certificate and certification.
  • Identify and distinguish among the three categories of event planning.
  • Explain the differences among the various ways event planners may bill for their services.
  • Recognize the importance of professionalism when meeting with a potential client.
  • Recognize the importance of a written proposal and the key items that should be included in a proposal.
  • Identify the steps to follow in the closing meeting.
  • Explain the importance of comprehending the event budget, the event size, and the event style.
  • Identify the parts of a contract that can be negotiated before it’s finalized.
  • Understand your role in walking the client through the development of the budget.
  • Comprehend the importance of having event insurance and liability.
  • Recognize why the timeline is important to the success of the event.
  • Explain the difference between style and theme.
  • Recognize how the storyboard can aid in creating the vision for the event.
  • Identify the importance of the connection between a team and a successful event.
  • Recognize the importance of the client’s review.

In this course, you’ll study the event planner’s role in determining the guest list, securing a venue, and sending invitations. Documentation and record keeping is extremely important. You’ll discover the different types of vendors that event planners work with and learn about finding and interviewing appropriate vendors for events, reviewing samples of work, asking for references, and saying thank you. The budget is another critical part of the event business. This section covers the menu, the registry, and methods for receiving and safeguarding gifts during events.


  • Identify the planner’s role in developing the guest list.
  • Explain how the guest list drives the budget.
  • Describe the process for selecting a venue.
  • Outline the steps involved in implementing a plan of action for an event.
  • Explain the importance of event record keeping.
  • Explain the selection and timing needed to “get the word out” about the event.
  • Summarize the process of developing and implementing an event schedule.
  • Summarize the steps in finding vendors.
  • Describe the importance of vendor references.
  • Explain why it’s important to build rapport with vendors.
  • Describe why it’s important for you to say, “thank you”.
  • Describe the importance of the timeline in the vendor-hire process.
  • Explain how to select flowers for different occasions.
  • Outline the importance of the budget in the selection of food and beverages.
  • Summarize the role played by photography in documenting an event.
  • Describe why good record keeping is important when receiving gifts.

In this course, you’ll study organizing fundraising events, dealing with host committees and sponsors, and planning live auctions. This section covers planning for early life events, including baby showers, B’rit Milah, B’rit Bat, baptisms, christenings, and dedications. You’ll study planning for other life events and rituals, including Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, quinceañeras, anniversary parties, and birthday parties, including sweet sixteen parties. Finally, you’ll discover things to consider when selecting destination locations, including popular destinations, planning and budgeting, legal requirements, and important travel tips for clients.


  • Describe the mechanics involved in planning a fundraiser.
  • Explain how you can utilize pro bono work to get your name out there.
  • List and define the three primary types of organizations.
  • Describe the importance of sponsors in fundraising.
  • Summarize social media’s role in a fundraising plan.
  • Explain how creativity can be advantageous in planning fundraisers.
  • Identify and describe different types of early life events.
  • Summarize the complexity involved in shower events.
  • Identify and describe the first life events of the Jewish faith.
  • Identify and describe the Christian baptismal ceremony.
  • Describe the differences between “baptism” and “christening”.
  • Identify and describe cultural reasons for rituals.
  • Summarize three major rituals.
  • Compare a quinceañera to a sweet sixteen.
  • Describe the religious significance of Jewish and Catholic rituals.
  • Describe the complex planning involved in coming-of-age rituals.
  • Identify other parties that are part of life’s cycle.
  • Describe the importance of establishing connections with other local planners as well as vendors.
  • Identify popular locations for destination events.
  • Summarize the procedure for selecting a destination location.
  • Identify the steps in planning a destination event.
  • Explain how to develop a destination package for a client.

In this course, you’ll study how to start and run a successful business. You’ll examine the business plan, researching other event planning businesses, and the importance of business etiquette and protocol. You’ll discover the importance of marketing and networking, including social media and other online tools; you’ll also learn about hiring reliable assistants. Finally, you’ll complete a project-based assignment to demonstrate the strength of your writing skills as well as the development of contracts, timelines, and other important written documentation.


  • Explain why you should start your own business.
  • Describe the qualities of a successful event planner.
  • Outline the steps needed to start and grow an event planning business.
  • Describe the benefits of continuing education.
  • Explain why you should — and shouldn’t — give your services away for free.
  • Describe the importance of networking and marketing.
  • Explain how important an assistant can be to your success.
  • Explain the role of the Internet and social media for business operations and marketing.
  • Outline how to build and market a website.
  • Demonstrate what you’ve learned in this program.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze a variety of event planning scenarios and develop appropriate courses of action for each.
  • Demonstrate the strength of your writing skills. Remember, as an event planner, you’ll be in constant written communication with different people in a variety of ways—through email and social media tools, as well as via the development of contracts, timelines, and other written documentation. 

Additional Details

  • Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Penn Foster College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

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A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.

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Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, access to a word processing program to complete written assignments, and an email account to complete this program with Penn Foster.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
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