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Event planner

Michele Carrizales
What is your Occupation?
Owner of MorLina Events and Event Planner

About yourself
I started in the event planning industry in 2001 after I decided to leave the corporate world while pregnant with our 2nd child. I worked for an event planning company where I assisted with events and achieved knowledge and hands on experience. I was soon offered an opportunity to work for a One-Stop Shop Event Planning Company where I coordinated my own weddings/events as one of their main event coordinators. I started receiving referrals from events I had coordinated in the past requesting me as their coordinator. I also was the Fashion Show Producer and assisted with marketing for the Bridal Show Company, Show Bride and was the Publisher for a California based publication we brought to the area, The Wedding and Special Event Yellow Pages while coordinating events. What encouraged me to move forward with MorLina Events is when a new bride had contacted me via Facebook August 2010 asking if I remembered her and said I had coordinated her friends’ wedding which was on October 12, 2002 that she attended. She said she had just got engaged and I was the first person she wanted to contact to ask if I can help her plan and coordinate her wedding. I believed this was a sign from above to finally move forward with my company, as many had told to me to do through the years. We celebrated her beautiful event on May 7, 2011.

MorLina Events provides Full and Partial Event planning and coordinating services for various events nationwide. We provide a stress free successful event with “No Worries” for weddings, social events and corporate events. My passion for helping others and the love of helping create an event to remember for a lifetime, is what inspired me to open up my own business, MorLina Events.

How did I get here you may wonder, and how can you pursue this dream career? It didn’t happen overnight. With a lot of learning opportunities, industry knowledge, networking, hands on experience, and attention to detail with event planning will definitely bring you great opportunities to work in this field and eventually owning your own business like I have did.

Learning Opportunities
In order to be successful in this industry, it is very important to pursue various learning opportunities that come your way, start an internship with companies in your area, where you would assist in the day of the event coordination, or work as an office assistant. Interning is a great way to get your foot in the door. In my company, I have hired many interns who are either interested in a career in this field, or want to supplement their college courses in Hospitality and Management or other relevant degrees. Additionally, these internships can turn into part/full time jobs for students, who will soon enter the workplace. Other great learning opportunities can assist you in developing your event planning skill set, such as volunteering for local charities and businesses holding special events.

Industry Knowledge
Getting a degree in the field of Meeting and Event Planning is a great decision for anyone interested in this field. There are many various degrees and/or certifications to pursue, such as a certification in Meeting and Event Planning, an associate’s degree in Meeting and Event Planning, and even further your educational goals and obtain a Bachelor Degree in Hospitality Administration and Management, Tourism and Travel Management, and even pursue a degree in Business Administration and Management. However, nothing beats obtaining the best Industry knowledge than learning directly from local business owners and even famous Event Planners in the World. This can be achieved by investing your time and money in attending pertinent conventions and seminars. Personally, I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting one of my loves in the world of event planning, Mr. David Tutera, the Entertaining Expert in the World, I attended two of David Tutera’s events. In addition, I was also honored to meet Preston Bailey, celebrity event planner, as well as Randy Fenoli, from the hit TV show, “Say Yes to The Dress!” These are just a few important industry role models I enjoyeded meeting to in the last few years.

I always say that I cannot take full credit for the success of all of my events, without the involvement of special key players, and these people are known in the industry as Vendors. Event vendors aka Friendors help us, event planners, create a memorable party! I take it personally in investing my time and energy to supporting fellow members of the Event Planning Industry. In order to achieve this, I ensured that I am members of association and currently on the Board of ILEA, International Live Event Association and networking events. It is important to build a strong professional and personal relationship with these vendors. At networking events, you are there to represent yourself, your business or the business you work for, so that you can build a network of vendors you can use to support your events. This in turn will help support their businesses and you can trust their services and in turn trust that your event will turn out to be a success. This will bring you more clients through word of mouth referrals, as well as help your fellow vendors business flourish. Networking is definitely an essential key to being a success in this field.

Hands-On Experience
Nothing is more important than obtaining hands-on experience in the Event Planning Industry. You can learn from books, or watch others plan events, but you will not learn unless you put yourself in a position of learning by on hands experience. Some people who observe this industry, think it is easy to coordinate an event from the beginning to the end. However, these same people do not know what it actually takes. Without having to overwhelm you with too much detail, here is just a sample of what to expect in working in this industry. From day one, you get a referral from a previous bride, or from a fellow vendor, or someone who did research and found your business a great fit, you then will need to put your business owner hat do conduct a consultation. You will need to assess the needs of the clients, specifications for the event, talk about budget and various other important aspects to the event. Once a prospective client hires you, then you move to the start of planning the event immediately whether their event is a couples or a year or more later. These will include numerous meetings, vendor meetings, site tours, dress and suit fittings, food and cake tasting, and many more. People not acclimated to this field, think that everyone shows up on the day of the event, and presto, you have a wedding! But there is just much more involved, it requires someone who is experienced, is great with details.and ready to do alot of work prior.

Passion for Details and Event Planning
The latter description led to the most important aspect of them all. In order to achieve true success in this industry, you have to be a special kind of person. You have to truly have a passion to help others. Because in a nutshell, this is not about what you want in an event, it is about creating the most important day that your client has envisioned, and making their dream wedding or event come to live. That is why it takes a person, with the talent of bringing in the right vendor and add a special touch to create a successful event. Time, Work, Care and Details...are what you need to be willing to do for this industry. The ones interested in this field needs to strive to allocate time in working to provide a no worries experience for your clients, develop business relationships with industry vendors, attention to detail during the planning that ensures the event itinerary or timeline is met with much precision, this will an ensure a "No worries" event experience.

I am ready to be a great mentor and learning tool for your success.To learn more about the field of Event Planning or how I can help you get your foot in the door, please connect with me at the following:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 757-724-3274