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5 Best Practices to Launch Your Event Planning Internships Program

Wouldn’t it be great to have a little extra help, especially with busy season looming in the background? Event planning internships are a proven way to not only teach a newcomer a new event planning skill, but will free up your time to focus on tasks that require more of your time.

Before you post a job opening just yet, consider our best practices in launching event planning internships.

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1. Create a Guide for All New Interns

Depending on what year your intern is, your internship may be their first job in a professional setting. What’s worse is, their college or university may or may not teach classes on professionalism in the workplace (it may be an elective). Take this as an opportunity to teach your intern about the inner workings of the professional environment. What are the working hours or are they flexible?What is the dress code? What are the expectations for your interns on event day?

By getting frequently asked questions out of the way early, you’ll set the standards that your interns will align with during their internship.

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2. Devise a Gameplan for Your Intern

As is the case with planning an event, having a clear plan from the start will help organize what your event intern will be doing during their tenure. For example, you could create milestone tasks that mirror the milestones of an upcoming event so there are time-bound, specific tasks that the intern can accomplish.

When building the plan, be sure to take into account his or her major. For example, if you’ve hired an intern who also happens to be a Marketing major, could you task them with coming up with some social media content to drive ticket sales for your upcoming annual conference? Or, if your intern is a Hospitality and Tourism major, tap into their experience with hotels and bring him or her along to a site visit to assist with planning.

Event planning internships fail due to unclear roles and objectives. Make every task and assignment your intern takes on as an opportunity for learning.

3. Host an Internship Kick-off with Your Interns and Staff

Whether your staff is comprised of just you or 50 other employees, hosting an event planning internship kick off can make them feel like one of the team. Bring your interns into the fold by introducing them to people across departments who help to make your events a success. Knowing the different roles will also help your intern can give them exposure to the variety of roles they can take on, post-graduation.

4. Designate an Intern Manager

Now that your events intern is settled in, you don’t want them to simply be a gopher or a task master. Or worse, continue on with their internship with zero guidance on how to accomplish their internship goals.

With the help of an Intern Manager, they can assist both you and the intern in staying focused. This includes both what you want them to accomplish during their internship and with your company. Your Intern Manager can serve as a point person to ensure your internship is accomplishing what it set out to do.

5. Conduct Intern Exit Interviews

With some planning and a talented pool of interns, they’ve accomplished some great things during their internship. Don’t bid your interns goodbye until you’ve conducted exit interviews with them. This gives you a valuable opportunity to get candid feedback on your program. Since this is your first foray into creating an internship program, creating a feedback loop to improve the program for future intern classes is a great idea. Conducting exit interviews will give you a first-hand account of what interns want more experience with and what to remove from the program.

Since this won’t be a one-way conversation, take the exit interview as an opportunity to provide feedback to your interns. What did they do well or what could improve upon? Share your last round of constructive criticism, suggest areas of improvement they can tackle at their next event planning internship.

Up next, discover five things to know before hiring event staff, and try the easy, free event planning program to plan events with less stress.

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