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About Our Program

This 90-hour certificate program provides students with the process of planning, marketing, implementing and evaluating the outcome of all types of events within the industry—social (weddings), corporate, nonprofit fundraising, educational and celebratory themed special events.

Students will gain the required knowledge and skills to succeed in this rapidly growing and rewarding global industry. A variety of teaching methods are used, including classroom group projects, guest lectures, and field trips. Internship opportunities are available throughout the year to expose and prepare students. This program is ideal for those who are currently working in the industry, are looking to gain knowledge to start a career in event planning or desire to start their own event planning business.

Courses must be taken in sequential order
Fall CoursesSpring Courses
  • Career Essentials of Event Management
  • Foundations of Event Planning
  • Event Marketing
  • Event Design & Decor
  • Event Production and Logistics
  • Event Management and Leadership
  • Fall Courses

    • Career Essentials of Event Management
      The introductory course explores the various career opportunities in the field of event planning and the skills necessary to enter and succeed in the field.
    • Foundations of Event Planning
      This course examines the many skills event planners are called on to use during the process of executing an event. The course will also examine some common types of events that require the skills of a professional planner.
    • Event Marketing
      This course will explore various marketing tools – from the traditional to the emerging – to successfully promote an event. It will also cover the role of marketing in the event life cycle, demonstrating the best use of marketing tactics while utilizing evaluation techniques to measure a successful outcome.
  • Spring Courses

    • Event Design & Décor
      This course will examine the process of identifying client needs and preferences, researching design options and creating unique decor elements to support the events goals and objectives. Students will learn how important the design phase process is, using the talent and skills of internal and external team members.
    • Event Production and Logistics
      This course will cover the many steps a planner must take to ensure the event goals and objectives are reached in a creative, unique and successful manner utilizing lighting, staging, audiovisual and entertainment elements
    • Event Management and Leadership
      In this course, students will gain insight into the skills needed to be successful in a leadership role. This course will also examine the responsibility of event leaders to address environmental issues (Green Events), ethics, risk analysis and quality of events (Service Management.)

Certificate of Completion

A certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of all six courses. Courses must be taken in sequential order.

About Our Instructor

Professor Karen Salhaney Smizer is a recognized and highly creative professional with over 20 years of experience in event & marketing management, corporate sponsorships, and nonprofit development. Since 2008, Karen has thoroughly enjoyed sharing her knowledge so that her students can develop critical skills and first hand industry experience so to confidently step out into the event-planning world.  She has helped create many strong industry partnerships in the Boston area for the benefit of the Event Planning program and its students.

Co-founding Event Avenue, LLC, an event and meeting management firm, she produced award winning industry expos & conferences, corporate meetings, galas, weddings, sporting tournaments, and fundraising events throughout the country.

While earning her Masters with a focus on Nonprofit Management from Eastern University, she served as the Senior Director of Development & Special Events for a nonprofit organization where she directed over 25 events and marketing initiatives annually, raising millions.  She’s known for her innovative vision, a “can do” attitude and a knack for building team camaraderie and developing long lasting relationships.

She remains active in her community by serving in leadership roles for various nonprofits and has served on the board of her Alma Mater, Emmanuel College in Boston.  She continues to help develop the next generation of event and meeting professionals through mentoring and frequent speaking engagements, which have included Associated Fundraising Professionals International Special Events Society, schools and organizations.

In 2015, her students were awarded with the Best Event Table Design with the International Special Events Society of New England.