Wow, What a Great Event!

Wow, What a Great Event!

Learn proven techniques for planning successful events from a master event planner. This course will teach you how to develop the skills, find the resources, and gain the confidence to plan any event.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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Are you planning a special event and could use some helpful advice? Considering event planning as a future career? Curious about what other event planners are doing? Need new ideas and resources? This event planning course has all that and more!

Discover how all the pieces in the event planning process fit together to make any size or type of event successful, whether it's for your family or friends, your employer, or your favorite charity. You'll learn about themes, venues, menus, entertainment, décor, and much, much more. You will develop skills, find resources, and gain confidence to plan any event. You'll gain access to event industry information compiled by and for event industry professionals. You'll be so excited with your newly gained confidence and expertise that you'll want to start planning your next event even before this course is over!

Enrollment Options:
6 Weeks Access Course Code: wge
Start Dates*Aug 17
*Choose start date in cart
$100.00 USD
3 Months Access Course Code: T9749
No Instructor, Start Anytime
$100.00 USD


No matter what you need or hope to accomplish, you'll inevitably need to plan it first. How many times can you recall being in a quandary and needing some direction? You'll get that direction after you read this first lesson! This lesson will lay out a step-by-step approach for event planning that's simple, straightforward, and works every time.

You're surrounded by themes in your daily life. If you're a fashionista who follows all the latest fashion trends, there's likely a theme to your seasonal wardrobe. When you watch the home improvement shows on cable television, you learn how to create a theme that dominates your home decor. If you garden, you know that the selection and arrangement of your flowers, shrubs, statuary, and outdoor furniture will result in a theme. In this lesson, you'll learn when to use and when to avoid a theme at your events. Then, the lesson will discuss how to bring your theme to life using all of your senses. You'll conclude the lesson by looking at two theme examples to help spark your own creativity.

In this lesson, you'll find out why there's a lot more to selecting a site than booking your neighborhood hotel or banquet hall. Location, location, and location are the three key words everyone uses when talking about any kind of real estate. An event site is a unique type of real estate and an important part of your event's success. In this lesson, you'll categorize various types of event sites and look at some criteria that will ultimately help you make your site selection.

Now that you know which site you'll use for your event, it's time to get out your pencil and paper and start planning how you'll use the space. In this lesson, you'll learn which site diagrams you'll need, how to develop a room layout, and which sketches you'll want to request or create yourself. The lesson will teach you how to walk through your site and make observations, noting everything that will be a potential help or hindrance to you, your guests, and your event.

Have a snack and a beverage at your side while you read this lesson, because this extensive discussion about the selection and serving of food and beverages will likely spur your appetite! It may also help you recall memorable meals that you've enjoyed in the past, or help you conjure up ideas about fancy foods that you'll want to feature at your next party. You'll refer to this lesson long after you've finished the course!

Entertainment is a key component of most any event. There are many potential resources to go to for entertainment, but you have to know where to look. This lesson is chock-full of valuable entertainment source information for novice event planners and experienced professionals alike.

Developing a decorating theme for your event can help you free your inhibitions and let your creative juices flow. If anything provides a limitation, it's usually the budget. But even then, you can beg, borrow, or buy at a discount to make your big ideas come to life! This lesson will show you how to do that. You'll also pay special attention to color and special lighting that will make your events eye-popping. This lesson may end up being your favorite one because of how fun it is to decorate a space for a party or event!

In this lesson, you'll examine corporate sponsorships, which are proliferating and are an important means of covering the major costs of many events, maybe even some of yours. If you're not a fundraising professional, don't think that this lesson isn't for you. While the lesson will discuss donations and grants, it also talks about a lot more.

Ever worry that you'll go through all the trouble of throwing a grand event but no one attends? If you follow the advice you'll read in this lesson, you can almost ensure that you'll avoid that problem. In this lesson, you'll look at all the different modes of promoting your event, including word-of-mouth, print, electronic media, and media relations.

Few hosts can handle all the little details of their events completely alone. You'll almost always need some help—sometimes quite a lot of help. But, as you'll discover in this lesson, you can hire anything from a small team to a large committee to help you with your own event. After the lesson talks about who these people are and how they can assist you, you'll gain some insight into how to get the most out of their help and learn how to avoid the worst problems in personnel matters.

Evaluating your events soon after they're completed is a great way to learn from your mistakes. How better to visualize the best way to proceed with your future events? In this lesson, you'll learn what to look at and who to consult as you do your own examination and evaluation. The lesson will also discuss surveys and focus groups.

If you truly enjoy creating special events, you'll want to continue your education—formally or informally—and widen your circle of professional colleagues once you complete this course. In this lesson, you'll learn many ways that you can do both!



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Cynthia Grzelak is an independent public relations and marketing consultant who works with corporations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and industry associations. She has created and coordinated hundreds of events, ranging from small meetings to large and highly public corporate and charity galas. She created "Wow, What a Great Event!" to make the professional event planning training and resources available to others who share her passion for events.


Excellent course. I learned a lot and feel that I am now ready to start my own business as an event planner. The lessons are just the right length (not too long!) and the material is something that you will have with you forever. Thank you so much!

I checked out quite a few of the web-sites and since I'm getting married I really enjoyed the information about the bridal consultants. The different ideas from each site will be very useful now and for future events. Thanks for the wonderful resources you have provided throughout the weeks and thanks for a fabulous course-I've never had so much fun.

I enjoyed the class very much. It helped me to think on a whole new realm of event planning. I saw how I could have had greater success in events I had in the past. So many areas were covered that I hadn't even thought about.

I enjoyed the course. It was very timely since I am currently planning my daughter's wedding. I was able to put some of this knowledge to practical use almost immediately.

I found the instructor to be very detailed and precise with all of her information. The assignments were interesting and I enjoyed learning from her real life experiences - good and bad! She kept me interested and hooked to the very end of the course.

I have been a volunteer event planner for almost three decades. It has been of great help to learn how to do things the right way, versus trial and error. I thoroughly enjoyed this course!

I highly recommend this course to anyone who plans special events. I have received such useful information and can end the course feeling accomplished and prepared to enter the field with a great understanding and skill. The instructor responses were always timely and helpful. Thanks for this oportunity to learn.

I learned more in this online class than I did in my graduate level courses in both event planning and nonprofit management. The depth of this class has been much more than I expected. I have a large notebook of resources, websites and targeted lessons to refer to again and again. I'm a happy camper!

I thoroughly enjoyed this class. I decided to take this class based upon my love of event planning. I work in another occupation and volunteer a great deal and find great reward in event planning. This class has taken my skills to the next level. Thank you.

Taking this course has shown me how to truly have a great event for the non-profit organization I am involved with. Thank you.