Event Planning

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.

Certificate of Completion

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

Fall Semester:

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. This is the first course of a six-course certification program. Courses must be taken in sequential order. Certificates issued to students who successfully complete all six courses. 

CRN: 16623 / Course: CSBU150-B2
Dates: 9/10/2019 - 10/8/2019
Day(s): Tuesday
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Campus: Brockton
Room: B223
Cost: $209
Register for this Course

Foundations of Event Planning

Foundations of Event Planning 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. 

CRN: 16624 / Course: CSBU151-B2
Dates: 10/15/2019 - 11/12/2019
Day(s): Tuesday
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Campus: Brockton
Room: B223
Cost: $209
Register for this Course

Event Marketing

Event Marketing 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.

CRN: 16625 / Course: CSBU152-B2
Dates: 11/19/2019 - 12/17/2019
Day(s): Tuesday
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Campus: Brockton
Room: B223
Cost: $209
Register for this Course

Standout Student

Marisa Hurst

Out of all her responsibilities working at a local real estate company, Marisa Hurst got most excited about planning company events and meals.  She loved researching and presenting options and negotiating prices with prospective vendors.  It was this passion that led Marisa to register for the Event Planning Certificate program at Massasoit Community College.  “I didn’t wait.  I just did it”, said Marisa about her decision to sign up for the program.

Having earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management, Marisa wanted to combine a love for planning events with her business skills.  Event Planning Instructor, Karen Salhaney Smizer, encouraged Marisa and her classmates to gain as much exposure as possible.  Marisa accomplished this by volunteering and aggressively networking within the industry.  That exposure, she recalls, made a big difference for her.  Since graduating from the Event Planning program, Marisa is actively interviewing for event planning positions. 

As she considers her long-term career goals, Marisa hopes to become an entrepreneur, owning an event planning company or a venue to host events.  For now, she looks forward to learning the ropes and gaining hands-on experience.  She encourages those considering the program to sign up.  “Definitely do it!  I signed up on a whim.  I never thought all these awesome opportunities would come into play."

Spring Semester:

Event Design and Decor

Event Design and Decor 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

Event Production and Logistics 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 Event Management and Leadership, 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).


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. 

Withdrawal and Refund Information

You must complete and submit in person a withdrawal form, which is available at any of our locations. Withdrawals before the start of the first class are granted a 100% refund. Withdrawals after the first class are refunded 0-50% depending on the length of the course.

Certain courses may be cancelled due to low registration. Enrolled students will be notified as soon as cancellation decisions are made. A full refund will be provided to students who have enrolled in a class that has been cancelled by Massasoit Community College.

Parking Decals

There are designated parking lots available for students; however, a parking decal is required. If you do not have a decal, visit the Massasoit campus police with your driver’s license, car registration and proof of course registration to complete a form and obtain your decal.


For additional information about this program, please contact Kelley Tilden or call 508-588-9100 x1310.

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