Tips for Motivating Unpaid Interns

Wedding planners, you know as well as we do how beneficial it is to have interns on your team.  They help you:

  • multiply your efforts
  • bring new and fresh ideas to the table
  • are a great way to give back to the events industry by mentoring the next generation of planners.
  • …and well, we’ve also explained why they’re NOT a pain in the ass.

Most times, interns for wedding planning firms are unpaid…so if they aren’t doing it for the money, why do they stick around?   What motivates them?

Don’t worry though, your superhero friends over at The Apprentice Program can answer these questions!

Check out our tips on motivating your interns, that’ll ensure your team is firing on all cylinders and helping you produce more weddings like this…

Horseshoe Bay & Resort wedding

photo credit: Matt Montalvo Photography, wedding planner: The Simplifiers

Though I’m sure not many interns would turn down financial compensation, it is important to remember the real reason they have decided to intern with a company like yours:


As long as they are gaining something from the internship (whether it’s for money or knowledge), interns are more likely to remain motivated.

This means that our tips for motivating interns can be summed up nicely with just one bullet point:
  • reward them with KNOWLEDGE gained through completing meaningful tasks

Some interns have their potential wasted on admin jobs and making cups of coffee. This isn’t beneficial for them or YOU. In order for them to gain the real-world experience interns crave, it’s important to have a properly structured training program in place.

Empower them.

Giving interns meaningful work results in them feeling empowered with the responsibility they are given and teaches them skills and techniques that they can use throughout their career. Though it’s important to not just throw them in at the deep end. We saw interns state this problem time and time again when we undertook our own research back in April this year:

“The biggest frustrations came with a lack of guidelines and not having a set training process – I just got thrown in and was told to go with it!”

no training = disaster

But when it goes right, delegating such tasks means that your interns are rewarded with responsibility and experience. As well as this, their performance and improvement can be measured, important when considering what tasks to delegate in the future.

Take a look at our Empower Them blog post series if you’re stuck for a ideas of tasks to delegate to your interns.

For a fully structured training solution, The Apprentice Program provides your interns with 6-weeks of onboarding training that includes:

  • training videos

  • homework missions

  • report cards

  • live support for the CEO

All for just $75/intern!  Apply today to secure your place for your Fall interns.

Get started now.

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