What Does an Event Planner Do?

An event planner coordinates the logistical and operational aspects of events and meetings. Whether they are public celebrations or private affairs, professional event planners must manage every phase of the experience. Continue reading for a career profile and information on becoming an event planner. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Duties Overview

Event planners arrange and coordinate meetings and special events, such as weddings, parties, political rallies, corporate gatherings and fundraisers. They organize budgets, setup accommodations and other logistics. Specific tasks depend on several factors, including the type and size of the event, and the planner's experience and education.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Communication, interpersonal, negotiation, problem-solving, organizational, and interpersonal skills; composure
Similar Occupations Food service manager, lodging manager, travel agent, administrative services manager
Work Environment Offices and on-site locations

Duty Categories

Many planners specialize in one or two types of events, especially those who are self-employed. Entry-level planners may focus solely on the logistics, while senior planners may coordinate all the resources actually needed to carry out an event. Their duties usually fall under the following categories:

  • Research: Planners must conduct the required research, establish expected outcomes and produce outlines of events, including attendees, participants or contributors. This is where the logistics and organizational needs are determined along with the necessary resources required to create the final event.
  • Development: Coordinators must visualize and make an evaluation of the scale needed to meet the objectives and determine what elements will supply the characteristics of the desired event.
  • Coordination: This phase may include locating a site, catering, decorations, entertainment, travel arrangements and accommodations.
  • Supervision: Vendors, volunteers, and staff will need to be coordinated and supervised.
  • Evaluation: This involves answering the questions regarding the delivery of the final production.


Aside from completing a degree program in event planning, hospitality management or a related field, many individuals pursue certification for career advancement. Certificate programs in event planning may be focused on a specific aspect of the field, such as corporate event planning or special event planning. Individuals who have a relevant bachelor's degree might attain formal event planning training through a professional certificate program. Coursework in an event planning certificate or degree program can include financial management, contracts, negotiation, human resource management, audio/visual equipment, food and beverage planning, on-site management and site selection. Programs may also include an internship or other supervised practical training.

Salary Information & Job Outlook

The job prospects for event, meeting and convention planners are excellent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts job growth of 10% from 2014-2024. Also listed by the BLS, the median annual salary of event planners was $46,490 in 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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