Event Coordinator: Career Definition, Job Outlook, and Training Requirements

Find out what it takes to become an event coordinator. Learn about the job duties, suggested courses, employment outlook and current average salary to determine whether this is the career for you. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Event Coordinator Do?

Event coordinators plan and execute a variety of events, such as conventions, meetings, concerts, parties and weddings. There are companies that specialize in event management, but a coordinator might also work for a venue, for an industry group or as an independent contractor. Event coordinators are responsible for meeting with clients to determine their desires and expectations for an event, and then overseeing its planning and implementation. This includes choosing venues, setting the date, estimating the cost, reviewing bills, scheduling event services and monitoring client satisfaction. They also work with multiple vendors and staff members to ensure the success of an event.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree recommended
Education Field of Study Marketing, communications, business, hospitality management or public relations
Key Responsibilities Secure venues; handle contracts with venues and other vendors; create schedules; deal with entertainment agents; guarantee placement of food, audio-visual aids, schedules and merchandise
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% (for all meeting, convention and event planners)*
Average Salary (2015) $51,200 per year (for all meeting, convention and event planners)*
$24.62 per hour (for all meeting, convention and event planners)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Event Coordinator?

Event coordinators bring people together for events, concerts, parties, business meetings and conferences. As an event coordinator, you may work for businesses, independent agencies, entertainment agencies, hotels, conference halls or colleges. You'll handle all the details of gatherings to guarantee smooth transitions and desired outcomes for the group in need of your services. If you do your job, you'll improve knowledge and morale among students and business professionals.

Your tasks might include securing meeting sites and venues, creating schedules and handling contracts with merchants and conference halls. Dealing with entertainment agents and guaranteeing that food, audio-visual aids, schedules and merchandise are where they need to be are also among your primary tasks. Depending on the staff you have working under you, you might handle setting up audio-visual equipment, tables, buffets and ticket booths.

What Is the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) you can anticipate an upswing in the employment of event coordinators between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). A growth of 10%, or 9,900 positions, is projected by 2024. In May 2015, the BLS reported the national average salary for event coordinators was $51,200. According to state-level comparisons, event coordinators in the District of Columbia earned the highest average salaries. Industry-level comparisons show companies in the oil and gas industry paid their event coordinators the highest average salaries.

What Education Requirements Do I Need?

Although not required, most employers prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees. Bachelor's degrees are encouraged because the business skills you'll learn will be helpful dealing with complex events and the addition of new technologies. Certificate programs are also available for those who want to advance their skills or learn a different set of skills. You might consider a bachelor's degree program in marketing, communication, business, hospitality management or public relations.

Courses should teach you about accounting, organizational behavior, project planning and fundraising. You may also want classes that teach meeting planning, minute taking and negotiation skills. Other helpful topics include catering, human resource management and tourism. Communication skills are essential for this career, helping you to understand what a client wants and to build professional relationships with businesses.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Travel agents hold a similar occupation to that of an event planner. These professionals need a high school diploma or equivalent to plan transportation, entertainment and lodging for client's trips and vacations. Fundraisers and administrative services managers are a couple of other related careers that require a bachelor's degree. Fundraisers create campaigns designed to solicit donations from individuals and also plan events, such as auctions and dinners, in order to raise funds for an organization. Administrative services managers oversee the day-to-day clerical tasks of a particular organization, including record keeping and office upkeep.

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