Events Coordinator: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an event coordinator. Learn about job duties, education requirements, job outlook, and salary to find out if 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 manage all aspects of professional and nonprofessional events. They meet with their clients to discuss the goals and preferences for the event. Event coordinators then get to work to plan every detail, including the time, cost and location of the event. They are responsible for booking the location and working with the venue's staff and vendors to provide the necessary services for the event. Event coordinators must also handle the bills and ensure the event stays within budget. These professionals will run all of the logistics of the event the day of and make sure that everything meets their clients' expectations. The table below outlines the general requirements to become an event coordinator.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Marketing, public relations, communications, business, hospitality management
Key Skills Communication skills, composure, customer service experience, interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, organizational skills, problem-solving skills
Certification Voluntary, may help with career advancement
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10%*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $51,200*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Event Coordinator?

Event coordinators go by numerous titles such as special event planners, meeting planners, convention planners and entertainment managers. As an event coordinator, you'll be responsible for planning, coordinating and executing events for special groups, companies and individuals.

Working in this field is demanding, and you'll be in charge of securing every detail of an event, from the location to invitations for the attendees. You'll also be in charge of handling the finances. Once you're informed about the funds available to you, you'll have to negotiate prices and seek out deals to host a successful event that doesn't go over budget. Additional tasks include ordering the catering service, taking care of decorations, booking entertainment and paying for guest speakers.

How Do I Enter This Field of Work?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many companies prefer that you have a bachelor's degree, but it is not always required. As the field continues to grow, the responsibilities and knowledge needed are growing as well, so a bachelor's degree in public relations, marketing or entertainment management may be helpful.

As it stands now, experience is the biggest component you'll need to work in this field. Most companies and organizations have events they put on throughout the year, so volunteering to spearhead these events can help you gain some experience. Once you are hired as an event coordinator, a majority of your training will be gained on the job; however, there are universities that are starting to offer degrees and courses focusing on the event planning industry.

What Skills Will Help Me Be Successful?

Working in this field requires many skills to do the job well. Some fundamental ones include good written and verbal communication, keen organization, delegation ability, persuasion and negotiation, effective time management and sharp attention to detail. In addition, you'll do better if you are self-motivated, friendly, outgoing and confident.

How Can I Advance With This Career?

Many of the jobs attached to this field consist of the same types of tasks and responsibilities accompanied by a different job title. However, there are ways and opportunities to advance. Experience will still be important, and as you gain more of it, you'll be able to move from smaller organizations, companies and events to larger ones. There are also manager and director positions available to you if you continue to work hard and advance in your skills and abilities.

Besides experience, another way you can earn a promotion is by completing some of the courses and programs offered by universities or gaining special certifications. There are several industry specific groups that offer certificates that enhance your education and reputation, which can help in opening up more doors and opportunity. Finally, with additional practice and knowledge, you can advance your career by taking an entrepreneurial route and establishing your own event planning business.

What Is the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for event coordinators is expected to grow faster than other jobs and increase by about 10% from 2014-2024. However, being that the profession is steadily advancing, you'll have better employment opportunities if you obtain a bachelor's degree. Salary amounts will vary depending on where you're employed, but the BLS reported that the mean annual wage for meeting and convention planners was $51,200 in May 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a couple of related careers that require a bachelor's degree. Fundraisers are professionals whose responsibility it is to raise funds and donations for a particular organization. They may do this through various campaigns and creative fundraising events. They also use the events to inform the public about their organization and increase awareness of the need. Administrative services managers also work for different organizations, but they oversee a company's supportive services. They may plan events, coordinate activities, maintain facilities and more.

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