What Is a Corporate Meeting Planner?

As a corporate meeting planner, you'll spend long hours ensuring the success of corporate events and meetings. Read on to find out more about the career and how to prepare for it, and check the employment outlook and salary potential. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Defined

Corporations typically have deadlines and specific goals in mind when they plan a scheduled meeting or event. As a corporate meeting planner, sometimes known as an event planner, your job would be to ensure that the meeting or event achieves its purposes seamlessly. In most instances, you'll be in charge of coordinating the meeting venue as well as lodging and transportation for out-of-town guests.

When choosing a meeting venue, location is important, since it takes into account the necessary capacity and convenience of the meeting participants. You might choose a hotel near the airport, a convention center, or the company's headquarters. It would be your responsibility to contact possible event venues for prices, accommodations, and availability.

You could be called on to furnish any necessary resources for the meeting, which can include anything from name tags to audio-visual equipment. You might need to set up equipment, such as computers, monitors, networks, or tables. You could also assist with event registration or coordinate food and beverage catering.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Key Skills Composure, customer-service, interpersonal, and negotiation skills
Work Environment Typically full-time with irregular hours, especially leading up to an event
Required Education A bachelor's degree is most common
Similar Occupations Lodging manager, travel agent, food service manager

Employment Opportunities

In larger corporations, you may work solo, or there might be an entire department that handles corporate meetings and events. You could specialize in a particular aspect of event planning, such as catering, technology, or venue coordination. In smaller corporations, meeting planning may just be part of your administrative duties. You could work for a company that specifically provides event planning services, or you could work as a contractor or freelancer for several businesses or professional organizations.

Educational Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), although not required, employers in this field generally prefer that you have some type of formal training in event or meeting planning. Many community colleges offer certificate and undergraduate degree programs in event planning, meeting planning, or hospitality and tourism. Coursework can include event management, laws governing lodging and food service, sanitation regulations, and convention cost management.

Certification

You can earn optional certification in event and convention planning. Professional organizations, such as the Convention Industry Council (www.conventionindustry.org), offer designations like the CMP in order to ensure industry standards are met. Certification requirements typically include having work experience in event planning and passing a skills assessment examination.

Job Growth and Salary Information

According to the BLS, the employment of meeting planners was expected to grow 10% between 2014 and 2024, which is average compared to all occupations. In 2014, the average annual salary for meeting planners was $50,910, with those working for business, professional, and political organizations earning an average of $56,660. The BLS noted that industries paying the highest salaries included oil and gas extraction and wired telecommunications carriers, as of 2014.

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