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Applicants usually need a bachelor's degree and some experience related to event planning.Education
Many employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor's degree and some work experience in hotels or planning. The proportion of planners with a bachelor's degree is increasing because work responsibilities have become more complex. Although some colleges offer degree programs in meeting and event management, other common fields of study include hospitality and tourism management. If an applicant’s degree is not related to these fields, employers are likely to require at least 1 to 2 years of related hospitality or planning experience.
Planners who have studied meeting and event management or hospitality management may start out with greater responsibilities than those from other academic disciplines. Some colleges offer continuing education courses in meeting and event planning.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
The Convention Industry Council offers the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential, a voluntary certification for meeting and convention planners. Although the CMP is not required, it is widely recognized in the industry and may help in career advancement. To qualify, candidates must have a minimum of 36 months of meeting management experience, recent employment in a meeting management job, and proof of continuing education credits. Those who qualify must then pass an exam that covers topics such as strategic planning, financial and risk management, facility operations and services, and logistics.
In 2014, the Convention Industry Council created the Certified Meeting Professional-Healthcare (CMP-HC) certification, a CMP specialization related to healthcare industry meeting planners. Planners who want to earn CMP-HC certification must first hold CMP certification and also meet the work and planning requirements specifically in healthcare industry meeting planning.
The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) offers the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation for meeting planners who work for, or contract with, federal, state, or local government. This certification is not required to work as a government meeting planner; however, it may be helpful for those who want to show that they know government purchasing policies and travel regulations. To qualify, candidates must have worked as a meeting planner for at least 1 year and have been a member of SGMP for 6 months. To become a certified planner, members must take a 3-day course and pass an exam.
Some organizations offer voluntary certifications in wedding planning, including the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners and the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants. Although not required, the certifications can be helpful in attracting clients and proving knowledge.Other Experience
It is beneficial for new meeting, convention, and event planners to have experience in hospitality industry jobs. Working in a variety of positions at hotels, convention centers, and convention bureaus provides knowledge of how the hospitality industry operates. Other beneficial work experiences include coordinating university or volunteer events and shadowing professionals.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners communicate with clients, suppliers, and event staff. They must have excellent written and oral communication skills to convey the needs of their clients effectively.
Composure. Meeting, convention, and event planners often work in a fast-paced environment and must be able to make quick decisions while remaining calm under pressure. When necessary materials do not arrive on schedule, they make alternative arrangements calmly and swiftly.
Interpersonal skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners must establish and maintain positive relationships with clients and suppliers. There are often a limited number of vendors in an area which can be used, and they will likely need them for future events.
Negotiation skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners must be able to negotiate service contracts events. They need to secure quality products and services at reasonable prices for their clients.
Organizational skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners must multitask, pay attention to details, and meet tight deadlines in order to provide high-quality meetings. Many meetings are planned more than a year in advance, so long-term thinking is vital.
Problem-solving skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners must be able to develop creative solutions that satisfy clients. They must be able to recognize potential problems and identify solutions in advance.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Event Coordinator
Top Careers After Event Coordinator
Hispanic or Latino11.5%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix10.3%
University of Central Florida7.3%
Michigan State University5.6%
Florida State University5.4%
Johnson & Wales University5.0%
Arizona State University5.0%
New York University4.9%
George Mason University4.8%
San Francisco State University4.4%
Southern New Hampshire University4.4%
Florida International University4.3%
Iowa State University4.2%
West Virginia University4.1%
University of Texas at Austin4.1%
San Diego State University4.0%
University of Alabama3.9%
University of North Texas3.8%
Pennsylvania State University3.7%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Event Coordinator||National Conference On Soviet Jewry (Ncsej)||Washington, DC||Aug 06, 2016||$83,533|
|Regional Events Coordinator||Pan Atlantic Associates Inc.||Jersey City, NJ||Jan 01, 2016||$75,000|
|Event Coordinator||National Conference On Soviet Jewry||Washington, DC||Jan 10, 2016||$65,448|
|Event Coordinator||National Conference On Soviet Jewry||Washington, DC||Oct 01, 2013||$64,697|
|Motorcycle Event Coordinator||Eaglerider||Hawthorne, CA||Apr 15, 2016||$58,344|
|Event Coordinator||ETT Wholesale LLC D/B/A Elite Tours & Travel||Boca Raton, FL||Mar 16, 2015||$54,267|
|Events Coordinator||Practice Greenhealth||Reston, VA||May 01, 2013||$53,000|
|Program & Events Coordinator||Two Trees Management Co LLC||New York, NY||May 20, 2013||$52,000|
|Youth & Music Events Coordinator||The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory||Washington, DC||Mar 12, 2015||$51,000|
|Event Coordinator||Special Event Staffing LLC||New York, NY||Aug 22, 2016||$50,000|
|Events Coordinator||Milk Studios, LLC||New York, NY||Jan 01, 2014||$50,000|
|Events Coordinator||Barbuto LLC||New York, NY||Mar 15, 2011||$50,000|
|Event Coordinator||Synergy Financial Holdings Group, Inc.||Gardena, CA||Oct 31, 2016||$45,198|
|Events Coordinator||Advocare International, LP||Plano, TX||Sep 20, 2013||$45,000|
|Membership Events Coordinator||American Australian Association||New York, NY||Oct 06, 2016||$45,000|
|General Administration and Event Coordinator||Kiss Nail Products, Inc.||Port Washington, NY||Sep 19, 2016||$45,000|
|Events Coordinator||M. G. Exhibition Design Co.||North Las Vegas, NV||Jan 10, 2011||$45,000|
|Events Coordinator||M. G. Exhibition Design Co.||North Las Vegas, NV||Jan 31, 2011||$45,000|
|Corporate Event Coordinator||Akaibana Restaurant, Inc.||Edison, NJ||Aug 12, 2015||$44,637|
|Program and Events Coordinator||Dalzell Productions Ltd.||New York, NY||Sep 13, 2011||$40,613|
|Program and Events Coordinator||Dalzell Productions Ltd||New York, NY||Jul 27, 2011||$40,613|
|Events Coordinator||Newbury Guest House, Inc.||Boston, MA||Sep 21, 2011||$40,498|
|Production and Events Coordinator||Roger Paul Inc.||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2011||$40,000|
|Event Coordinator||German American Chamber of Commerce of The Midwest||Chicago, IL||Jan 01, 2012||$40,000|
|Catering & Event Coordinator||Bon Appetit Management Company||Mountain View, CA||Mar 15, 2014||$40,000 -
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