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Become An Event Specialist

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Working As An Event Specialist

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $65,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Event Specialist Do

Meeting, convention, and event planners coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings. They arrange meeting locations, transportation, and other details.

Duties

Meeting, convention, and event planners typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients to understand the purpose of the meeting or event
  • Plan the scope of the event, including time, location, and cost
  • Solicit bids from venues and service providers
  • Inspect venues to ensure that they meet the client's requirements
  • Coordinate event services such as rooms, transportation, and food service
  • Monitor event activities to ensure the client and event attendees are satisfied
  • Review event bills and approve payments

There are millions of meetings and events held each year. Meeting, convention, and event planners organize a variety of these events including weddings, educational conferences, and business conventions. They coordinate every detail of these events, including finances. Before a meeting event, for example, planners will meet with clients to estimate attendance and determine the meeting’s purpose. During the event, they handle logistics, such as registering guests and organizing audio/visual equipment. After the meeting, they make sure all vendors are paid and may survey attendees to obtain feedback on the event.

Meeting, convention, and event planners search for potential meeting sites, such as hotels and convention centers. They consider the lodging and services that the facility can provide, how easy it will be for people to get there, and the attractions that the surrounding area has to offer. Planners may also consider whether an online meeting can achieve the same objectives as one that requires attendees to meet in a physical location.

Once a location is selected, planners arrange the meeting space and support services, such as catering and interpreters. They negotiate contracts with suppliers and coordinate plans with the venue’s staff, and they may also organize speakers, entertainment, and activities.

The following are examples of types of meeting, convention, and event planners:

Association planners organize annual conferences and trade shows for professional associations. Because member attendance is usually voluntary, it is important for associations to emphasize the meeting’s value and location; for some association planners, marketing is an important aspect of their work.

Convention service managers work for hotels and convention centers. They act as liaisons between the meeting facility and the planners who work for associations, businesses, and governments. They present food service options to outside planners, coordinate special requests, and suggest hotel services that work within a planner’s budget.

Corporate planners organize internal business meetings and meetings between businesses. These events may be in person or online, held either within corporate facilities or offsite to include more people.

Event planners arrange the details of a variety of events. Wedding planners are the most well-known, but event planners also coordinate celebrations such as anniversaries, reunions, and other large social events, as well as corporate events including product launches, galas, and award ceremonies.

Government meeting planners organize meetings for government officials and agencies. Familiarity with government regulations, such as procedures for buying materials and booking hotels, is essential to their work.

Healthcare meeting planners specialize in organizing meetings and conferences for allied healthcare professionals. Healthcare meetings have to meet strict standards in order for the meeting to count as continuing education and to comply with government regulations.

Nonprofit event planners plan large events with the goal of raising donations for a charity or advocacy organization. Events may include banquets, charity races, and food drives.

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How To Become An Event Specialist

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.

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Event Specialist Career Paths

Event Specialist
Event Coordinator Executive Assistant Account Executive
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Executive Assistant Store Manager
Market Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Executive Assistant Manager
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Brand Ambassador Account Executive Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Brand Ambassador Account Executive Sales Manager
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Brand Ambassador Marketing Coordinator Marketing Consultant
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Operations Manager
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer General Manager
Director Of Catering
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Consultant Marketing Manager
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Senior Technician Specialist Marketing Director
Community Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Retail Merchandiser Assistant Store Manager Restaurant Manager
Catering Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Marketing Specialist Event Manager
Events Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Marketing Consultant Event Manager
Sales And Event Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sales/Marketing Marketing Consultant Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Sales/Marketing Sales And Marketing Manager Events Marketing Manager
Director Of Marketing And Events
5 Yearsyrs
Sales/Marketing Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Assistant Development Coordinator Development Officer
Manager Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Consultant Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
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Event Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

59.5%

Male

26.2%

Unknown

14.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

12.6%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.8%

French

11.3%

Mandarin

3.1%

Italian

2.8%

Chinese

2.5%

German

2.3%

Russian

2.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Hindi

1.1%

Carrier

0.8%

Japanese

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Swahili

0.6%

Swedish

0.6%

Korean

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%
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Event Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.6%

University of Central Florida

5.1%

Ashford University

4.9%

The Academy

4.9%

Kaplan University

4.8%

Johnson & Wales University

4.6%

University of North Texas

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Strayer University

4.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.3%

Florida State University

4.3%

Florida International University

4.0%

Brigham Young University

4.0%

Georgia State University

4.0%

Temple University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

Ohio University -

3.6%

Northern Illinois University

3.6%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.6%

Texas State University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

24.7%

Communication

8.7%

Marketing

5.7%

Psychology

5.7%

Health Care Administration

5.0%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Nursing

4.8%

Medical Assisting Services

4.7%

Hospitality Management

4.2%

General Studies

4.1%

Management

3.8%

Accounting

3.8%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Graphic Design

2.8%

English

2.7%

Public Relations

2.6%

Education

2.5%

Kinesiology

2.3%

Computer Science

2.2%

Political Science

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.2%

Other

29.1%

Associate

16.0%

Masters

6.6%

Certificate

5.8%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$65,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$35,000
Min 10%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Costa Farms
Highest Paying City
Columbia, MD
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does an Event Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Event Specialist in the United States is $65,270 per year or $31 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $35,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $121,000.

Real Event Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Medical Events Specialist Abbott Laboratories Santa Ana, CA Mar 30, 2015 $103,000
Event Specialist Pinch Food Design LLC New York, NY Apr 18, 2011 $100,000 -
$180,000
Event Specialist Pinch Food Design LLC New York, NY Jun 01, 2011 $100,000 -
$150,000
Internal Meeting and Events Specialist Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC Montvale, NJ Oct 01, 2014 $90,843
Internal Meeting and Events Specialist Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC Montvale, NJ Oct 01, 2011 $80,000
Senior Events Specialist, Keynote Salesforce.com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 31, 2012 $80,000
Consumer Events Specialist DR. Hauschka Skin Care Inc. New York, NY Sep 10, 2012 $69,264
Bilingual Regional Event Specialist Alsac/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Miami, FL Jan 17, 2013 $61,432
Bilingual Regional Event Specialist Alsac/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Miami, FL Oct 02, 2012 $61,006
Event Specialist Mercy Turner Events LLC Valparaiso, IN Oct 01, 2013 $60,500 -
$70,000
Bilingual Regional Event Specialist Alsac/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Miami, FL Oct 02, 2012 $60,228
Program Event Specialist ITA Group, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 06, 2014 $59,000
Distinguished Special Events Specialist/Writer American Cancer Society, Inc. NY Jul 08, 2014 $55,500
Program Events Specialist Itagroup Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 06, 2012 $50,000
Network Events Specialist Greater Miami Jewish Federation Miami, FL May 08, 2008 $49,000
Global Event Specialist Cambridge Institute of China Business Research, Inc. Waltham, MA Sep 07, 2015 $45,000

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Top Skills for An Event Specialist

  1. Increases Product Sales
  2. Customer Service
  3. Food Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Advantage Sales & Marketing/Integrated Marketing Services Generate excitement, brand awareness, and increases product sales through event sampling and promotions.
  • Manage investor relations and other high profile events using enhanced customer service skills to facilitate a professional and successful meeting.
  • Followed food safety procedures according to company policies and health and sanitation regulations.
  • Managed promotional and special events catering to a destination market clientele.
  • Maximized sales and increased customer loyalty Skills Used Communication- non verbal and verbal Product knowledge Up-selling Charismatic

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Top 10 Best States for Event Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Virginia
  4. New Jersey
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Ohio
  7. Nevada
  8. Connecticut
  9. North Carolina
  10. Oregon
  • (195 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (652 jobs)
  • (454 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (647 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (165 jobs)
  • (553 jobs)
  • (210 jobs)

Top Event Specialist Employers

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