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Become A Special Events Coordinator

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Working As A Special Events Coordinator

  • 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

  • $44,280

    Average Salary

What Does A Special Events Coordinator 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 A Special Events Coordinator

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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Special Events Coordinator jobs

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Special Events Coordinator Career Paths

Special Events Coordinator
General Manager Sales/Marketing Event Coordinator
Catering Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Marketing Director
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Marketing Director Development Director
Community Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales/Marketing Event Coordinator
Director Of Catering
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Development Director Marketing Consultant Event Manager
Director Of Marketing And Events
5 Yearsyrs
Event Planner Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Assistant Program Coordinator Event Manager
Events Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Food Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Event Manager Sales Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Account Executive Sales Manager
Group Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager Marketing Coordinator
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Event Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Event Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Office Manager Marketing Coordinator
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Sales Consultant Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Business Developer
Marketing/Business Development
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Assistant Sales Coordinator Catering Sales Manager
Sales And Event Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Event Planner 2.7 years
Event Consultant 2.5 years
Tour Coordinator 2.3 years
Event Organizer 2.1 years
Event Coordinator 2.1 years
Events Assistant 1.5 years
Events Associate 1.5 years
Event Internship 0.5 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 12.2%
Volunteer 4.2%
Server 4.0%
Manager 3.9%
Cashier 3.1%
Top Employers After
Internship 6.6%
Manager 5.2%
Server 3.9%
Director 3.3%

Special Events Coordinator Demographics

Gender

Female

72.2%

Male

26.3%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

81.3%

Hispanic or Latino

10.4%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.0%

French

12.6%

Italian

6.2%

German

3.6%

Korean

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Mandarin

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Cantonese

1.9%

Chinese

1.9%

Greek

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Swedish

0.9%

Hindi

0.9%

Thai

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%

Malay

0.5%
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Special Events Coordinator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.3%

University of Central Florida

7.0%

Florida State University

6.3%

Michigan State University

6.1%

University of Texas at Austin

5.5%

Florida International University

5.3%

New York University

5.3%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

5.1%

Central Michigan University

5.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.6%

Georgia State University

4.6%

Temple University

4.4%

James Madison University

4.4%

Texas State University

4.2%

Florida Atlantic University

4.0%

George Washington University

4.0%

University of Florida

4.0%

Texas A&M University

4.0%

Johnson & Wales University

3.9%

University of Houston

3.9%
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Majors

Business

20.9%

Communication

15.2%

Marketing

8.3%

Public Relations

6.6%

Hospitality Management

6.0%

Psychology

5.9%

Management

4.8%

Kinesiology

3.5%

Political Science

3.1%

Journalism

3.0%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Sociology

2.6%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Education

2.5%

English

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Fine Arts

2.1%

Theatre

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.9%

Recreation Management

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.5%

Other

18.1%

Masters

15.5%

Associate

6.0%

Certificate

4.0%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Special Events Coordinator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Private Dining and Special Events Coordinator Birth of The Cool, LLC New York, NY Aug 21, 2016 $68,871
Special Events Coordinator Il Posto LLC (D/B/A Del Posto) New York, NY May 01, 2014 $65,000
Special Event Manager/Coordinator Orinoco LLC Brookline, MA Aug 01, 2014 $59,646
Special Events Operations Coordinator Sympathy for The Devil, LLC New York, NY Aug 21, 2016 $56,349
Food & Beverage Liaison/Special Events Coordinator Broken Sound Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Sep 20, 2015 $55,000
Food and Beverage Special Events Coordinator Broken Sound Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Aug 24, 2015 $51,646
Food & Beverage Liaison/Special Events Coordinator The Broken Sound Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Oct 01, 2012 $51,376
Special Events Coordinator Il Posto LLC (D/B/A Del Posto) New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $50,000
Special Events Coordinator French Institute Alliance Francaise New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $42,000
Special Events Coordinator Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL Apr 01, 2011 $41,850
Special Events Coordinator ASBH LLC New York, NY May 30, 2016 $41,740 -
$52,175
Special Events Coordinator ASBH LLC New York, NY May 23, 2016 $41,740 -
$52,175
Special Events Coordinator MacCulloch Hall Historical Museum &Amp; Gardens Morristown, NJ Aug 19, 2010 $41,683
Special Events Coordinator Nachman & Associates, P.C. Ridgewood, NJ Sep 09, 2010 $41,050
Special Events Coordinator Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc. New York, NY Jan 11, 2010 $41,018
Special Events Coordinator Felidia Restaurant, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $41,000
Special Events Coordinator Il Posto LLC New York, NY Sep 25, 2015 $40,685
Special Events and Social Media Coordinator Gay Men's Health Crisis New York, NY Jul 16, 2013 $40,000
Special Events Coordinator Ballet Theatre Foundation New York, NY Jan 11, 2010 $40,000
Special Events Coordinator Il Posto LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $40,000
Food & Beverage Liaison/Special Events Coordinator Broken Sound Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Sep 27, 2011 $38,438
Special Event Coordinator Broken Sound Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Jan 01, 2011 $38,438
Special Events Coordinator Felice Gold Street LLC New York, NY Sep 10, 2015 $38,293
Fundraising and Special Events Coordinator South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Oklahoma City, OK Oct 01, 2009 $37,700
Fundraising and Special Events Coordinator South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Oklahoma City, OK Sep 18, 2009 $37,700
Food & Beverage Liaison/Special Events Coordinator Broken Sound Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Sep 20, 2012 $37,500
Food & Beverage Liaison/Special Events Coordinator Broken Sound Club Boca Raton, FL May 20, 2008 $35,942
Special Events Coordinator Broken Sound Country Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Nov 10, 2009 $35,506
Special Events Coordinator Mee Sum Inc. Seattle, WA Dec 01, 2011 $35,479

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Top Skills for A Special Events Coordinator

SpecialEventsCustomerServiceEventsCoordinatorPressReleasesVIPEventPlanningBeverageBanquetFacebookSupervisePromotionalMaterialsD COREventLogisticsDinnerAlumniArtCorporateEventsTwitterCommunityEventsSilentAuction

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Top Special Events Coordinator Skills

  1. Special Events
  2. Customer Service
  3. Events Coordinator
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Negotiated contracts with talent agencies to bring in celebrity speakers for special events.
  • Hosted parties and banquets which included, decorating rooms, serving meals and providing consistent customer service.
  • Served as the Special Events Coordinator on the board of this organization planning events such as dances and movie nights.
  • Assisted with insurance claims, preparation of press releases, personnel information, and training and coordination of volunteers.
  • Coordinated/implemented health system's large annual events; groundbreakings; grand openings; VIP events.

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