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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

  • $46,703

    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
Assistant General Manager Bar Manager Banquet Manager
Catering And Convention Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Manager Of Special Events Event Manager
Catering Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Director Development Director
Community Development Director
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Operations Coordinator Sales Coordinator
Conference Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Account Executive Sales Manager
Corporate Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Special Events Director Of Events
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Event Manager Catering Sales Manager
Director Of Catering
7 Yearsyrs
Event Planner Catering Sales Manager
Director Of Catering And Convention Services
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Marketing Director Event Manager
Director Of Marketing And Events
5 Yearsyrs
Manager Of Special Events
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager Marketing Coordinator
Events Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Account Manager Sales Manager
Group Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant General Manager Restaurant Manager Food And Beverage Manager
Hospitality Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Event Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Catering Sales Manager Director Of Catering
Membership Director
5 Yearsyrs
Event Planner Project Coordinator Outreach Coordinator
Outreach Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Event Manager Catering Sales Manager
Sales And Event Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Special Events Coordinator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Event Consultant 2.5 years
Event Planner 2.5 years
Event Coordinator 2.1 years
Events Associate 1.6 years
Events Assistant 1.5 years
Event Internship 0.5 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 13.0%
Volunteer 4.8%
Manager 3.8%
Server 3.3%
Cashier 2.7%
Top Employers After
Internship 6.7%
Manager 5.4%
Server 3.8%
Volunteer 3.6%

Do you work as a Special Events Coordinator?

Special Events Coordinator Demographics

Gender

Female

73.3%

Male

25.3%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1%

French

13.4%

Italian

5.8%

German

3.1%

Russian

2.8%

Portuguese

2.8%

Korean

2.5%

Mandarin

1.9%

Cantonese

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Hindi

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Chinese

1.1%

Ukrainian

0.8%

Swedish

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%

Swahili

0.3%

Vietnamese

0.3%
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Special Events Coordinator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

7.9%

University of Central Florida

7.5%

Florida State University

6.4%

Michigan State University

6.0%

New York University

5.8%

Central Michigan University

5.6%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

5.2%

Florida International University

5.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

Texas State University

4.6%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

Temple University

4.3%

Florida Atlantic University

4.3%

University of Florida

4.3%

Georgia State University

4.1%

George Washington University

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

Johnson & Wales University

3.9%

University of Houston

3.9%
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Majors

Business

21.1%

Communication

14.8%

Marketing

8.8%

Public Relations

6.8%

Hospitality Management

6.2%

Psychology

6.1%

Management

4.8%

Kinesiology

3.5%

Political Science

3.0%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Journalism

2.9%

Sociology

2.4%

Education

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

English

2.2%

Criminal Justice

2.2%

Theatre

2.0%

Fine Arts

1.9%

Recreation Management

1.9%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

55.2%

Other

17.4%

Masters

16.0%

Associate

5.8%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.3%
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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 & 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

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  1. Special Events
  2. Customer Service
  3. Events Coordinator
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage special events for non-profit organization funding cancer care.
  • Responded proactively to prevent customer service situations and reports all customer complaints to manager on duty.
  • Managed and mentored special events coordinators.
  • Direct administrative details such as financial operations, dissemination of promotional materials, and responses to inquiries.
  • Conceptualized and produced in-store promotions, drafted press releases and disseminated press materials.

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