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How to Become an Event Coordinator

If you have excellent leadership skills, are well-organized, and have an interest in planning and running events, you might find a career as an event coordinator rewarding and satisfying. 

Event coordinators oversee event planning from start to finish. They are involved in planning and organizing, determining venues, costs, event services, and evaluating the success of the event afterward. They make sure events run smoothly and meet clients’ needs and objectives. Event coordinators must have excellent communication skills and a keen eye for detail. 

The ability to see the client’s vision and meet those requirements and expectations is essential. They must be good networkers and people persons as they interact with vendors, exhibitors, and stakeholders. Event coordinators also must work within a budget and be able to plan accordingly. Multi-tasking and sound management skills are required. If you like to take control of a project and see it through from end to end, you can use your skills and motivation to become an event coordinator. 

Sample job description

[Your company name] is in the market for a highly skilled and organized event coordinator with phenomenal leadership skills and the ability to delegate necessary tasks. A few of your responsibilities as an event coordinator for our company would be choosing event venues, managing all event operations, negotiating with vendors and suppliers, and creating quarterly reports. We are looking for a candidate that is highly organized and has sufficient experience with event coordinating.  

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Touring event venue locations
  • Creating and maintaining vendor and venue relationships
  • Planning and implementing any and all event details
  • Nail down client event expectations and requirements
  • Manage event set ups and takedowns
  • Conduct final inspections of venues
  • Communicate with vendors, entertainers and photographers throughout the event planning process
  • Perform research pertaining to events
  • Compare vendor prices
  • Evaluate event results

Education and experience

  • B.S. degree in business, communications, public relations, marketing or hospitality management
  • Minimum of 1 to 2 years of experience in the field

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent decision making skills
  • Superb planning and organizational skills
  • Creative thinking abilities
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Good with public speaking
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Time management skills
  • Networking skills
  • Computer skills

Preferred qualifications

  • 3+ years of experience in event coordinating
  • Master’s degree in related field

Typical work environment

The typical work environment for an event coordinator is their office and also venue locations where different events are being held. Event coordinators spend quite a bit of time on their computers corresponding with clients, vendors, and upper management. They may also spend time traveling and in board or client meetings.

Typical hours

A typical work week for an event coordinator consists of an average of 40 hours. However, if they have an event that is close or if a problem arises, they might be required to work overtime during evenings, weekends or even holidays. They won’t have typical hours as their days will revolve around the events they are holding.

Available certifications

There are several certifications that prospective or established event coordinators can benefit from. When choosing a certification, it can be hard to pick one with so many options to choose, but here are a few of the top competitors: 

  • Certified Meeting Planner (CMP). The CMP certification requires council approval before candidates can take the exam. Certification is good for five years. 
  • Certified Conference and Events Professional (CCEP). The CCEP requires that candidates be members of the ACCED-I. Candidates must then complete one of the following requirements: either a minimum of 36 months of full-time work experience in the Collegiate Conference and Events industry or 24 months of full-time work experience in the Collegiate Conference and Events industry and a university degree in a related field. Candidates must then complete the three-year program. Recertification is not required. 
  • Certified Quality Event Planner (CQEP). The CQEP is an excellent certification for beginners as it requires no prior experience. Candidates must complete the course within one year and then complete the three-hour exam. 
  • Certified Government Meeting Specialist (CGMS). The CGMS requires that candidates be a member of the SGMP for at least six months or be able to prove at least one year of experience in the hospitality industry. Candidates must pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is not necessary. 
  • Certified Quality Event Planner (CQEP). The CQEP does not have any prerequisites but does require candidates to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is not required. 

Career path

Gaining experience is a great start on the road to becoming an event coordinator. Some candidates also start out working for a smaller company and then work their way up to a bigger company. Others will even venture off on their own and start their own companies. Certifications are always an excellent addition to candidate resumes.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-1121

2020 Employment125,900
Projected Employment in 2030148,000
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 18% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift22,100 increase

The future looks very bright for those in the event planning industry. The number of event coordinator jobs is expected to grow exponentially by the year 2030. Now is the time for event coordinators to increase their marketability and increase their event planning knowledge base. Earning field based certifications is always a good idea for both potential candidates and existing.