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Event Coordinator

Event Coordinator: Job Description, Salary, Responsibilities, Degrees

If you like a demanding job and have exceptional organizational skills, you might consider a career in event planning. What does an Event Coordinator do? There are different job responsibilities an event coordinator will have. By exploring a detailed event coordinator job description, you’ll learn what it takes to get into this fast-paced, demanding, but rewarding line of work. You’ll also find out the answer to “what is an event coordinator,” and what kind of salary one can expect to earn.

What Does an Event Coordinator Do?

An event coordinator might have any variety of job titles.  Some common titles include Special Events Coordinator, Events Manager, and Event Coordinator. Other job titles include Conference Service Manager, Conference Service Director, Conference Planning Manager, Conference Planner, and Catering Director. A job title will depend on the type of events one specializes in, one’s experience, and any credentials the event coordinator earns during the course of their studies and career.

Event coordinators might organize business meetings and conventions. They will have to have in-person meetings with clients to discuss the theme of an event and the purpose for hosting the meeting or convention. The planner is responsible for planning and coordinating all parts of an event. This means they must be familiar with logistics, arranging a location for the event, taking care of transportation needs, and catering details when required.  An event planner must see an event through its conception to its implementation.

Who is Event Coordinator?

Event coordinators must have exceptional communication skills and they need to be able to work well with other people. They make important decisions, so they must be critical thinkers and decisive. They are responsible for the entire scope of an event from when the event starts to when it concludes. They will also manage the budget in association with an event to ensure all vendors and venues are paid in a timely manner.

Sometimes an event planner allows venues and vendors to place bid for providing services for a particular event. In such cases, the event coordinator must manage all bids after soliciting them. The planner may have to perform an inspection of one or more venues for a client to ensure it will meet the client’s demand.  Food services, transportation, entertainment, and activities are part of the event coordinator’s strategic planning for many events.

During the event the coordinator makes sure all things are in accord and that attendees as well as the client remain satisfied throughout the meeting or event.  When venues bill for the services provided, the event coordinator manages the bills, reviews them for accuracy, and the planner is often responsible for payment approval.

Event Coordinator Job Description

Event Coordinator Job Description

An event coordinator might plan meetings for businesses, charities, non-profits, or government agencies.  For example, an event coordinator who specializes in corporate event planning might plan team meetings, product launches, special dinners, holiday parties for employees, or award ceremonies. Team building events are also part of corporate event options.  The event coordinator is not confined to planning physical events either. They might plan web meetings and webinars as well.

The event coordinator has a hand in every part of the event.  From its beginning where the client decides what type of event to have, right through until the event is over. They may even survey event attendees to get feedback on how they felt about the event. The feedback is used for the purposes of improving any strategic planning for future events.

The coordinator might have to seek out hotels for guests that have to travel a distance to attend a meeting or event. They will have to consider the services, lodging, affordability, and proximity to the event. They will also want to let attendees know about nearby things to do and see or any attractions in the local area.  Planners will arrange a location, set up any furniture or décor, prepare any equipment needed for a meeting, and offer a full array of support services to clients.  Sometimes they might have to hire interpreters, catering services, and they therefore need to know a bit about contract negotiations.

Event Coordinator Duties and Tasks

  • Client consultation to identity event objects and the needs for conventions, conferences, and meetings
  • Bill review and management
  • Coordination of all aspects of the event including security, special needs, displays, signage, catering, facilities, transport, and accommodations.
  • Continue one’s education in the field to ensure an understanding of industry trends
  • Attending classes, webinars, seminars, and examining trade-related publications to keep current with management standards.
  • Trade show and convention promotion.
  • Planning budgets, programs, and event agendas.
  • Dealing with attendee registration.
  • Filing for the appropriate permits from the local health and/or fire department to put out exhibits, offer food, or erect displays.
  • Contract negotiation tasks and dealing with the selection of speakers, convention centers, and hotels.
  • Event activity monitoring.
  • Ensuring the event and activities comply with regulations and the law.
  • Interacting with venue staff, vendors, clients, sponsors, and attendee participants.
  • Tracking all financial transactions and recording them.
  • Event venue inspection and selection.
  • The hiring, training, and management of staff and volunteers.

Skills Required

Since the job responsibilities of an event coordinator are so diverse, it is helpful for the candidate to have a variety of skills.  The more skills the coordinator gains, the greater their potential for success while working in the event management and planning industries.  Some necessary skills include:

  • Use of Customer relationship software like Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge
  • Database user interface software use like Microsoft Access, FileMaker Pro, or NSF Hospitality Rendezvous Events.
  • Word Processing Software
  • HTML for web design and marketing
  • Spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel
  • Social media page creation, editing, and maintenance
  • Project management software including Oracle Primavera Enterprise PPM, Microsoft Project, and Convention Industry Council CIC APEX toolbox.
  • Microsoft Presentation software like PowerPoint
  • ESRI ArcGIS software for map creation and logistics
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud and Photoshop and imaging software use
  • Delphi Discovery financial analysis software use
  • Contract negotiation skills
  • Meeting Matrix applications for managing facilities
  • Budget management
  • Project management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Marketing communications
  • Sales Experience
  • Customer Service

Working Conditions

Event Coordinator Working Conditions

The leading industries for event planner involvement include support and administrative services, as well as food and accommodation services.  Additional industries requiring event planning support include professional, civic, grant making, and religious organizations. Planners will also find openings in recreational, entertainment, and the arts industries.

The job outlook is exceptional for event planners. Many of those planners with employment during 2106 were working on a fulltime basis.  Longer than traditional fulltime hours are expected prior to the event date: More planning and ensuring of plan implementations is expected as the event date draws closer.  If working at conventions or business meetings, weekends and extended hours might also be expected.

The environment an event coordinator is in when working will change from one type of event to another. The planner might have an office where they can meet with clients to discuss the type of event the client wants to host.  Or, the event coordinator may be one who meets with the client at the client’s location.  The planner is likely to spend a lot of time traveling back and forth while choosing venues, performing inspections, and meeting with clients to discuss the scope of the event the clients wants managed.

Event Coordinator Salary

Event Coordinator Salary

So, how much doe event coordinators make? The event coordinator salary hits a median annual rate of about $44,000.00.  The candidate’s experience, location, skills, education, and planning niche, all play a role in a coordinator’s salary.

How Much do Event Coordinator Make?

An entry level event coordinator makes about $40,000 a year, which falls about $4,000 short of the national average.  Those coordinators in their mid-career, with five to ten years on the job earns up to $50,000 a year.  Experienced coordinators with up to 20 years of experience make up to $53,000 a year. Those with more than 20 years of experience make about $54,000 each year.


Coordinators working in the San Francisco area make about $14,332 over the national average with a yearly pay of $58,462.  Event coordinators employed in Dallas, Texas make $13,375 more than the national average of $44,000: their yearly pay is $57,505. If working as an event planner in Boston, Massachusetts, the pay every year is about $56,385, so they make $12,555 above the national average.  The planner employed in New York makes about 9,331 a year more than the national average with an annual pay of $53,460. Austin, Texas is a location where the event planner makes about $6904 more than the national average. The payrate for those living in Austin is about $51,034 per year.  Cities where planners get less than the national average include Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami.  Event coordinators make five percent less than the national average in both Chicago and Seattle.  In Houston, Texas, planners make six percent less than the national average. In Atlanta, the pay drops by seven percent below the national average. Finally, Miami offers 13 percent less than the $44,000 national average.

Event Coordinator Employment

Event Coordinator Employment

Of coordinators currently employed, about 24 percent of them are in the late career phase.  Nineteen percent of the employed planners today are experienced. About 14 percent of all coordinators are at a mid-career level. Only nine percent of currently employed event coordinators is at the entry-level of their career.

Having certain skills might help increase one’s salary.  Contract negotiations has a 19 percent increase on a planner’s salary. Budget management skills helps the planner earn 13 percent more than those without such skills. Project management skills ensures an increased rate of pay of about 12 percent. The use of Microsoft Office and exceptional verbal communication skills increases one’s salary helps increase one’s salary by four percent. Event management skills increases one’s salary by two percent. Organizing and Marketing Communications add an additional one percent to one’s pay.

Of those event coordinators in the field today, five percent have less than one year of job experience.  About 46 percent of all working coordinators have one to four years of job experience. Another 25 percent have five to nine years of job experience in event management and planning. Roughly 17 percent of all coordinators have ten to 19 years’ experience. Finally, seven percent of working coordinators have more than 20 years of experience working in the field.

About 69 percent of coordinators have medical insurance. About 56 percent of event coordinators have dental coverage. Roughly 44 percent of coordinators have vision coverage.  Nearly 29 percent of event planners have no medical coverage at all.

Fill the table


Gender Distribution

Statistics are telling revealing 91 percent of all event planning positions are filled by women. There is a clear gender bias when it comes ot the field of event planning. A look at the statistics relating to gender distribution.  Some have referred to event planning as having “feminine characteristics,” particularly because the planner must nurture the event. In other words, a planner tracks everything from conception to the final clean-up of an event.

An entry level event coordinator makes about $40,000 a year, which falls about $4,000 short of the national average.  Those coordinators in their mid-career, with five to ten years on the job earns up to $50,000 a year.  Experienced coordinators with up to 20 years of experience make up to $53,000 a year. Those with more than 20 years of experience make about $54,000 each year. statistics are telling revealing 91 percent of all event planning positions are filled by women.


How to Become Event Coordinator?

How to Become Event Coordinator?

The answer to the question of how to become an Event Coordinator is simple.  The candidate will want to finish high school. Then the candidate will benefit from the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in either hospitality, tourism, marketing, advertising, or business management, Experience is valuable in this industry, so completing an internship or two is recommended. Many programs include hands on learning experiences through work opportunities. There are programs that require up to 1000 hours of experience before graduation from a degree program. Additional fields one can study before becoming an event planner include business administration and communications.

It is possible to earn credentials to highlight one’s skills in planning.  You can become a Certified Meeting Professional if you take a program for convention and meeting planners. The program is made available from the Events Industry Council. It takes passing of an examination to complete, but the time is an investment in one’s future success as an event coordinator. To qualify for the exam, the candidate must have three years of experience in meeting management, recent work in the field, and they must provide proof of continuing an education in the field. The exam covers logistics, facility services and operations, risk management, financial management, and strategic planning. Certification is voluntary.

There is also a Certified Government Meeting Professional credential one can get through the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.  This is for those event coordinators who focus on providing services to the local, state, or federal government. The credential serves as evidence of one’s knowledge of government travel regulations and purchasing policies. A year of experience in meeting planning is required and you must be a member of the SGMP for at least half a year before you can take the three-day course and exam. The certification is voluntary. Certifications in wedding planning are also available from the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners.

Event Coordinator Education Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is required by most companies looking to fill an event coordinator position.  Experience with planning events or experience in a field related to event management is also beneficial.  A hospitality degree is often something students seek.  A degree in business management, advertising, and marketing is also another avenue to pursue.

Event Coordinator education requirements include special certifications where you can gain an edge over others in the industry.

Event Coordinator Colleges

There are four year private and public schools you can attend to earn a degree in event management. Most states are home to at least one college offering studies in event coordinating. The leading event coordinator colleges or schools to attend in the nation include:

  1. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  2. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
  3. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada
  4. George Washington University, Washington, DC
  5. Colorado State University, Greenwood Village, Colorado
  6. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
  7. New York University, New York, New York
  8. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  9. Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio
  10. Endicott College, Beverly Massachusetts

Major Subjects

Hospitality management is one degree an event coordinator can use to launch his or her an event coordinator career. Under the degree program, students study restaurant and hotel management while getting hands on experience in the field. Some candidates will also study the culinary arts. Some certification programs lasting anywhere from two months to an entire semester teach the basics of planning events.  Students will learn about business meetings, social events, and how to schedule a wedding date. They also study cost controls, the use of promotional materials for marketing, and gain knowledge of beverages and foods for specific events. Programs offering degrees in hospitality and tourism supply planning basics, promotions, marketing, design, production, catering, and wedding planning information through various degree programs.

Event Coordinator Specializations

Event Coordinator Specializations

If you want to work in the event planning industry, you will want to develop a niche market that you can serve. By choosing a specialization you can demonstrate the focus you are an expert in, and you can build up a network of resources in the process.  You might consider specializing in corporate event planning as an example.  You can focus on all types of corporate events or narrow down the niche you choose to specific events you are willing to manage. Under the corporate sector, you can specialize in planning corporate retreats, team building events, executive board meetings, trade shows, and annual conventions.  Product launching and special marketing events as well as corporate holiday and employee celebrations are also events professionals are hired to plan.

Some event coordinators focus on working for organizations and non-profits. They might plan fundraisers or promotional events.  Others will include planning skills honed for organizing community award ceremonies, store promotions, and grand openings for businesses.

If you prefer, you can focus on social events for your planning business or focus. The largest sector under this niche is weddings, followed by baby showers and bridal showers. The event coordinator might also specialize in children’s parties, milestone events, or tours of the local region.

Professional Associations of Event Coordinators

The professional Association for Event Coordinators is a group for professionals in the industry who specialize in the fields of amusement and events.  The group helps those seeking professionals for event planning needs and offers access to legal templates and contracts.  The Association of Event Coordinators is available for help with networking, and has certification programs as well.  Members can purchase business software and other business tools at reasonable discounts. Active members get access to a support group consisting of peers in the industry. You can ask questions and get feedback for business improvement. They also offered educational material, webinars, podcasts, and marketing done for the event coordinator.

The official website is at www.eventplannersassociation.com. The Association has its headquarters in Oakland, California.  If you desire, the association will help you start your own chapter. They offer marketing tips, and feature event coordinators on the site blog.  You can post your events on the site calendar, and look through available job postings.

Famous Event Coordinators

David Tutera is among the world-renown and famous event coordinators. Tutera’s careering in Wedding and Entertainment planning is extensive.  He earned the title of “Best Celebrity Wedding Planner,” from Life & Style Magazine. He’s worked with a long line of celebrities including Susan Lucci, Prince Charles, Nancy Reagan, the Rolling Stones, Barbara Walters, and Matthew McConaughey.  Other famous clients include Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, and Tommy Hilfiger. He has planned the post Grammy Parties and White House Events.

Tutera works with celebrities, charities, and a variety of organizations. He is honoured for his creative talents and visionary coordinating skills coupled with his exceptional reputation in the industry and passion for his work. He has worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Design Industries Foundation for Fighting Aids, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Prevent Cancer Organization for planning events. He was nineteen years of age when he launched his own event planning business and started out with a single client.

Event Coordinators FAQ

What is the job outlook for those individuals with an interest in pursuing the event coordinator career path?

The median wage is above $47,000 for the event planner in the year 2016. The pay can range from $25,600 to upwards of $83,000 for busier, fulltime planners. The sector can anticipate a 10 percent growth rate between 2016 and 2026. The demand for professional event planners will remain strong as organizations and businesses host events on a regular basis. Even with online communications bring business members from around the world closer together, event planning is still important to team strengthening, strategic business planning, product launching, advertising, and reaching niche audiences.

To take full advantage of every opportunity possible, the candidate will need a good background in event planning and the appropriate education. Having schooling in event management is fundamental, but also schooling in tourism management and hospitality will help expand one’s options for work in the field.  Experience, advertising, and a professional reputation gains the event coordinator more work. Skills with social media and virtual meeting software can give the coordinator additional leverage in this moderately competitive line of work.

If you are a coordinator in the field and work corporate events, the state of the economy plays a bigger role in job and event activity.  One of the first things a company cuts when there’s a poor economy is excess spending on events, conventions, and meetings.

What are the pros and cons of being an event coordinator?

Since the planner is the hub or main go-to person when planning event, the job is busy. The candidate will find the position demanding, exciting while offering plenty of freedom as far as planning choices.  The job is one where a person can work for a company or advance forward by taking the entrepreneurial path.  If the planner chooses to operate their own business, they have the freedom of deciding where to work, who to work with, and the hours they will invest.

As the “go-to” person responsible for all aspects of an event, there’s considerable pressure on the planner. Not only does the planner require exceptional communication skills and attention to detail, they will need management skills to ensure all aspects of event implementation are in place.  Ensuring the event occurs without mishap can put a lot of pressure on a candidate.

Also, if you are a coordinator in the field and work corporate events, the state of the economy plays a bigger role in job and event activity.  When economic difficulties arise, the coordinator may find themselves at a disadvantage. One of the first things a company cuts when there’s a poor economy is excess spending on events, conventions, and meetings.

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