Planning your mom’s party at the local diner is one thing. Planning an event for thousands of people is quite another. There are, however, similarities, and if you enjoy organizing, planning, work well under pressure and thrive on seeing events come together, then a career as an events coordinator or planner might be a great choice for you. Read on for educational requirements, salary outlook, and pros and cons on this exciting profession.
Is events planning a good fit for you?
As the job title implies, events coordinators work on events – small, large, enormous, high-profile, intimate and everything in between. While there’s no such thing as an event with no glitches, clients expect as close-to-perfect an event as possible. The stakes could be quite high: an annual meeting of CEOs at a major hotel, a corporate retreat for an international association of professionals, a long-overdue family reunion with 200 attendees from 10 countries, or a small conference for dermatological surgeons.
You will most likely work long hours leading up to and during the event. No event is ever the same, and you will have a lot of variety in your workday. You may have to deal with unexpected events, including union labor issues, unforeseen weather, travel delays, cakes that fall apart and speakers who don’t show up – but it’s all part of the job.
As an events coordinator, you can work in many industries or sectors, as meetings and events are virtually industry-independent. How about weddings, international diplomacy, conferences for court interpreters, small business meetings for movie studios or a day of workouts for the world’s top personal trainers? These events all depend on highly capable events coordinators.
Educational requirements, salary and job outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers data on meetings, convention and events planners and groups them into one category. According to the BLS, many employers prefer applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree because the work and responsibilities are becoming more and more complex. Some useful undergraduate degrees, which typically take four years to complete when studying full-time, include marketing, public relations, communications, business and hotel or hospitality management.
In terms of employment growth, it’s good news: according to the BLS, employment of meeting and convention planners is expected to grow 16 percent. This is partly due to the internationalization of business, which makes those rare in-person meetings and conventions more important than ever.
The top-paying industries for event planners are telecommunications, aerospace and the semiconductor sector. The states with the highest density of events coordinators are California (not surprising, right?), New York and Texas. Events coordinators could find career opportunities in hotels, convention centers, non-profit organizations, government entities, corporations, universities, small events businesses, etc.