How to Become an Event Coordinator in 5 Steps

Find out about the duties of event and meeting coordinators, and review the education and training requirements. Learn about professional certifications available in this field. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Event Coordinator Tasks?

Event coordinators, or meeting planners, are responsible for putting together events and meetings for organizations. You'll scout locations, arrange contracts with vendors and caterers, negotiate budgets and oversee every moment of the event. You'll work with clients to discover what they want, need and expect on a particular budget. Other tasks may include setting up technology for meetings, greeting keynote speakers, printing materials and schedules, coordinating schedules and advertising the event.

Step 1: Complete High School

While in high school, you should begin researching this career. Joining committees is beneficial to see what goes into organizing an event, dance or rally. This experience is also good for your college resume. While in high school, take electives in theater, journalism and computer science. By understanding different aspects of putting together plays, advertising and technology, you'll be ready to tackle events once you graduate.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is generally the lowest degree employers accept for event coordinators, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). You can study a wide variety of programs that will ready you for this career, including communications, public relations and business; however, hospitality management may be one of the best choices.

Step 3: Get Experience

Much of the necessary experience for event coordination comes through on-the-job training. While in college, consider working for the student union. Concerts, comedic performances, festivals and fairs are only a few examples of the events that happen at universities. Joining committees and boards allows you to plan meetings, graduations or other school spirit events that provide hands-on experience. Either way, real-world experience gained from watching what works and what doesn't is often considered the best education for this career.

Step 4: Become Certified

The Convention Industry Council oversees an optional certification process, which leads to a Certified Meeting Professional credential (www.conventionindustry.org). In order to qualify to take the written exam, individuals must have experience managing meetings. These exams are offered twice a year. Also available is the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP), which is considered the highest designation you can earn if you want to coordinate events for the government (www.sgmp.org). This certification follows tight regulations and is available from the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP).

Step 5: Consider Additional Education

Graduate degrees in meeting or hospitality management are available at some universities. Continuing your education may be beneficial for enhancing job prospects or for finding work with casinos, convention centers, wedding companies and hotels. These programs can also advance your career into management positions or give you the skills needed to build your own company.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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