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Chris Ostrander

What Does an Event Coordinator Do?

Event planning is a booming industry, with expected growth of 10 percent between 2014 and 2024, compared to an average of just seven percent for all occupations in the United States. This is a fast-paced job with a diverse range of responsibilities. So just what does an event coordinator do? The short answer is a little bit of everything. Read on to take a more detailed dive into event coordinator responsibilities.

Understanding the Event

The first thing an event planner does is meet with each client to understand the scope of the affair being planned. There are many different types of event planning jobs. Planners may work in a single location, such as a hotel, convention center, or music venue, handling all the events that take place in that spot. They may also specialize in a certain type of event, such as weddings or corporate retreats, and work at a variety of locations that can cater to the needs of these occasions. 

An event coordinator job description for any one position will specify the scope of the job, detailing whether the position is based out of an event venue or planning agency.

Hiring Vendors

Once the planner has a grasp of their client's vision for the event, they'll begin collecting bids from service providers and venues. They can often negotiate better deals than what a client would get on their own, since satisfied event planners can bring steady business to a catering company, florist, or musician. Forming and maintaining solid relationships with service providers is an important part of the event planner job description. Besides cost, the event planner makes sure that any food and beverage regulations will be observed and that all necessary permits are acquired. 

Coordinating Services

Event coordinators work closely with their clients to decide which bids to accept and determine which services are needed. The planner is then responsible for coordinating with everyone to make sure the occasion goes off without a hitch. This may include:

  • Scheduling setup for stages, sound systems, meal service, and decorations
  • Arranging accommodations for attendees
  • Organizing transportation to and from the venue
  • Coordinating with parking attendants to handle incoming traffic
  • Planning event activities, from inspirational speakers to live musicians

Monitoring the Occasion

Event coordinators have a long to-do list in the months leading up to the event, but nothing is more important than what takes place during the occasion itself. Event planners typically stay on-site throughout the event, monitoring its progress, checking in with service providers, and problem-solving for any unexpected incidents that may arise. A wedding planner's job description includes taking meticulous care of the bride, while concert production coordinators will need to keep tabs on everyone in the band. The best event coordinators are those who work well under pressure and thrive in high-stress situations.

Managing Payments

After the event is over, the event coordinator wraps things up neatly, making sure all the service providers are paid and tipped appropriately. Settling bills and neatly tying up the aftermath of the event is a critical part of the job. 

Event coordinators are highly organized, detail-oriented, creative, and professional. There's a lot of skill that goes into this job, and a solid education is an important step in building a foundation for this type of career. If you're interested in becoming an event coordinator, a hospitality degree will help you prepare for the rigorous responsibilities ahead of you. With the right education in hand, you can become a highly-coveted event planner working at the center of your city's biggest events.

Interested in becoming an event coordinator? Check with the Admissions office at Bryant & Stratton College for details on our Hospitality programs.

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