Meeting Coordinator Job Description
Meeting coordinators, also known as convention planners and event planners, coordinate all contractors, vendors, staff, and guests for conventions, meetings, and special events. Event-planning companies and businesses that host a large number of events and meetings hire meeting coordinators for full-time work, but these professionals also work for themselves as independent contractors.
Meeting coordinators work flexible schedules that include nights and weekends, depending on when events are scheduled. They primarily work on an independent contractor basis, sometimes reporting to the logistics director of a company. Meeting coordinators travel to meeting and event sites to perform visual inspections and to meet with various vendors and contractors, splitting their time between working in office environments and out in the field.
Meeting Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities
Meeting coordinators perform varied job duties that differ based on the meetings and events they plan and the various vendors and contractors involved with each event. However, there are some core tasks associated with this job that are common despite those differences:
Find and Book Venues
Meeting coordinators find and schedule venues to hold meetings and events of all types.
Plan Itineraries and Menus
Meeting coordinators design and plan event itineraries. They also plan menus and hire caterers to provide food and drinks at meetings and special events.
Meeting coordinators find and hire various vendors to provide services at meetings, including vendors who set up audiovisual equipment, decorators, and other event professionals. They speak with these vendors to negotiate fair prices for rentals, staff, and other services.
Meeting coordinators invite speakers, confirm their attendance, and prepare any materials or equipment needed for their presentations.
Meeting coordinators pay vendors out of the event budget and keep track of all receipts and invoices.
Meeting coordinators travel to venues to perform visual inspections and ensure that all preparations are in place prior to events.
Meeting coordinators directly supervise all event staff.
Make Transportation Arrangements
Meeting coordinators manage all transportation and parking arrangements for meetings and events to ensure that guests and speakers arrive at the occasion on time.
Meeting Coordinator Skills and Qualifications
Meeting coordinators are detail-oriented professionals who use strong negotiation skills and excellent time management to plan, coordinate, and execute all aspects of meetings and events. Companies that hire meeting coordinators seek professionals who have the following skills:
- Problem-solving skills – meeting coordinators manage issues with events and vendors as they arise, which requires good problem-solving skills
- Time management – meeting coordinators use time management skills to manage event deadlines and ensure that all preparations are in place prior to the event
- Communication skills – meeting coordinators use verbal and written communication skills to give instructions to vendors and write invitations
- Attention to detail – meeting coordinators manage guest speakers, attendants, venues, and other issues, which requires strong attention to detail
- Mathematics – meeting coordinators use math skills to plan and execute events within a given budget
- Negotiation – meeting coordinators use persuasion and interpersonal skills to negotiate affordable rates on venues, rentals, and vendor services
- Computer skills – meeting coordinators use spreadsheets, email, and other software to plan and arrange events, which requires some computer skills
Meeting Coordinator Education and Training
Companies that hire full-time meeting coordinators look for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, hospitality, business management, or a similar field of study, though many will accept an associate’s degree in addition to previous meeting coordination experience. Meeting coordinators also often put together their own portfolios showcasing successful meetings and events they’ve planned in the past.
Employers provide little training to meeting coordinators, who already have the skills and expertise needed to successfully plan meetings and events of all types.
Meeting Coordinator Salary and Outlook
Meeting, convention, and event planners earn $48,290 in median yearly income, or $23.22 per hour. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates show employment in this field growing 11 percent by 2026, a faster-than-average rate of job growth.
Employers who hire full-time meeting coordinators typically provide complete benefit packages that include health, life, vision, and dental insurance coverage. Retirement planning, paid vacation days, and paid sick days are usually included in these packages. Companies also provide meeting coordinators with travel reimbursement and event-planning budgets. Meeting coordinators who work for themselves as independent contractors receive no benefits from their employers and maintain responsibility for their own healthcare and vacation needs.
Use these resources to find jobs for meeting coordinators, browse training and education materials, and learn helpful tips and strategies for achieving success in this career:
Professional Convention Management Association – visit the PCMA website to search for jobs, browse news updates and other content, and find upcoming industry conferences and networking opportunities
Bad Meetings Happen to Good People: How to Run Meetings That Are Effective, Focused, and Produce Results – learn how to plan successful, effective meetings, and avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that can lead to a bad meeting, with the tips and techniques in this book
Meeting Professionals International – look for education programs, event-planning resources, and jobs for meeting coordinators and other event planners at the MPA website
The Event Planner’s First Aid Kit: All Your Need-to-Know’s and How-To’s to Get Your Event Moving – this book is a first aid kit for all event planners and meeting coordinators. The text includes useful tips for managing problems and creating great events of all types
Event Planners Association – discover education and training tools for meeting coordinators and event planners at this site, as well as useful resources and job listings
The Event Planning Handbook: Essentials to Successful Event Management – this book focuses on the five main elements of planning any event and putting them together to design a truly successful occasion
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