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Event Host Duties and Responsibilities
Specific job duties for event hosts vary based on their employer. However, there are several core tasks common to all event hosts, such as:
Plan Events Although they are not necessarily party planners, hosts often have a hand in planning events and are sometimes in charge of doing so. They help with choosing locations, dates, menus, and preparing guest lists. They make lists of what needs to be done prior to the event and what should be left for immediately before the event, like food prep. Hosts also employ the help of professionals or family and friends of the clients to assist with party tasks.
Set Up Events Hosts arrive at the event location ahead of time to make sure everything is ready before guests arrive. They use lists to make sure nothing is forgotten during event set up. They sometimes assist staff with setting up furniture, decorations, and last-minute food and beverage preparation. At this point, they prepare themselves for the event by dressing appropriately and professionally.
Interact with Guests No matter the venue, the main job of an event host is to make guests and attendees feel welcome and as comfortable as possible. As guests begin to arrive, the event host is there to greet and introduce themselves and other guests. They answer any questions and direct guests to seating or refreshments. The host is always moving through the room making sure everything is taken care of and that guests are happy.
Facilitate Activities Hosts assist clients and event planners to ensure all activities go as scheduled. Plans can change, and hosts make sure changing conditions run smoothly.
Supervise Food Service It's often the responsibility of the event host to make sure the catered portion of the event runs smoothly. They check in with chefs, waiters, and bartenders, and sometimes step in to assist in times of need.
Support Event Staff Depending on the type of event, there can be many staff members to direct and manage, and the event host often assists event organizers with staff support. Circumstances can change quickly at events, and the host helps however they can.
Event Host Skills and QualificationsPeople with outgoing, energetic attitudes who love creating a pleasant atmosphere and don't mind being on their feet for long periods of time make wonderful event hosts. There are no universal requirements for becoming an event host, but employers prefer candidates with experience working events as well as the following skills:
- Interpersonal skills - interacting with guests is a huge part of an event host's job, and they need to get along with and relate to people from a variety of different backgrounds
- Organization skills - the host must always be organized and focused to make sure the event is well coordinated and that everything goes off without a hitch
- Problem-solving skills - it's inevitable that some things won't go as planned during an event, but hosts can quickly solve any issues that arise
- Poise - interacting with guests at an upscale event takes a certain level of composure and dignity. Clients want event hosts who have a neat appearance and who can be charming, witty, and graceful in dealing with others
- Communication skills - the event host talks to everyone who is involved in planning and executing an event. They need good listening skills and the ability to direct staff, greet guests, and answer questions
- Multitasking - an event host needs to simultaneously assist and interact with guests, answer questions, and oversee event staff
Event Host Education and TrainingWhile there are no formal requirements for becoming an event host, employers prefer people with a bachelor's degree and some work experience in customer service or another hospitality field. People with degrees in hospitality management are sought after for this position, as are those with experience in a professional host role.
Event Host Salary and OutlookAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), meeting, convention, and even planners earn a median annual wage of $48,290. The lowest-earning 10 percent earn less than $26,390, and the highest-earning 10 percent make more than $82,980 per year. Employment in this field is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations at a rate of 11 percent through 2026. The best opportunities will be for those with a bachelor's degree in a hospitality-related field.
Do you have a knack for throwing great parties? Are you interested in learning more about a fun job as an event host? We've searched the web for resources that'll help you on the path to landing your dream job:
Event Planners Trade Association - this professional association is a place for people who work in the event planning industry to share resources. It also provides information on education, jobs, and marketing and host webinars
"How to Start an Event Planning Service" - Entrepreneur Magazine details the ins and outs of starting your own event service business. It covers target markets, startup costs, operations, billing, and marketing
Event Planners Association - this LinkedIn group supports event professionals by offering resources for successful business frameworks, training, and professional guidance
Professional Event Coordination - Julia Silvers wrote this complete guide to the strategies, technologies, and resources available to event students and professionals, covering all aspects of the event planning process
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