How to Become an Event Coordinator

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Event coordinators step in when businesses and people need help dealing with an activity's logistics. Whether it's a birthday party or major convention, your job is to ensure that the event runs smoothly and proves pleasurable for everyone involved. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 33-percent growth by 2022 for this industry, which requires continuing education and certification to make yourself more marketable to potential clients and employers.

Things You'll Need

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Business planning software
  • Calculator
  • Computer
  • Contract forms
  • Day planner
  • Industry certificate
  • Notebook

Build Experience Early

  • Earn a bachelor's degree in hospitality or tourism management. Although it's not a formal requirement, employers increasingly see the degree as a sign of your ability to deal with complex workloads, says the BLS. Otherwise, consider related majors like business, communications, marketing or public relations.

  • Find an internship, which is more likely to happen in degree programs that offer classes in contract negotiations, insurance, risk management and scheduling, asserts South by Southwest executive director Mike Shea for "U.S. News & World Report." Otherwise, find a situation that allows you to build experience early, while you're still a student, such as planning college or university club meetings, the BLS suggests.

  • Obtain as much actual experience as possible, whether you're pursuing a degree or not. As the BLS notes, advancement depends on mastering challenging situations. Entry-level planners focus on logistical tasks like registering guests, and setting up audio/visual displays, which is where computer skills come in handy.

Focus Your Approach

  • Organize small local events first. Showing a flair for organizing activities like parties or company picnics is more likely to impress a potential employer, or gain a foothold for your own business, "Entrepreneur" magazine advises. Discuss potential event requirements with clients, and record the answers in day planners or notebooks. Get similar feedback from vendors that you need for other tasks, like catering or transportation.

  • Prepare a budget and scheduling proposal. "Entrepreneur" magazine recommends charging a $150 consultation fee, which you can apply toward the actual event cost. In talking with companies, agree on a designated contact person, which simplifies future conversations.

  • Double-check key details like vendor arrival times and site requirements as the big day draws closer. If you're part of a team, review each member's duties to ensure they're fulfilling their responsibilities. Follow up each detail as needed, using contract forms and notebooks as reference points.

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