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A planning coordinator essentially manages an event or meeting for an individual or business, sometimes on a large scale. Common coordinator positions include wedding, business, convention, and meeting types, among other coordinators that may exist in a variety of industries. These individuals see an event from start to finish, only involving a client when a major decision or change to the plan is necessary. Some common tasks of a planning coordinator include the selection of a meeting site, outline of the client’s needs and environment, and acquisition of food and beverages in addition to coordination of all activities among suppliers and wrap-up of the event for the client. Not all events are the same, making this career rewarding for those who like variety in a job.
Formal education is not always necessary for a planning coordinator, though this does not mean this career is unskilled. While a large organization that hires out coordinators to clients may require a college degree, many individuals work as contractors with little formal education. Common degrees applicable to this career path include public relations, hotel and hospitality management, communications, or marketing. In some cases, an individual who chooses to work with business clients may find a college degree helpful in placing his or her skill set above that of another planning coordinator. Training may also be necessary once an individual finds a job at an organization that hires multiple types of coordinators.
When a planning coordinator first engages with a client, he or she attempts to find out the type of event and what the client desires. Experienced coordinators most often have portfolios of prior meetings or events they can use as examples for new clients. Common decisions for events include location, level of formality, type of food, length of certain activities, and a variety of others. Most meetings and events can take weeks or months to plan, depending on their sizes and scopes. For example, wedding coordinators can take almost a year to plan an event based on the client’s needs and wants.
Most events a planning coordinator works on require excellent time management and organization skills. Extremely successful coordinators often find their talents pulled in many directions with multiple clients and events going on at one time. While some coordinators can find this physically and emotionally draining, others may find it energizing to see a large event come to fruition. Many planning coordinators may also attend the event and supervise multiple activities, allowing them to work directly with those attending. It can also be rewarding to see a large-scale production at its height of completeness.
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