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A trade show coordinator is responsible for managing every aspect of a professional trade show usually based at a convention center or a hotel. This job requires a great deal of planning and problem solving. A coordinator must ensure the venue is prepared, food and beverages are properly handled, attendee and vendor needs are met, audio/visual equipment is set up, marketing and promotion handled, and all is within budget. This person will frequently oversee several employees who accomplish these tasks.
A trade show is a professional gathering of experts in a specific industry; it is an opportunity to network and view the latest developments in the field. In many cases, a trade show coordinator works for a convention center or a hotel with a large meeting space that can accommodate visitors. The initial job of the coordinator is to work with the trade show organizers to understand the event's specific needs and budget. For example, a computer trade show has different technological requirement than an organic food show, but each must have specific needs met.
Trade show coordinator duties differ from show to show, but there are a basic set of responsibilities for almost all events. Ensuring the venue is prepared is crucial to a show's success. The coordinator needs to make sure that there is enough space for all booths, that those booths have proper electricity, and that audio/visual equipment for presentations is operational. Food and beverages must also be contracted and scheduled to be in the proper place at the proper time.
Marketing and promotion is often handled by the trade show organizers, although some of this work be done is done by the show's sponsors. A coordinator works with printers, graphic designers, marketing departments, and public relations professionals to get the word out on the event. Show organizers will often have specific demands and standards for marketing which must be met.
This work is generally too much to be handled by a single person. A trade show coordinator can personally take care of any one of these jobs if the situation calls for it, but most oversee a staff. It is the coordinator's responsibility to hire trained professionals to perform this diverse work and to create schedules to ensure a show is properly staffed. Successfully juggling these varied responsibilities is the biggest job of a coordinator, but doing so well will create a fun, informative show for all attendees.
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