Meeting coordinator careers require above-average interpersonal skills, excellent organization and time management abilities, and a good deal of on-the-job training. A college degree may be required to become a meeting coordinator, but it is not always necessary. This fast-paced, hands-on career attracts multitaskers and those who prefer unconventional work hours and settings.
Top-notch communications skills are essential to become a meeting coordinator. Much of this job revolves around communicating with others, from the client who pays for the meeting to the caterer who provides the food to the people attending the meeting. Foreign language skills can be a plus when becoming a meeting coordinator, because this position may involve worldwide travel and speaking with clients and guests from other countries.
Other meeting coordinator requirements include budgeting, copy writing, and organizational and motivational skills. Meeting planners do not simply plan meetings. They coordinate and run the meetings as well, so you should be a self-starter who is also comfortable delegating work. Time management is vital to a successful meeting, both for you and for those you will be directing before and during the meeting or convention.
Although a degree is not required to become a meeting coordinator, many companies prefer a bachelor’s degree. Common majors include marketing, public relations, and hotel management, but a variety of college programs can lead to a meeting coordinator career. Some travel and tourism majors include meeting management courses, and these can be helpful to start or enhance meeting coordinator training.
Experience is an effective path to most meeting coordinator careers. Prior jobs often include administrative assistant or clerical positions where you are responsible for planning small meetings or conventions. Starting small provides the chance to learn the ropes without the pressure that comes with planning a major meeting or convention. Other jobs that might help you prepare to become a meeting coordinator include positions in hotel catering, marketing, or sales.
Some convention and meeting associations offer certificates and credentials to enhance meeting coordinator training. Certification is not mandatory for meeting coordinator careers, but it can be helpful when seeking a position in a large organization. Junior meeting planners sometimes seek additional training and credentials to increase their chances for promotion or being assigned to larger meetings or conventions.
Client satisfaction is vital to successful meeting coordinator careers, so you should be able to promote and market your own abilities. Many organizations hold large meetings or conventions every year, so consistently making a good impression is vital to success. Ingenuity, perfectionism, and a long list of reliable contacts can help you become a meeting coordinator with a solid reputation.