Meeting and event planners plan and coordinate professional meetings, events, and conventions, as well as non-business-related events such as weddings, fundraisers, and parties. Corporate planners coordinate meetings for businesses while government meeting planners work with government officials and agencies. Association planners organize large-scale conference and trade shows for professional member organizations. Some general responsibilities of meeting and event planners include:
- Plan all aspects of meetings or events, including location, time, and costs
- Price and book service providers for an event, such as florists, photographers, caterers, and musicians
- Communicate and coordinate with a meeting or event's on-site staff
- Review any and all meeting or event-related bills and approve payment
As the world becomes more interconnected, businesses and organizations are placing an even greater value on face-to-face interaction among their employees and members. Employment for planners who facilitate that kind of interaction by planning and coordinating productive, stimulating, and cost-effective meetings and events is predicted to grow 44% from 2010 to 2020.
Job Growth for
Meeting and Event Planner
- Annual Pay National Average
- Hourly Pay National Average
|District of Columbia||2,520||$67,120||$32|
Becoming a Meeting and Event Planner
Potential employers in this industry will favor with a bachelor's degree in event planning or event management, hospitality, or a related field such as public relations, marketing, or communications. Employers also strongly consider a work experience and reputation when hiring a meeting or event planner. Online bachelor degrees are available in hospitality management, tourism, and event planning, or a combination of two or three of those areas.
Online certificates and associate degrees in tourism, hospitality, and event management are more widely offered than online bachelor's, so students who prefer distance education as an option may want to consider getting an associate degree and then pursue a bachelor's in a related subject. Iowa State University offers a comprehensive bachelor of science (not online) with a major in event management. Students gain knowledge and skills in, among other things, budgets and finance, site selection, contracts, marketing and promotions, and meeting technology. Some typical classes in both associate and bachelor degree programs in meeting and event planning include:
- Public Relations
- Customer Service Management
- Conference and Meeting Planning
- Meeting, Tourism, and/or Hospitality Technology
The Convention Industry Council offers a voluntary Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certificate for meeting and convention planners with at least three years of experience. The CMP is highly-regarded in the meeting and event planning industry, and may help with career opportunities and advancement. Government meeting planners with at least one year of work experience can apply for a Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) credential from The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP). To become a CGMP, SGMP members must complete a three-day course and pass an exam.