The role of an event coordinator goes beyond just managing events, as it is a diverse job that requires knowledge of both planning and marketing.
The event coordinator is responsible for preparing event ideas and overseeing their execution with the assistance of other members.
Event coordination also includes key responsibilities such as project management, public relations, social media management, recruitment logistics, and more.
This article contains useful tips and advice for aspiring event coordinators looking to get their foot in the door in 2022 and forward.
What is an Event Coordinator?
During an event, the key person (besides the guest of honor) is the event coordinator. The event coordinator is the first to arrive, and the last to leave.
For an event to be successful, the event coordinator must have a good working knowledge of all areas involved in the creation and planning of that particular event. In most cases, there will be many people who will be tasked with organizing different aspects of an event.
An event coordinator can help prioritize these tasks, and organize them into a cohesive schedule for all staff members involved.
The event coordinator must also have to communicate with different departments of the venue or event to ensure that all aspects of their job are in place.
For instance, an event coordinator must coordinate with the catering staff and make sure that the food is delivered on time and accurately prepared.
Event coordinators must be aware of what departments are critical for the success of an event, and prioritize these tasks accordingly.
While it’s true that an event coordinator’s main job will happen on the day of the event, he/she also knows all the details and intricacies of the event itself.
Event coordinators also have to work with a variety of individuals who are involved externally in the creation of an event. They can be costume designers, sound engineers, and lighting technicians, food caterers, and so on who help to make an event come together.
Skills Required as an Event Coordinator
Are there specific event coordinator skills necessary to have a career in this field? Well, let’s break it down.
1. Communication Skills
Event planning is a very collaborative profession. An event coordinator must be able to communicate effectively with everyone in their department.
Communication skills are the most important skill of an event coordinator because they must work with specific departments and individuals to coordinate the creation of an event.
Event coordinators must also be well educated in how to handle different personalities and understand their specific roles within an event.
2. Organizational Skills
The job of an event coordinator is not exactly easy. It requires a lot of dedication and endless hours of research. And with a lack of organizational skills, the whole process can be a hot mess.
Event coordination comes with lots of intricate tasks, meetings, tweakings, etc. If you’re not a person that loves organizing your tasks, your day, and yourself in general, this will show in your work.
Consequently, the results will be poor in quality, if not catastrophic.
Events often require a lot of planning to put together, and the event coordinator is instrumental in this regard. He/she needs to be aware of all deadlines and must be able to organize these deadlines for various departments.
Event coordination is not just about getting the people and supplies together, but it’s also about getting everything to come together in a seamless way.
In this regard, an event coordinator must know how to create a schedule and make sure that everyone on the team is on track with their tasks. He/she must be able to ensure that all details are taken care of.
4. Understanding Logistics
Just as a great event coordinator needs to know the people that are involved, they also need to have a good understanding of the logistics involved with an event such as:
- Media Requirements
Event coordinators must have a solid understanding of all the logistics involved throughout the planning and execution of the event. Failing to understand any one of these aspects could cause a chain reaction that ultimately derails the success of the event.
5. Coordination Skills
This one’s pretty obvious! It’s one thing to be able to plan an event and coordinate it on paper, but when it comes to pulling the whole thing together, the event coordinator is responsible for keeping that all together.
He/she must be able to keep track of all of the different tasks that need to be fulfilled and coordinate these tasks with various departments. In some cases, this means calling in favors from other people.
He/she must be able to understand what’s most important, how to split certain tasks up amongst certain individuals, and how to properly assign tasks.
6. Attention to Detail
A good portion of an event coordinator’s job involves attention to detail. Event coordinators must be able to notice when a mistake is made and notice when something is not in sync with the rest of the event.
The event coordinator must be well aware of the details because he/she needs to make sure that everything is exactly as it should be when the event begins.
Possessing a good eye for detail is definitely something that you will learn to do over time as you grow as an event coordinator.
7. Leadership Skills
An event coordinator is essentially a leader because he/she must be able to manage others and ensure that each team member achieves what they’ve delegated to do.
The event coordinator must also be able to provide direction for the rest of the staff during the event.
Good problem-solving skills are also very important as an event coordinator.
One huge role of an event coordinator is the ability to anticipate problems and come up with contingency plans for them.
If a sound engineer is sick on the day of an event, then the event coordinator will have to come up with a plan B for the sound system.
Event coordinator jobs also come with a lot of different challenges, but it’s all about being able to solve these problems in a quick and efficient manner.
If a particular item has not arrived, it’s important for an event coordinator to consider what the next step will be.
They need to be able to brainstorm various solutions in order to ensure that the event will still take place without the missing item.
9. Time Management Skills
While it’s true that event coordinators are super busy professionals, they also need to have strong time management skills as well.
For example, if there are many different departments working on an event, then the event coordinator must be careful about how time is spent.
He/she must make sure that everyone is carrying their share of responsibilities related to the event planning in order to keep everything running smoothly and not waste time on secondary tasks.
10. Negotiation Skills
“Negotiate, it’s a little thing that can change the world” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
The practice of negotiation is an important skill for a lot of different professions, and event coordinators are no exception.
When working with numerous people and dealing with all different types of personalities, an event coordinator must be able to negotiate in order to reach common ground.
Responsibilities of an Event Coordinator
Now that you’re aware of the skillset you need to work on as an aspiring event coordinator, here’s a breakdown of the multiple duties and responsibilities that come with the job:
1. Understanding The Client’s Needs/Wants
First, you must understand the needs and wants of your client. This is probably the most important part of event planning, because if you don’t understand what your client wants, then how can you possibly plan an event that caters to their specific tastes?
The event coordinator must ask questions about the client’s vision for the event:
- What does he/she want it to look like?
- How does he/she want it to feel like?
- What type of theme do they want?
The event coordinator must be able to pick up on subtle hints or cues in order to understand what a particular client wants. This means being able to read between the lines and see what they might need in their own personal way.
Oftentimes, the client is not able to effectively communicate a concept that he wants but as an event coordinator, you must be able to understand their needs and provide them with the best possible solution.
2. Event Planning
Event coordination is a huge part of event planning. You can’t have one without the other! If you’re good at planning, but not particularly good at coordinating, then you might consider being just an event planner.
Event coordinators don’t just plan out events, they manage others and ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.
Event planning involves making a lot of decisions about how the event will be run. This is especially true if the event will have multiple components to it.
For example, a wedding might have different segments that need to be planned separately. The ceremony must take place at a certain time, and the reception must begin within an hour after that point.
These are just some of the many things that need to be coordinated with the help of an event manager.
3. Putting The Details Together
The event coordinator must be able to take all of the information they’ve gathered and put it together into a cohesive plan.
This means that all of the different components of the event must come together in order to create an overall picture of all that needs to be done.
When putting together the details, things often fall apart if there are not enough people doing their part. Since this is such a vital position, it’s important that individuals do their part 100%.
4. Managing Crew
There is so much that goes into planning an event, but it’s the details that make or break a successful execution. The event coordinator is the person who makes sure that the details are taken care of.
They must ensure that each individual member of the team has their part in place with no holes or flaws. If there are any problems, the event coordinator must be the person who will come up with a quick solution.
If something doesn’t go according to plan, it’s important for an event coordinator to understand how to fix it before it becomes a big problem.
5. Organizing Tasks
As the event coordinator, you’re ultimately responsible for the event’s success. In order to ensure this, you must do everything in your power to stay organized.
Keeping track of all the little details is extremely important because if one detail is out of place, then it could cost you in the long run.
One of the biggest parts of being an event coordinator is budgeting. What you spend and how you spend it is extremely important, but only if you can be sure that everything will come together in the end.
Once you’ve set up a budget, it’s up to you to figure out how everything will go together. You must also know when to cut corners or when to hold off on certain expenses if they won’t be used in the end.
Bookings for an event include the venue, the speakers, DJs, bands, and complimentary amusements.
These bookings will differ based on the type of event you’re planning and the client’s wishes and preferences.
In some cases, you might be given a set list of preferred vendors and in other cases, it’s up to you to identify the best possible vendor for a particular event or situation.
8. Client Meetings
One thing you won’t be able to escape is client meetings.
This means that you’ll need to have numerous client meetings, so you can explain your plan to them and they can provide you with their thoughts on certain details.
This is an extremely important part of the job because it’s knowing the personal preferences of each client that will help you to deliver a high-quality event.
Adding those special touches will also impress your clients and as a result, you can gain their repeat business.
Event Coordinator vs Event Planner – What Are the Differences?
At first glance, these two roles look the same but there are a few important things that make them distinctly different.
An event planner is usually more hands-on when it comes to planning but as an event coordinator, you make sure that everything is executed at the appointed time, i.e, on the day of the event.
Furthermore, an event planner is almost always the one who comes up with the initial idea of what to do. An event coordinator will take that idea and expand on it by creating a detailed plan on how to make it happen and finally overseeing the execution of the plan.
6 Things to Consider Before Taking up the Role of an Event Coordinator
1. Evaluate Your Skillset
This is something that you’ll want to focus on right away because it will help you determine which types of events you prefer to work with.
If you’re a natural organizer, then event coordination might be the perfect role for you because while your events will be filled with professionals at all different levels of experience, it’s up to you to make everything happen by identifying who needs what and when.
Event coordination is more than just planning the details of an event. You must be able to solve problems before they even arise.
Are you good at identifying potential issues with a plan and providing solutions that address those issues?
If you’re a creative type of individual, this might be a good fit for you because you need to be able to come up with original ideas in order to make any event completely unique and memorable.
Do you find yourself having the skills we talked about earlier? If not, it’s crucial that you start to work on them before undertaking the role of an event coordinator.
2. Define Your Business Goals
What are your expectations regarding this new position? Do you want to become a senior event coordinator in a few years or do you want to be able to make an impact right away? A few things to consider when defining your business goals:
- What are your short-term and long-term goals
- How will fund your activities
- How many people do you need to hire for your team
- What are the tasks you will outsource
- How will you promote your business
- How much will you charge
- What will be your pricing models (Flat rate or per hour rate)
These are things that you must ask yourself before you take on any role because they will shape the way that you go about things for the rest of your career.
These goals will allow you to retain direction as you get more experience as an event coordinator.
3. Build Your Online Presence
Having a digital presence nowadays is so important. Ignoring social media and a great website also means leaving tons of money on the table. Below are a few important things to get started in the digital landscape:
- Set up your website
- Build your portfolio to show off your expertise
- Plan your content strategy to attract your target audience
- Choose your content distribution channels(blog, podcast, video marketing…)
- Follow the best SEO practices to rank in Google for more traffic
- Choose 1-2 social media accounts and put out content
4. Become a Master at Communication
At the end of the day, everything revolves around communication.
No matter what type of event you’re planning, you’ll have to have the ability to communicate with other people in a simple and effective way.
If you fail to communicate to your staff members or your clients, chances are your processes will be flawed and issues will start to snowball.
So, make it a priority to not only pass and receive information whenever necessary.
5. Equip Yourself
One of the main characteristics of successful event coordinators is their urge to constantly stay productive and organized.
They are always on top of things and their days are filled with constant interruptions because that is the nature of their job.
That’s where organizational skills come into play. Start by learning how to keep a schedule for yourself because this will be helpful for a number of different things.
You will save time, money, and most importantly, your sanity.
There is a plethora of tools and software nowadays to help you keep your productivity in flow and stay organized.
One way to do this is by using a project management tool like Nifty. It’s one app for tasks, projects, chats, team collaborations, and more. Click here to learn more about what you can achieve with Nifty.
6. Working Conditions
As an event coordinator, you must have the ability to work under pressure because the entire event often depends on you and your ability to execute a well-thought-out plan.
You need to be able to think quickly on your feet if problems arise during the planning phase.
If you can’t handle this kind of pressure, then this might not be the job for you because it’s an interesting but stressful position that requires critical thinking and a great deal of attention to detail.
The role of an event coordinator is a tough one. In many cases, it can be quite stressful to handle all the details and ensure that everything comes together in the end.
However, if you’re a self-starter who can take initiative and bounce back from setbacks, then this position could become something of a dream come true for you.
With all of the planning that is required, it’s also important to make sure that you’re properly compensated for all your hard work.
We hope this article has been useful in giving you some insight into what this role entails.