Meeting and Event Planners
|Recommended Degree Level||Bachelor|
|Number of Jobs, 2012||70,480|
|Annual Job Growth Rate||5.2%|
|Job Openings per Year (est.)||4,500|
What's Needed: Many employers seek candidates with a bachelor's degree in a field such as public relations, marketing, communications, hospitality management or business. The number of meeting and event planners with a bachelor's degree is increasing due to the work responsibilities becoming more complex. Some colleges provide continuing education classes in meeting and event planning. Some schools offers event planning certificate programs.
What you study:
- Venue selection
- Contract negotiations
- Audio visual technologies
- Corporate event planning
- Special events
- Event production
- Cost control
A brief review of what business planning work involves. Created for the US Dept. of Labor.
A Day in the Life
Meeting and event planners, as the name suggests, plan events such as conventions, business meetings, professional conferences, sales meetings, weddings and more. As a meeting and event planner you'll organize all aspects of meetings and events you're overseeing. During a typical day you'll be dealing with several clients, making telephone calls, sending faxes and emails and dealing with vendors.
You'll visit prospective locations for the event. You'll spend a lot of your time reviewing proposals and contracts and negotiating with suppliers. You'll need to be flexible because problems may occur with vendors or a client could make last-minute changes.
Whether your self-employed, working for a meeting and events planning business or working for a hotel or a convention center you'll typically work directly with a client to determine his needs and learn his expectations. You'll make suggestions to ensure the meeting or event runs smoothly. You'll also work with the client to create a timeline and a budget and to learn about all the details of the meeting or event.
Whether its a professional conference, a wedding reception or an important sales meeting you'll have to figure out the requirements for space, telecommunications, print and Web-based materials, food and beverages, transportation, lodging and audio-visual requirements. You may need to hire a photographer and book speakers. You'll check to see if any permits or licenses are required to hold the event.
On the day of the conference, convention or meeting you'll oversee everything. During the event you may manage schedules, oversee vendors, monitor activities, take care of inquiries, find out if the client needs anything and oversee all the logistics. For conferences and conventions you may register guests before the event begins.
As a meeting and event planner you'll do you're best to make sure nothing goes wrong, but if there is a problem you'll likely have to take care of it. After the conference, wedding reception, convention or business meeting is completed you'll make sure the client is satisfied, make sure the cleanup is completed and tie up any loose ends. As a meeting and event planner you'll also review vendor invoices and approve them for payment.
Certifications and Licensing
Meeting and event planners are not required to have certification, however the Convention Industry Council provides the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential for meeting and convention planners. The widely recognized credential may help meeting and event planners advance in their careers. Candidates are required to have at least three years of meeting management experience, continuing education credits and recent employment in a meeting management position.
The Society of Government Meeting Professionals provides the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) credential for meeting planners who work for or have contracts with local, state, and federal government agencies.
Full-time versus part-time: Meeting and event planners work full-time and part-time. They work for meeting and event planning businesses, convention centers and hotels. Some meeting and event planners are self-employed. They often work more than eight hours a day.
Work location: Meeting and convention planners set up events at company headquarters, hotels and convention centers.
- The Convention Industry Council provides the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential. The council also provides important information about standards and practices, including event specifications and contracts. The Convention Industry Council also provides research information.
- The Professional Convention Management Association provides an education portal which includes educational products, various services and education programs including online learning. The association hosts a variety of events for meeting professionals at all career levels. The Professional Convention Management Association also provides exam preparation for the Certified Meeting Professional exam. The career center provided job lists and information about internship opportunities.
- Meeting Professionals International, the major worldwide association for meeting and event professionals, provides job lists. Meeting Professionals International also provides education programs such a global training practice. The CMM program covers the strategy and business aspects of an event.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook provides an array of information about meeting and event planners.