Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

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Also known as:
Certified Meeting Professional, Conference Organizer, Conference Planner, Conference Planning Manager, Conference Services Director, Conference Services Manager, Convention Planner, Convention Services Manager, Corporate Meeting Planner, Event Planner

ABOUT MEETING, CONVENTION, OR EVENT PLANNER CAREERS
Video transcript

Do you love to plan events - from parties to conferences? If you have a head for details and the willingness to cope with a fair amount of stress, you might consider a career as a meeting and convention planner.

Some meeting and convention planners work for organizations that offer event planning as a service. They might also be one part of a larger company that handles public relations or image consulting or an agency that handles tourism for a city. Or they might work within a big corporation to plan sales and incentive meetings and training seminars.

Meeting and convention planners also work as freelancers, networking their way to contacts from event to event, charging a commission or a flat fee. The travel business, public relations or communications, and administrative assistant positions are all entry points for this profession.

Some states license certified meeting professionals who pass exams and have gained experience in the field. It's a job that is guaranteed to deliver deadline headaches and last-minute crises. Some events take years to pull together, but like putting on a show in a theater, there is great satisfaction when the challenges are met and the event really clicks.

SNAPSHOT
Coordinate activities of staff, convention personnel, or clients to make arrangements for group meetings, events, or conventions.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Hire, train, and supervise volunteers and support staff required for events.

Meet with sponsors and organizing committees to plan scope and format of events, to establish and monitor budgets, or to review administrative procedures and event progress.

Review event bills for accuracy and approve payment.

Direct administrative details, such as financial operations, dissemination of promotional materials, and responses to inquiries.

Monitor event activities to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and laws, satisfaction of participants, and resolution of any problems that arise.

Coordinate services for events, such as accommodation and transportation for participants, facilities, catering, signage, displays, special needs requirements, printing and event security.

Maintain records of event aspects, including financial details.

Plan and develop programs, agendas, budgets, and services according to customer requirements.

Inspect event facilities to ensure that they conform to customer requirements.

Confer with staff at a chosen event site to coordinate details.

Evaluate and select providers of services according to customer requirements.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.