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Event Planner Job Description

Gaurav Shimpi
The job of an event planner is far much more than giving mere orders to different people to get the work done in an event. The event planner is the creator of the event. Here is an insight of the event planner's responsibilities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a growth rate of 11 percent in the employment of meeting, convention, and event planners from the year 2016 to 2026. This rate is faster than average among all the other career options.
Event planners are appointed by people/parties, who wish to organize an event. The event could be something as small as a birthday party, to something as huge as a business convention!
The nature of the event may be personal or professional in nature. Hiring an event planner is to give responsibility of the entire event to him/her, right from booking the venue in advance, to making the payments to different parties after the event is over.
Those who do not belong to the event planning field seldom know what it takes to be a successful event planner. They are always seen in events wearing their best attire, walking with a pleasant smile, asking people if they enjoyed the ambiance. But little of the chaos in their mind can be inferred and only the perfection event they organized is experienced.

Job Description

When something needs to be planned such as our schedule for the day, jotting down the tasks and the time by which it expect it to be done. Whether we do it according to the plan or not comes under execution, not planning! Though the designation "Event Planner" consists of the word "planner," the role of the designated person doesn't only include planning!
An event planner plans, organizes, directs, controls, coordinates and supervises various aspects of an event. This requires a great deal of skills like multitasking, quick decision making, and effectively communicating with the clients and other parties involved.
There are different types of events that may need the expertise of a professional. These include - weddings, exhibitions, fundraising events, business conventions, sports events, galas, etc.
Another feature that makes this career option unique, is the fact that not every wedding (or any other) event would be exactly the same as before. Each event brings a different element, thereby giving one a chance to learn something new through every assignment that comes along.

Duties and Responsibilities

Depending upon the type of event, or the level at which the event is being organized, there may be certain variations in the job description. However, the standard duties and responsibilities that go along with this designation are listed further.
✦ Understand and comprehend the exact needs of the client.
✦ Plan the event in detail. Large-scale events like outdoor conventions and weddings may require you to book the venue, hotels, flights, caterers and transportation etc. well in advance.
✦ Negotiate and acquire lowest quotations from the service providers for the event. This is necessary to ensure that the entire event takes place within the budget of the client.
✦ Inspect and ensure each and every detail of the event as per the client's wish. This requires the planner to coordinate with the client and the service providers.
✦ Ensure the timely availability of supplies and services which may include - printing of invitations, marketing of the event (hoardings and brochures in case of large-scale events like exhibitions and fairs), security, transportation, audio-visual equipment, etc.
✦ Synchronize all elements in the event systematically. This requires dealing with the service providers in a professional yet cordial way.
✦ Supervise the final event and ensure everything is happening exactly in the same way as the client expected. In case of problems, they should have plan B. Confidence and quick decision making is needed for this.
✦ Meet different people invited in the event, and take feedback from them regarding their experience and satisfaction.
✦ Make payments to the various service providers after the event is over, and ensure that everybody gets their due amount in time.

Educational Qualifications and Experience

This career is more of skills and experience, rather than educational degrees and certificates. However, there is always an added advantage if your career interest is also backed by your education, especially when you are new to this field.
✦ A bachelor's or master's degree in subjects like hospitality management, business communication, public relations, customer service etc., would be beneficial. Various educational institutes offer courses in event planning and management which may help one attract employers in the initial stages. However, it is important for the course to be accredited.
✦ Experience in this career adds to your credibility. Most of the clients/employers hire event planners who have years of experience in organizing similar events. Most of the employers/clients seek a minimum experience of 1-3 years.

Personal Skills and Qualities

As mentioned earlier, the job of an event planner is not as easy as it seems. It is full of challenges, which can be conquered only through certain skills and qualities that come naturally to a person. It is these sets of qualities that makes one excel in this field. If you possess the skills listed here, this career will definitely prove rewarding for you.
✦ Excellent communication skills
✦ Efficiency in multitasking
✦ Quick decision making
✦ Excellent interpersonal skills
✦ Excellent negotiating skills
✦ Excellent problem-solving skills
✦ Calm and composed personality
✦ Excellent leadership skills
✦ Creativity and adaptability
✦ Pleasant and active personality
✦ Proficiency in computers and technology
✦ Attention to detail
✦ Ability to work under stress and deadlines

Work Environment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2017, only 9% of the meeting, convention, and event planners were self-employed. The rest of them were working as full-time employees in companies, most of them being hired by private companies.
Event planning is not a standard 9 to 5 job and demands a lot of time and dedication. There are tasks to be done by a deadline, making working hours irregular. Since they supervise and ensure fulfillment of each and every detail of the event, they may start working from early in the morning till late in the night, especially during the scheduled event.
This job may also require a lot of traveling, depending upon need of the clients. You may have to attend meetings and functions as and when required, even on a weekend. All in all, this career option is for those who are passionate about their job.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2017, median annual wage of meeting, convention and event planners in the US was $48,290. As per salary.com, median annual pay of event planners in the US as of June 2018 is $45,039. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that number of jobs in this field can increase from 116,700 in 2016 to 129,400 in 2026.
Though the job of an event planner may prove stressful and demanding, it is very much rewarding in the long run. Each and every assignment done efficiently, increases your clientele. It won't be wrong to say that in this career, your work speaks for itself.
The remuneration also depends upon your work experience, type of event planning, and the city in which you work. If you really have the passion for making a career in this sector, then it will give you an opening to a world that is dynamic, creative, fast-paced, and truly rewarding.