A planning coordinator is someone who organizes a large-scale event or meeting for an individual or company. Wedding, business, convention, and meeting coordinators are among the many types of coordinators that can be found in a variety of industries. These individuals oversee an event from beginning to end, involving clients only when a major decision or change to the plan is required. The selection of a meeting site, the outline of the client’s needs and environment, the acquisition of food and beverages, as well as the coordination of all activities among suppliers and the wrap-up of the event for the client are some of the common tasks of a planning coordinator. Because no two events are alike, this is a rewarding career for those who enjoy variety in their work.
Although formal education is not always required for a planning coordinator, this does not imply that this is a low-skilled position. While a college degree may be required a large organization that hires out coordinators to clients, many people work as contractors with little formal education. Public relations, hotel and hospitality management, communications, and marketing are all common degrees that can be applied to this career path. In some cases, a college degree can help an individual who wants to work with business clients elevate his or her skill set above that of another planning coordinator. Once an individual lands a job at an organization that employs a variety of coordinators, additional training may be required.
When a planning coordinator first meets with a client, he or she tries to figure out what type of event the client is planning and what the client wants. Most experienced coordinators have portfolios of previous meetings or events that they can show new clients as examples. Location, level of formality, type of food, length of certain activities, and a variety of other factors are all important considerations when planning an event. Depending on the size and scope of the meeting or event, it can take weeks or months to plan. Wedding planners, for example, can take almost a year to plan an event based on the client’s needs and desires.
The majority of the events that a planning coordinator works on necessitate exceptional time management and organization abilities. With multiple clients and events going on at the same time, even the most successful coordinators can find their talents pulled in a variety of directions. While some coordinators may find seeing a large event come to fruition physically and emotionally draining, others may find it energizing. Many planning coordinators may also attend the event and supervise multiple activities, giving them the opportunity to interact directly with attendees. Seeing a large-scale production at its pinnacle of completion can also be rewarding.