What Does an Event Planner Do?
An event planner designs and produces events based on a client’s wants and needs. They must have excellent organizational skills as they are responsible for the decor, catering, entertainment, transportation, location, guest list, equipment, and promotional material for each event. They must be able to conceptualize an event from start to finish and bring that vision to fruition. They should have excellent customer service and time management skills.
Event planners conduct market research, gather data, and negotiate contracts with clients, vendors, and suppliers. They should have great communication skills as they need to report progress to all stakeholders. Ensuring compliance with insurance, legal, health, and safety regulations is important, and the event planner needs to stay up-to-date on any changes to the local rules and regulations. They need good people skills and an innate ability to build solid business relationships with clients. Working knowledge of tools like MS Office is also important for this role.
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National Average Salary
Event planner salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Event Planner is:
Event Planner Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting an event planner, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
The purpose of this position is to coordinate events for [Your Company Name]. This is accomplished by coordinating activities with staff and third-party vendors and assisting staff and participating in the planning, preparation, and execution of events. Other duties may include assisting with determining event costs and diagramming event configurations. To be considered an ideal candidate for this role, you should have good planning skills, relationship-building skills, and have great time management. Ideally, you’ll have at least one to three years of team management experience in order to attain this role.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Maintaining and establishing relationships with venues and vendors
- Planning event details and all the aspects that go along with the event including seating, dining, and guests
- Sticking to a budget and striving to stay under budget
- Thinking ahead and planning backup plans in case anything doesn’t go according to plan on the day of the event
- Understanding the complex needs of a wide variety of events
- Addressing any issues or problems that arise during or before the event
Education and experience
- High school diploma or GED required
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as event planning or marketing is preferred
- Some companies will work with a few years of on-the-job experience
Required skills and qualifications
- Must have great time management skills
- Must have great interpersonal skills and be extremely organized
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
- Ability to make good decisions quickly
- Must be reliable and punctual
- Previous experience with event planning
- Ability to make sound decisions and think critically
- Adaptable, takes initiative, able to think on their feet
- Conduct research and develop feasibility studies to identify new fundraising and outreach events opportunities in all country offices
- Maintain a calendar of events and implement a system that enables and anticipates long-term planning and effective event management for the organization’s fundraising events
- Lead members of the local committees from country offices in planning, budgeting, and overall management of fundraising events
- Maintain strict budget controls for all events; manage all income/expense reporting and prepare appropriate reports
- Oversee procurement and purchasing with regard to catering, audiovisual, security, and rental needs for events
- Work closely with the organization’s communication and donor relations staff on sponsorship arrangements and identify potential revenue streams for all major events
- Work with communication staff to develop brand and marketing tools for events as required and to ensure that events receive optimal media coverage
- Manage all event data to ensure the names of attendees are captured and recorded in the Coptic Orphans CRM tool
- Serve as the primary Coptic Orphans contact for volunteer fundraising; cultivate Coptic Orphans loyalty among volunteers; educate and update volunteers on Coptic Orphans program goals and activities
- Conduct post-event debriefing sessions
- Develop and execute all necessary follow-ups with sub-contractors, sponsors, and client groups
- Trouble-shoot and smooth issues relating to the successful execution of the event program
- Work with other development, field, and program staff to implement plans to create a presence for Coptic Orphans in new cities and regions
- Travel to various fundraising events around the country as necessary; nights and weekend hours are highly required
Knowledge, education, experience, and skills
- University degree or college diploma in business, marketing, or a related field
- 5 years of experience in Event planning or related field is requested
- A passion for the organization that can be communicated to others
- Excellent presentation and communication skills
- Must be willing to travel and able to handle multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced team environment
- Ability to develop professional relationships in all aspects of the position that result in stable, consistent, reliable, and courteous communication when dealing with other organizations
- Excellent organization, planning, and project management skill
- Proficiency in Arabic is a plus
- Ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in a process and make recommendations and adjustments
- Ability to work with minimal supervision; work well in a team and independently
- Implement foundation events and special activities involving: the community, board members, employees, medical staff, volunteers, contributors, vendors, and other projects
- Recruit, train, and manage all volunteers and committee members in order to plan theme, fundraising strategy, and format of events, establish and monitor budgets
- Manage all event logistics, negotiate contracts (with assistance from the legal department) and arrange all vendor contracts and ensure appropriate event vision to meet the organization’s standards of excellence; close out all events to include the full spectrum of on-site cleanup, internal finance and payment of invoices, and guest/sponsor stewardship
- Plan and prepare budgets and provide progress reports to the Director of Events for each event project. Track all event finances
- Propose and implement new ideas to improve the event planning and implementation process
- Work collaboratively with the development team and Director of Events on all strategic fundraising efforts to ensure the financial success of the event, and the proper position of the organization in the community, and foster strong relationships with donors
- Collaborate with the development team and internal marketing and communications department as needed for events
Knowledge, skills, and abilities
- Must be organized and demonstrate knowledge and level of expertise to organize events from inception to completion
- Strong communication skills – written and verbal, experience managing more than one event at a time
- Highly motivated self-starter who is engaging, resilient, and resourceful with the ability to work independently, as well as part of a team
- Manage multiple projects simultaneously and perform in a fast-paced environment to meet deadlines
- Ability to liaise in a professional manner with all levels of staff, management, donors, and external contacts
- Willing to work evenings and weekends as events may require
- Excellent vendor management skills
- Partner with teams to develop requests for proposals for small meetings, work with third parties on sourcing, developing recommendation parameters and guidance on contract terms. Responsible for tracking all small meeting bookings and maintaining a travel log for the Village to ensure ample support is provided
- Negotiates hotel/venue agreements with acceptable contract terms and conditions
- Manages relationships, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, special events and functions, food and beverage, high-level service excellence, etc. Ability to manage and delegate tasks as needed
- Manage financial/budget decisions, dissemination of materials, event metrics & reporting, registration records, and responses to attendee inquiries
- This position will manage the dissemination of awards, track all data, and manage the award library
- Arrange the availability of audio-visual equipment, transportation, displays, and other needs
- Read trade publications, attend seminars, and consult with other learning management and meeting management professionals in order to keep abreast of standards and trends
- Bachelor’s degree preferred
- A minimum of two (2) year’s event planning/coordination experience required
- Hotel experience preferred
- Intermediate computer skills and proficiency in MS Office suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
- Previous experience with registration software required (SignUp4, Cvent, RegOnline, or comparable software)
- Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Accreditation is a plus
- Travel Required, approximately 30-50%
- Has the authority to make an independent choice free from immediate direction or supervision
- Ability to negotiate and manage over 100 vendor contracts in a year
- Must be able to perform in a fast-paced, continuously evolving environment
- Must be able to help us fulfill our vision of being torchbearers for learning, the company culture, and our company values
- Ability to manage heavy correspondence. Ability to craft and communicate responses to inquiries in a time-sensitive manner, escalate issues as necessary, and inform the team of communication status
Candidate Certification to Look For
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
This is a voluntary certification for any event planner that wants to plan corporate events or conventions. The CMP is not required, but it is recognized in the industry and may help advance a candidate’s career. In order to qualify, they have to have at least 36 months of meeting management experience and proof of continuing education credits. If candidates qualify, they must pass an exam that covers topics like financial and risk management, strategic planning, logistics, and facility operations and services.
Event Planner Qualifications to Look For
- Coordinated and executed a range of events, including corporate meetings, weddings, conferences, and special occasions
- Liaised with clients to understand their event objectives, preferences, and budget
- Sourced and negotiated with vendors, such as caterers, venues, entertainers, and decorators
- Created detailed event proposals and timelines to ensure all elements are aligned with client expectations
- Managed event budgets, ensuring cost-effectiveness and client satisfaction
- Oversaw event logistics, including guest registration, seating arrangements, and audio-visual equipment setup
- Addressed and resolved any event-related issues or emergencies promptly
- Conducted post-event evaluations to assess the success of the event and gather feedback for improvement
- Built and maintained relationships with suppliers, clients, and stakeholders in the event industry
- Led event marketing efforts, including social media promotion, email campaigns, and ticket sales
- Excellent organizational and multitasking abilities
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to work under pressure
- Creativity and problem-solving skills
- Attention to detail
- Strong customer service skills
- Leadership and teamwork abilities
- Bachelor’s degree in Event Management, Hospitality, Business Administration, or a related field is often preferred
- Certifications in event planning or related fields, such as the Meeting Professional International (MPI) certification
- Relevant work experience or internships in the event planning or hospitality industry
- Continuous learning or workshops in trends and tools related to event planning, such as digital event platforms or marketing techniques
How to Hire an Event Planner
There are a number of important initial considerations when hiring an event planner:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Are you hiring for a project or an ongoing need?
- Urgency: How soon does the opening need to be filled? What happens while it remains open?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for event planner openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Can you describe an event you’ve planned from start to finish? What were the main challenges, and how did you overcome them?
- How do you ensure that you stay within budget when planning an event?
- Can you discuss your experience with vendor management and negotiation?
- How have you used technology or event planning software to streamline the planning process?
- Can you talk about a time when an event didn’t go as planned? How did you handle the situation?
- How do you approach the task of creating a unique and memorable experience for event attendees?
- What strategies do you use to promote events and ensure a good turnout?
- Could you elaborate on your experience with virtual or hybrid events, if any?
- How do you assess the success of an event post-execution? What key performance indicators do you use?
- In your opinion, what are the key elements of a successful event?
- Can you describe how you’ve handled a difficult situation with a client or vendor?
- How do you stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in the event planning industry?
- Discuss an event you’ve planned that required unique or innovative problem-solving skills.
- What measures do you take to ensure all health and safety regulations are met during an event?
- How do you handle stress and high-pressure situations that commonly occur during event planning and execution?
- What attracted you to the career of event planning?
- What three personality traits do you think are the most important for event planners?
- What makes you want to plan events for this company?
- How do you stay organized when in charge of a new event?
- What is one unique idea that you have that you think would add value to an event and why?
- Tell me about a time you delegated responsibilities effectively.
- What are some challenges you’ve faced as an event planner and how did you overcome them?
- Tell me about a time when something went wrong either right before or during an event that you planned. How did you work to fix it?
- What are your top priorities when planning an event?
- What is your favorite thing about event planning and least favorite thing about event planning?
- Do you specialize in any specific type of event?