Event PlannerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

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 must have good communication skills and need to report progress to all stakeholders. Ensuring compliance with insurance, legal, health, and safety regulations are important, and the event planner needs to stay up-to-date on any changes to the rules and regulations. They need good people skills and an innate ability to build solid business relationships with clients. Working knowledge of MS Office tools is also important for this role.  

Sample job description #1

Essential functions and responsibilities

  • 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 fundraising events
  • Lead members of the local committees from country offices in planning, budgeting, and overall management of fund raising events
  • Maintain strict budget controls for all events; manage all income/expense reporting and prepare appropriate reports
  • Oversee procurement, purchasing with regard to catering, audiovisual, security and rental needs for events
  • Work closely with the organization communication and donor relations staff on sponsorship arrangements and identify potential revenue streams for all major events
  • Work with communication staff to develop brand, marketing tools for events as required and to ensure that events receive optimal media coverage
  • Manage all event data to ensure names of attendees are captured and recorded in Coptic Orphans CRM tool
  • Serve as the primary Coptic Orphans contact for volunteer’s fund raising; 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-up 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 highly required

Knowledge, education, experience and skills

  • University degree or college diploma in business, marketing, or related field
  • 5 years experience on 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

Sample job description #2

Key job responsibilities

  • Implement foundation events and special activities involving: 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 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 clean up, internal finance and payment of invoices, and guest/sponsor stewardship
  • Plan and prepare budgets and provide progress reports to 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 development team and Director of Events on all strategic fundraising efforts to ensure financial success of event, proper position of organization in the community and foster strong relationships with donors
  • Collaborate with 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

Sample job description #3

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Partner with teams to develop requests for proposals for small meetings, work with third party 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

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • 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 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 team of communication status

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an event planner is $46,000 per year in the United States. Salary may depend on the level of experience, geographical location, and education level.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$45,700$61,900
Los Angeles, California$51,600$69,800
Denver, Colorado$43,000$58,200
Washington, DC$52,400$70,800
Miami, Florida$42,800$57,900
Orlando, Florida$39,500$53,400
Tampa, Florida$39,900$53,950
Atlanta, Georgia$41,800$56,600
Chicago, Illinois$48,100$65,000
Boston, Massachusetts$52,000$70,350
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$41,450$56,100
New York City, New York$52,600$71,000
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$44,600$60,300
Dallas, Texas$43,400$58,700
Houston, Texas$43,200$58,450
Seattle, Washington$50,050$67,700
National Average$39,250$52,900

Sample interview questions

  • What attracted you to the career of event planning?
  • How do you keep up with industry trends? 
  • What three personality traits do you think are the most important for event planners? 
  • What makes you want to plan events for this company?
  • What is one unique idea that you have that you think would add value to an event and why?
  • What are some challenges you’ve faced as an event planner and how did you overcome them? 
  • Tell me about a time where 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?

Event Planner Jobs in Ashburn

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