Event Planners VS. Event Coordinators – What Should You Choose?
Professional event planners are tuned into their clients’ needs – they get to know them on both a personal and professional level. The finished product? A highly personalized event catered to each client’s vision.
As for event coordinators, the job description varies a bit. Where planners are focused on the event designs, coordinators are responsible for running the show. Stay tuned to learn about the roles of planners and coordinators, and find out which career you’ll thrive in!
The job description of an event planner is all-encompassing: planners are responsible for the event design, décor, vendors, and ensuring everything goes to plan. Planners need to be creative and realistic! When it comes to working with clients, certified event planners need to develop a close relationship in order to learn what they want – and more importantly, what they don’t want.
As a professional planner, your job is to build an event design that details attire, décor, menu items, drink options, table settings and layout, and much more! When it comes to décor, there’s no match for a trained event stylist – which should definitely be included in your event planner training.
One of the key aspects for event planners to keep in mind is guest experience. Your event can be decorated to the nines and look absolutely gorgeous – but if your guests have a bad time…well, let’s just say you won’t be getting many referrals! So how does an event planner keep their guests happy? By focusing on the layout, scheduling, and activities of the event. In a nutshell, guests should be well-fed, entertained, and have everything they need nearby.
Just as well, wedding planners have to be spot-on when it comes to building the perfect wedding day for their clients. This is one of the most important jobs in the event industry simply because of the emotional weight attached to such an event. Wedding planners can be responsible for a ceremony, reception, décor, wedding attire, bridal parties, PLUS the events leading up to the big day (stag and does, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, etc.).
Needless to say, event planners have high expectations to live up to!
If you’re interested in a career as an event coordinator, you’ll likely be working in a more corporate setting. Although not all event coordinators are hired by companies, many work in-house to run events and fundraisers. Unlike a planner, coordinators are less involved in the décor and design of an event as they are with the scheduling and management.
That’s not to say coordinators can’t get creative! As an event coordinator, your role dictates that you can find and fire reliable vendors, and ensure the visual aspect of the event is appealing. Your job involves managing volunteers and scheduling staff – for set up, take down, and especially during the event.
More than this, coordinators are expected to host seamless events. Similar to a corporate event planner, you’ll need your event to reflect professionalism – that means no major hiccups! Could you imagine if the most important clients from a law firm weren’t served the high-class meal they were promised? Your mistakes could impact a company’s reputation!
All in all, coordinators manage the logistics of events, like scheduling and directing vendors and staff.
So if you’re looking for a job as a coordinator, you’ll need to show that you’re a team player and have excellent time management skills!
Which job is for you?
Depending on your personal preferences and career goals, you’ll find that you’re more suited to one role over the other.
For example, if you’re a creative individual who loves working with design and color, you’re best suited to a career in event planning. You’ll be able to meet tons of clients and form close relationship with new people. If you enjoy testing your creativity, you’ll love creating unique event and wedding designs for every client you work with! Most planners start their own event businesses, too.
But, if you like the idea of having a more stable work schedule, then becoming an event coordinator will fit your lifestyle. Although you’ll still need to be flexible and work some odd hours (to oversee events, of course), your day-to-day will most likely be an office setting. For those who love organization and running a team, this is the job for you.
Both event planners and coordinators are similar in description, and only vary on a few main aspects. Each role will have you thinking on your feet and surveying your events. You need to be apt and ready to handle anything that comes your way – whether it’s an angry bride, a rude corporate client, or a fundraising fiasco!