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Event Coordinator in Hospitality: How to Become One

by | CAREER TIPS

Hospitality is all about putting on a show. Whether the spectacle is intimate or on a larger scale, guests want to be blown away by their experience. But any great show requires coordination. It could be the chef guiding their kitchen staff or the reception manager setting the tone at the front desk. However, one hospitality career path specifically focuses on putting the best show possible: the event coordinator.

The role of event coordinator is one of the most dynamic hospitality careers you can have. If you love to be on the go and put on a show then this is the perfect job for you. 

But there’s a lot to learn about the position and what it takes to become an event coordinator, so we want to help. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide on everything you need to step into a new event coordinator job with confidence.

What is an event coordinator in the hospitality industry?

An event coordinator is someone who works to make special events happen at a large scale. They might be part of a hospitality company like a hotel or restaurant, planning events specifically in one venue. They could also work for an independent event planning agency that a hospitality business contracts to organize its event. 

No matter what, to be a successful event coordinator you must be outgoing, adaptable, and highly organized. You need to think strategically, logistically, and creatively to make an event come together. And if it’s not coming together the way you intended, you have to think on your feet and find a solution.

What does a hospitality event planner do?

Many hotels and restaurants have spaces built to accommodate large groups of people gathering together. One week it could be a conference of dentists and the next week it’s a 20 year high school reunion. Event coordinators are the main people who make these events happen.

Every last aspect of an event needs to be planned meticulously for it to be successful. From catering, to decorating, to sound and lighting, an event requires many teams working together. The event planner communicates with these teams to ensure everything runs smoothly on the big day.

Before the event happens, you will be contacting these different teams to make sure all bases are covered. 

You should tell catering how many people will be dining and what type of food they should serve. The decorators will need guidance on which type of atmosphere you want to create and which colors to use. The A/V squad needs to know exactly which equipment to bring and how big the stage should be. 

On the day of the event you will be constantly on the go and answering questions from all angles. All of these teams will need some of your time and attention. You must be attentive to everybody while still moving forward to the next task on your checklist.

It’s your job as the event coordinator to align all of these teams to execute your vision.

What is the career path of an event coordinator?

The career path of an event coordinator isn’t quite as long as others in the hospitality industry. 

After working as event coordinator for a few years you will have proven your ability to put on a successful show. From there, you’ll be ready to move into the role of event manager. This higher position comes with its own set of responsibilities that require more experience and finesse to handle.

After gaining experience working for someone else, you could even start your own business where companies hire you to plan their events for them.

What education or experience do you need to be an event planner?

The job of event coordinator requires a mix of personality and business savvy. For this reason, many companies require that you have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, business, or marketing to qualify for the job. A background in communications or PR is also beneficial for the role.

In terms of experience, it’s possible to begin as an intern or assistant coordinator to build your experience. You’ll learn about the world of event planning and watch how a veteran of the position handles things. After a year in an entry level position, you’ll be ready to start coordinating events on your own.

Aside from that, volunteering for an event that you believe in or have attended in the past could be a great way to gain experience before you land your first job in the field.

Do you have the dynamic personality and skills necessary to thrive in the world of hospitality event planning? If so, check out the open event coordinator positions available on Hosco today!

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