Event Planners VS. Event Coordinators – What Should You Choose?

Professional event planners work with the client to develop a customized event experience that meets their goals. As for event coordinators, the job description varies a bit. Whereas planners are focused on the event design, coordinators are responsible for running the show. Stay tuned to learn about the roles of event planners and coordinators, and find out which career you’ll thrive in!

Event Planner Job Description

The job description of an event planner is all-encompassing: planners are responsible for the event design, decor, vendors, and overall client/guest experience. Event planners ensure that everything goes according to plan. And if the occasion arises, that they’re ready to put out any fires with creative problem solving. When it comes to working with clients, certified event planners must develop a close relationship with them to learn what they want—and more importantly, what they don’t want!

tablesetting with numbers elegant event planning job

As a professional event planner, your job is to build an event design that details attire, event decor, menu items, drink options, table settings, seating layout, and much more! When it comes to decor, there’s no match for a trained event decorator. We highly suggest adding this specialization with your foundation event planner training. You can earn a higher salary when you’re the one-stop-shop for all your clients’ needs!

One of the key aspects that event planners must keep in mind is the 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, many event planners try their hand at planning milestone events. One of the biggest milestone events in a person’s life is his or her wedding. But wedding planning shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is one of the most important jobs in the event industry, simply because of the emotional weight of such an event. Wedding planners have to be spot-on when it comes to building the perfect wedding day for their clients. They can be responsible for a ceremony, reception, event decor, wedding attire, and entertainment. Plus the pre-wedding parties 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!

Event Coordinator Job Description

mini burger catering for an event coordinator

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, event coordinators are less involved in the decor and design of an event. Instead, they are occupied with event scheduling and management.

That’s not to say coordinators can’t be creative! As an event coordinator, clients rely on you to find and hire the perfect vendors for their event. It’s your job to ensure the visual aspect of the event is appealing. You’ll direct and manage volunteers as well as schedule staff for set-up and take-down. During the event itself, you’ll still be dutifully overseeing event logistics. After all, coordinators are expected to host seamless events!

Similar to a corporate event planner, your events have to communicate a high level of professionalism—that means no major hiccups! Could you imagine if your company’s most important clients weren’t served the gourmet meal they were promised? Your mistakes could impact your company’s reputation!

So if you’re looking for an event coordinator job, you’ll need to show that you’re a team player and have excellent time management skills!

Which event job is right for you?

Depending on your personal preferences and career goals, you’ll find that you’re more suited to one role over the other.

tablescape for an event

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 relationships 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 in an office setting. If you love organization and running a team, this is the job for you.

Both event planners and event coordinators are similar in their job descriptions 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!

Want the best of both worlds? Check out what you’ll learn on the path to becoming a certified event planner!


2 responses to “Event Planners VS. Event Coordinators – What Should You Choose?”

    Marcus Coons says:

    I had no idea that an event planner was also in charge of getting the vendors to your event. We are planning on having a big party and want to find someone that can help us plan it properly and make it happen, so I’m glad I found your post. Personally, I would want to find an event planner that knows how to do their job and can provide useful advice on how to have a successful event.

    A lot of people think that event planners and coordinator are same but you have explained both in easy to understand manner. Event planner’s and coordinator’s job is bit different in a lot of aspects. We are thinking to plan an event and want to find someone that can help us plan it correctly, so I’ve got abundance of understanding and hired event coordinator Miami to help us.

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