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An events operations coordinator organizes a meeting, convention or banquet for a company or client. Events operations planners start by determining the location of an event, then handle the set up. That includes what type of stage or podium will be needed for speakers, what type of tables and equipment will be used, and what type of food will be served.
Events operations coordinators put a staff in place to get ready for an occasion. They direct workers such as cooks, food servers, ushers and other support to help create the décor. Events operations coordinators also have to manage a budget and negotiate with venue owners on pricing. On top of those things, they must make sure everything is in place for the event--from various forms of technology to reading materials to the cleanliness of restrooms. Occasionally, events coordinators are also responsible for marketing the event.
Events operation coordinators must be strong leaders who possess strong written and verbal communication skills. They should be highly organized and feel comfortable delegating. They don’t need to know how to perform each of the tasks leading up to an event, but they do have to know how to put people in place who do. Sound math skills are likely also needed in order to manage a budget, as are decent marketing abilities. Events operations coordinators should also be able to identify issues and find ways to overcome them.
Requirements to become an events operations coordinators vary by company, but just like most industries, those with a bachelor’s degree typically have a better chance to land the best jobs. Areas of study for aspiring events coordinators typically include meetings management, business, administration, marketing and perhaps accounting. Some can be hired with no more than a high school diploma and relevant experience.
Since most companies place a high degree of importance on meetings and conventions, opportunities for events operations coordinators should be abundant for years to come. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of meeting and convention planners is expected to grow by 16 percent through 2018, which is faster than the average growth rate of all professions.
Salaries for events operation coordinators vary considerably, with aspects such as experience, degree and duties all playing a role. According to the BLS, the median salary for meeting and convention planners was $44,260 per year in May 2008. Highest earners made close to $58,000 per year, the BLS reported.
Sam Amico is a reporter for NBA.com and worked as a writer and editor at daily newspapers for more than a decade, covering everything from rock concerts to college football to courts and crime. He attended Kent State University and is the author of the book, "A Basketball Summer." He also is the co-host of a nationally-syndicated television show, "The Wine & Gold Zone."