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As a corporate event planner, your role is to make business meetings a success. You may be a member of a company marketing or public relations team, or you could work for an event management company, organizing events for its customers. Your role is important, because a successful corporate event helps companies build strong relationships with their stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders, investors and the media.
Corporate event planners are responsible for organizing and managing a wide range of events, including conferences, seminars, product launches, press conferences, annual general meetings, shareholder briefings, employee or industry award ceremonies, and customer social events. The scope of the role has widened as companies hold virtual events, such as webinars or analyst briefings, on the Internet.
Effective organizational skills are essential for this role. You must be able to handle many different tasks, often under severe time pressure. You need good interpersonal and communication skills, as you’ll be dealing with many different groups of people, including presenters, customers, audiovisual technicians, catering staff and team members. You must be able to give clear instructions and motivate the event team to deliver results.
A bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations, business studies or hospitality management improves your employment options, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can improve your professional qualifications by obtaining certification from an organization such as the Convention Industry Council, which offers the Certified Meeting Professional Program.
To carry out your duties, you’ll need an understanding of the different aspects of event planning, including logistics, catering, marketing and presentation. You must also be familiar with the companies that supply event services or facilities, such as conference centers, hotels, catering firms, audiovisual specialists and set builders. Experience in a related field, such as hospitality management, public relations or marketing, is important.
As an event planner, you could be responsible for all the activities related to an event. To put together a program, you identify topics that are relevant to the audience and develop a schedule that includes time for presentations as well as refreshment breaks. You select and brief presenters, provide them with a schedule and arrange any audiovisual equipment they require. For external events, you may select venues that are convenient for delegates and offer facilities for catering, presentations and breakout sessions. You are responsible for checking venue facilities and ensuring that staff are aware of their duties.
Marketing is another important responsibility. You might up a website that provides information on the theme, speakers, agenda, venue and registration. You contact prospects by email, encouraging them to register. To maximize attendance, you use social media to announce news about the event and remind prospects to register.
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.