Hotel Event Coordinator Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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What are the pros and cons of a hotel event coordinator career? Get real job descriptions, career outlook and salary info to see if becoming a hotel event coordinator is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Hotel Event Coordinator Career

Hotel event coordinators oversee nearly all aspects of meetings and social events booked at their hotel, including business conferences and private parties. It is important to understand the pros and cons of a career as a hotel event coordinator to make a more informed career decision.

Pros of a Hotel Event Coordinator Career
Faster-than-average job growth (33% between 2012 and 2022)*
Variety in daily tasks (work in offices and at events, travel to meet clients)*
Strong job satisfaction**
Opportunities for career advancement*

Cons of a Hotel Event Coordinator Career
Strong competition for jobs*
Long, irregular hours as events approach (including evenings and weekends)*
Demanding workload (must coordinate the work of many others)*
Must deal with unexpected, last-minute changes**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **U.S. News & World Report.

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Hotel event coordinators plan and coordinate the details of events, from logistical planning to the intricate decorations that dictate the overall mood and success of professional meetings and social parties. They work in a fast-paced environment, organizing the tasks of many different groups of people for the events booked in their hotel.

In this position, you could be responsible for booking facilities for upcoming events and meeting with clients to discuss the purpose of the event, including the client's vision and the size and scope of the event. This can involve some travel to meet with clients. Additional tasks you may be in charge of include arranging accommodations, transportation, audio-visual and other technical equipment, meals, decorations and entertainment.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, many businesses are expanding and opening offices in various locations around the world or hiring outside employees that work remotely. Despite the increased use of online communications to interact with employees, in-person meetings and conferences are increasingly important to bring together people from all over the world to discuss important business matters. Oftentimes, these meetings are booked in hotel conference rooms, requiring hotel event coordinators and others to manage such events.

The BLS also reports that jobs for all meeting, convention and event planners, including those who work in hotels, are expected to grow by 33% from 2012-2022, which was much faster than the national average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). Despite rapid job growth, this is an attractive career option, which means coordinators can expect to face strong competition, as noted by the BLS.

Salary

Hotel event planners typically work full time in large hotel chains, as well as independently owned hotels and resorts. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for all meeting, convention and event planners was about $46,000, and the top ten percent of these workers earned $82,000 or higher as of May 2014. The average salary for those working in the traveler accommodations industry, which includes hotels, was about $48,000 at that same time.

Education and Training Requirements

Employers generally prefer to hire event coordinators with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as hospitality management, marketing, public relations, business or communications. Depending on a candidate's educational background, employers may prefer to hire someone with relevant work experience to supplement a degree. In some cases, relevant work experience in the hospitality industry can take the place of a bachelor's degree in the field.

You could enter the field by pursuing entry-level positions working on smaller events and simpler tasks under the direction of experienced event coordinators. This would help you gain experience, eventually working on larger events with increasingly complex tasks.

Skills

Working as a hotel event coordinator requires that you develop a good understanding of the underlying operations that make hotels successful, including financial and managerial operations. You'll also need to develop an understanding of sales and marketing strategies as they pertain to the hospitality industry. Among the more essential skills needed to excel in this field are:

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Knowledge of strategic planning
  • Ability to multitask and direct others
  • Ability to think on your feet and make quick decisions

Jobs from Real Employers

Employers often look for candidates with some experience in the hospitality industry, whether it is in hotels, restaurants or other service establishments. In addition to customer service skills, some positions may require certain practical skills. While not a complete overview of the job market, the following are excerpts from a few job postings that were online during May 2012 to give you an idea of the types of qualifications employers are looking for.

  • A hotel in Kansas City, MO, is looking for an event planner with three years of event planning experience and knowledge of Delphi systems. Job duties include working with the sales department to manage all aspects of large events and conventions, including menu planning, setting up meeting rooms and arranging VIP amenities.
  • A large hotel chain in Boston, MA, was hiring a special events coordinator responsible for designing and giving open house tours to guests and clients. Qualifications included strong organizational skills and prior marketing or special event experience. They preferred someone with hotel or restaurant experience, a bachelor's degree and knowledge of Adobe Design Suite as well.
  • A hotel in North Carolina was seeking a sales coordinator to provide administrative and clerical support to its sales and catering team. The position required two years experience in the customer service industry, with hotel experience preferred. They were also looking for someone with working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Opera and Delphi.net software programs.

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

Get Experience

In addition to formal education, job postings show that experience is essential for qualifying and competing for jobs. Consider completing an internship while in school or join a social group on campus or in your community where you can take the initiative to organize meetings and social functions.

Work-related experience is also essential for developing and enhancing technical skills needed on the job. For instance, knowledge of virtual meeting software and equipment, as well as experience using social media, can help you gain a competitive advantage over others in the job market. You may consider taking courses in event planning, communications and public relations.

Get Certified

According to the BLS, event planners with professional credentials may experience better job prospects in the field. The Convention Industry Council (CIC) offers the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential, which is widely recognized in the event planning field.

According to the CIC, earning the credential can increase your credibility in the field and lead to career advancement. To earn the CMP designation, you must meet a certain combination of education and experience requirements, as well as internship or continuing education requirements, to be eligible to take the exam. Once you gain a sufficient amount of work experience, you may consider earning the Certification in Meeting Management (CMM) credential through Meeting Professionals International by completing an education program and passing an exam.

Alternative Careers to Consider

Public Relations Specialist

If are interested in planning events but would like to work outside of a hotel, and earn a higher salary while doing so, you might consider a career as a public relations specialist. These professionals are responsible for improving an establishment's image and relationship with clients as well as handling the interactions their company has with the media and the public using various types of communication strategies.

Similar to event coordinators, they typically hold bachelor's degrees in public relations or a related field. They may qualify for management positions after several years of experience. The median annual salary as of May 2011 was about $53,000 for public relations specialists and $93,000 for public relations managers, according to the BLS. These workers could also expect above-average job growth, at 21%, between 2010 and 2020.

Hotel Manager

There are additional career options within the hospitality industry as well. If you like organizing the work of others but do not like the quick-changing pace of event planning, you may consider working as a hotel manager. Hotel managers ensure guests are satisfied with their services and that the overall operations of their establishments are running efficiently.

You generally need a bachelor's degree in hospitality or hotel management for this position, though some smaller hotels may only require manager to have an associate's degree or a certificate. You may also qualify with sufficient work experience. According to the BLS, sluggish job growth was anticipated for all lodging managers between 2010 and 2020, at just eight percent, largely due to a decrease in the number of new large, full-service lodging establishments. The BLS noted that the median annual salary for these workers was about $47,000 as of May 2011.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

Full Sail University

  • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • M.S. - Internet Marketing
  • B.S. - Music Business

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

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Kaplan University

  • Master : Business Admin
  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management

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Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

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Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

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Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Management
  • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
  • MBA - Marketing
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

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University of Delaware

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Custom/General
  • Master of Business Administration - Multiple Concentrations

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Virginia College

  • Associate's - Business Admin
  • Diploma Program - Business Administration

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