The U.S. Department of Labor classifies this occupation under the title of Meeting and Convention Planners. and introduces the nature of this work as follows:
Meeting, convention, and event planners work to ensure that this purpose is achieved efficiently and seamlessly. They coordinate every detail of events, from beginning to end. Before a meeting, for example, planners will meet with clients to estimate attendance and determine the meeting’s purpose. During the meeting, they handle meeting logistics, such as registering guests and organizing audio/visual equipment for speakers. After the meeting, they may survey attendees to find out how the event was received.
The event planner creates programs that address the purpose, message or impression that their organization or client is trying to communicate. Event planners work long and non-traditional hours to plan and execute all details related to a variety of event formats including seminars, conferences, conventions and trade shows; charity galas; luncheons and dinners; executive retreats; trips and travel; golf tournaments; walks/runs and other programs.
Successful event planners will have the following skills:
· Verbal and written communications
· Organization and time management
· Project management and multitasking
· Self-starter and team player
· Understand Microsoft Office applications
· Detail and deadline-oriented
· Budget management
· Staff management
· Marketing and public relations
· Interpersonal skills with all levels of management
· Problem solving while under pressure
· Ability to visualize attendee flow/experience and event set-up well in advance of the event.
Successful event planners will develop the following knowledge:
Venue selection; Catering; Production; Entertainment; Awards/Gifts; Transportation; Lodging;
List Management; Logistics Planning
Additionally, many Event Planners have invested in certifications. The education required to receive a certification is specifically geared toward planning events and meetings covering everything from room set-up, crowd capacity, ADA requirements and contract language. These designations can be quite costly; require an acquisition of skills that usually take several years to achieve; and take time to study for. A planner with a designation means the planner is a professional and is dedicated to their profession.
The most common certifications are:
· CMP - Certified Meeting Planner - Issued by the Convention Industry Council
· CMM - Certified Meeting Manager - Issued by the Meeting Professionals International
· CSEP - Certified Special Events Professional - Issued by International Special Events Society
So the when you have a leaky pipe call a plumber, when you have a toothache see your dentist and when you have an event or meeting, hire a professional planner!