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An event planner (also known as a meeting and/or convention planner) is someone who coordinates all aspects of professional meetings and events. They often choose meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate other details.
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An event planner will typically do the following:
Whether it is a wedding, educational conference, or business convention, meetings and events bring people together for a common purpose. Meeting, convention, and event planners work to ensure that this purpose is achieved 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 setting up audio/visual equipment for speakers. After the meeting, they survey attendees to find out what topics interested them the most.
Event planners also search for potential meeting sites, such as hotels and convention centres. They consider the lodging and services that the facility can provide, how easy it will be for people to get there, and the attractions that the surrounding area has to offer. More recently, planners also consider whether an online meeting can achieve the same objectives as a face-to-face meeting.
Once a location is selected, planners arrange meeting space and support services. For example, they negotiate contracts with suppliers to provide meals for attendees and coordinate plans with on-site staff. They organize speakers, entertainment, and activities. They also oversee the finances of meetings and conventions. On the day of the event, planners may register attendees, coordinate transportation, and make sure meeting rooms are set up properly.
Event planners spend most of their time in offices. During meetings and events, they usually work on-site at hotels or convention centers. They travel regularly to attend events they organize and to visit prospective meeting sites, sometimes in exotic locations around the world. Planners regularly collaborate with clients, hospitality workers, and meeting attendees.
The work of meeting, convention, and event planners can be fast-paced and demanding. Planners oversee many aspects of the event at the same time, face numerous deadlines, and orchestrate the activities of several different groups of people.
Most meeting, convention, and event planners work full time. In addition, many are required to work long, irregular hours in the time leading up to a major event. During meetings or conventions, planners may work very long days, starting early in the morning and working late into the evening. Sometimes, they must work on weekends.