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Meeting, convention, and event planners work in their offices and onsite at hotels or conference centers. They often travel to attend events and visit meeting sites. During meetings or conventions, planners may work many more hours than usual.
About 16,600 openings for meeting, convention, and event planners are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Meeting, convention, and event planners search for potential meeting sites, such as hotels and convention centers. 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.
Meeting planners plan large meetings for organizations. Healthcare meeting planners specialize in organizing meetings and conferences for healthcare professionals. Corporate planners organize internal business meetings and meetings between businesses. These events may be in person or online and held either within corporate facilities or offsite to include more people.
Event planners arrange the details of a variety of events. Wedding planners are the most well known, but event planners also coordinate celebrations such as anniversaries, reunions, and other large social events, as well as corporate events, including product launches, galas, and award ceremonies. Nonprofit event planners plan large events with the goal of raising donations for a charity or advocacy organization. Events may include banquets, charity races, and food drives.
Meeting, convention, and event planners spend time in their offices and at event locations, such as hotels and convention centers. They may travel regularly to attend the events they organize and to visit meeting sites.
The work of meeting, convention, and event planners can be fast paced and demanding. Planners oversee many aspects of an event at the same time and face numerous deadlines, and they may coordinate multiple meetings or events at the same time.
Most meeting, convention, and event planners work full time, and many work more than 40 hours per week. They often work additional hours to finalize preparations as major events approach. During meetings or conventions, planners may work on weekends.
Planners who have studied meeting and event management or hospitality management may start out with greater responsibilities than do those from other academic disciplines. Some colleges offer continuing education courses in meeting and event planning.
The Society of Government Meeting Professionals offers the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation for meeting planners who work for, or contract with, federal, state, or local government. This certification is helpful for candidates who want to show that they know government purchasing policies and travel regulations. To qualify, candidates must have worked as a meeting planner for at least 1 year and have been a member of SGMP for 6 months. To become a certified planner, members must take a 3-day course and pass an exam.
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events offers the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) designation, which demonstrates meeting professional standards for exhibitions and events management. Candidates obtain this credential by completing nine courses.
Meeting, convention, and event planners may benefit from having some experience in meeting and event planning. Working in a variety of positions at hotels, convention centers, and convention bureaus provides knowledge of how the hospitality industry operates. Other beneficial work experiences include coordinating university or volunteer events and shadowing professionals.
Communication skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners exchange information with clients, suppliers, and event staff. They must have excellent written and oral c