Special Events Manager

Special events managers, conference and event planners plan, organize and co-ordinate conferences, conventions, meetings, seminars, exhibitions, trade shows, festivals and other events. They also coordinate activities of staff, convention and/or special events personnel, to make arrangements for group meetings, conventions and special events coordination.

They are employed by tourism associations, trade and professional associations, convention and conference centers, governments, as well as conference and event planning companies. Some also work independently, to supplement income, part- time, from home etc. Administrative services and special events managers work in both private industry and government. They typically have a wide range of responsibilities, experience, earnings, and education.

Special Events Manager, Conference and event planners perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Meet with trade and professional associations and other groups to promote and discuss conference, convention and trade show services
  • Meet with sponsors and organizing committees to plan scope and format of events, to establish and monitor budgets and to review administrative procedures and progress of events
  • Co-ordinate services for events, such as accommodation and transportation for participants, conference and other facilities, catering, signage, displays, translation, special needs requirements, audio-visual equipment, printing and security
  • Organize registration of participants, prepare programs and promotional material, and publicize events
  • Plan entertainment and social gatherings for participants
  • Hire, train and supervise support staff required for events
  • Ensure compliance with required by-laws
  • Negotiate contracts for services, approve suppliers’ invoices, maintain financial records, review final billing submitted to clients for events and prepare reports.

Applicants face keen competition due to the substantial supply of competent, experienced workers seeking managerial jobs. Faster than average employment growth in this category, increasingly require at least a bachelor’s degree and some experience in planning and logistics management.

A university degree or college diploma in business, tourism or hospitality administration is usually required. Several years of experience in hospitality or tourism administration or in public relations are usually required and may substitute for formal education requirements. Certification relating to special events, meetings or conference management may be required.

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