Project management. It’s something you probably do on a daily basis.
Whether it’s figuring out what household projects you can get to over the weekend. Or what deadlines you need to meet at work.
But perhaps those who take project management to a whole other level are none other than meeting planners. Have you ever wondered how corporate events, conferences, or business meetings get accomplished?
Sure, you have. And of course, it takes a village to pull these kinds of events off. But we’re here to shine a light on those who remain at the helm of it all and who the Bureau of Labor Statistics say will be a continually rising field of employment.
A quick definition of a meeting planner
In short, a meeting planner or event planner is a person who manages the planning and operation of major events. They might be managing trade shows or working with nonprofit organizations or convention staff.
But ultimately, an event planner is tasked with fulfilling meeting objectives. And getting all meeting preparation handled months in advance of the meeting itself.
A certified meeting professional will most likely have a background or college degree in hospitality management. And they’ll be versed in labor statistics, public relations, and more.
What are the different types of meeting planners?
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Because there are plenty of directions you can go when you build a career as a meeting planner.
Corporate meeting planner
A corporate planner is responsible for organizing board meetings, conferences, trade shows, or intimate dinners. And securing meeting sites that are typically out of office.
They’ll also likely be handling travel arrangements and audio visual equipment if necessary. And the best kind of meeting planners will always include corporate entertainment at events.
Just a pro tip we thought we’d throw out there. In short, there’s a long list of responsibilities that fall under a meeting planner job description.
Convention planners are the ones who tackle large events that are often high-profile. As the name suggests, the potential meeting sites of these types of events will often be convention centers.
But that being said, any and all meeting planners work to fit the needs of the specific client or organization. So not only do these event planners have to inspect meeting sites.
But these planners must also negotiate contracts, be on top of technical equipment, and more. So if you have a special event coming up, you’ll definitely want to have a meeting planner on board with you.
You might be more familiar with event planners than with meeting planners. And that’s because the scope of an event planner can be smaller in comparison.
But most meeting planners, on the other hand, will be more focused on business meetings and conferences. That being said, both types of planners must have a bachelor’s degree or experience in the hospitality industry.
Every meeting planner will come with their own rate. But for those looking to secure meeting planners on a tight budget, association planners are here to help.
Most nonprofits will work with association executives who may not have the most money or staff to work with. But they’ll rely more on volunteers to boost the event and the cause.
All in all, these kinds of job openings make a meeting planner more accessible for those in need of a meeting space. But just don’t have the funds to secure an event planner at a higher rate.
Bonus: How To Emcee An Event
Why are meeting planners important?
If you’ve ever been tasked with organizing meetings or any other big event, you’ll know why meeting planner jobs exist. So as we look at why meeting planners are important, let’s see what specific skills they can bring to the table.
Sure, other professions require proper organizational skills. But putting together large meetings means scheduling and organizing with the company, the caterer, the venue, the entertainment… shall we go on?
All we’re getting at is that a meeting planner has a lot of plates to juggle. But they’ll know how to make these meetings go off without a hitch.
Because that’s what their career advancement is all about. Making organization look effortless and feel possible.
Do we need to run through that list of people a meeting planner has to deal with again? Because it’ll only get longer the more we get into it.
But working with so many different people means knowing how to work interpersonally. People skills are a very real thing and often go underestimated.
Because not everyone will immediately get along. But a meeting planner is also like a magician, because they manage to make everyone happy at the same time.
You might think this one goes without saying. But communication is not just verbal.
It’s body language, email correspondence, the tone of your voice. In short, there’s a lot going on in these small instances we might even call small talk.
But meeting planners will have the art form of communication down to a T. And that’s a skill set you’ll be more than happy to pay for.
Making your special events effortless
Organizing an event might give you the biggest break out you’ve ever had. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Well, not with a meeting planner and a really good virtual emcee they recommend. Because what’s the point of the event anyway?
To make connections and expand your brand awareness. So why don’t you focus on those goals specifically and bring in a meeting planner to handle the rest?
You never know if they might also point out some good tips for you to utilize in the future too. After all, we’re all always looking to grow and expand our own skill sets, right?
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.