The Event Planner is responsible for covering every aspect of a large, organized meeting from start to finish. They essentially create, organize, and supervise every element of an event, meeting, or incentive. An Event Planner must be able to do everything involved from conception to completion and just about every little detail in between, which is why being organized, energetic, and personable are key requirements for just about every planner. Each event or meeting is comprised of three main duties; Pre-Event, During the Event, and Event Follow Up.
Event Planners start each project with pre-event duties. Most begin by communicating with the client to discover needs, wants, and the scope of the event itself. The client will determine the budget, the time, and the location and the planner will take what they have and use it to maximize the event. Because the Event Planner has a budget, time and location parameter, they have to collect bids from several places including caterers if the event has food, to be sure they are getting the best price and the best quality for their client. This can take the longest time because it requires multiple phone calls, reporting, negotiating, and sometimes going back to the client to discuss if they need to put more money into the event for what they are looking to do. This job duty may even go as far as contacting and arranging lodging and transportation for guests of the event, which again means finding the best location in the most affordable but effective way possible.
After the pre-event responsibilities, the Event Planner must be present and available throughout the entire event for their client. This means they will supervise the event setup, including the use of equipment. This also means the planner will work to keep the guests and host satisfied by maintaining schedule of any featured speakers or performers as well as quality control of any food or drinks available. Once the event is completed, they will then supervise an organized and timely cleanup, pay any unpaid participant, and finalize paperwork and payment with the client. During finalization, the planner reviews the event with the client to be sure it was successful and to see if there is anything else they can do.
If applying for an Event Planner position, your resume should include your communication skills. On paper this may seem difficult but adding any classes for communication and all of the past successful events shows a hiring manager you are easy to communicate with. Organization is the number one function of an Event Planner so add how you organize your events and clients. This can be shown through software skills such as Excel or Word as well as CRM (customer relation management) systems that store information on clients and events. Creating relationships with vendors such as food, sound equipment, hotels etc. is important to show because the more people who know you in the business, the more effective you are at knowing costs, getting deals when needed, and securing vendors quicker. Industry may be important to a hiring manager as well since planning a wedding or social event is very different to business meetings or government agencies who require you to know government funding and billing practices. Lastly, many companies look for training in Event Planning so add any CMP or Certified Meeting Professional credentials, college degree, and/or internships.
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