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Hiring an Event Planner: Job Description Template

By Sherice Jacob


Are you overwhelmed with the intricacies of planning and executing successful corporate events? It’s a lot—securing the perfect venue, negotiating with vendors, managing logistical nightmares, and meeting organizational goals all while staying within budget. The stakes are high; one mistake could not only ruin an event but also tarnish your company’s reputation.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. In this article, we’ll help you streamline the hiring process and provide you with a tailored event planner job description template.

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Responsibilities & Role of an Event Planner

  • Project Management: An event planner oversees the entire event from conception to execution, ensuring that all elements come together seamlessly. This includes creating timelines, managing budgets, and coordinating tasks among various teams and vendors.
  • Vendor Selection and Negotiation: They identify, vet, and secure necessary vendors such as caterers, entertainment, and venue providers. Good event planners have a network of reliable contacts and can negotiate contracts to get the best deals and services for your event.
  • Design and Décor: Event planners bring your vision to life through themes, decorations, and spatial planning. They work closely with design professionals to make sure the event aesthetics align with your expectations and goals.
  • Logistical Coordination: From arranging transportation and accommodations for out-of-town guests to managing the technical aspects like lighting and sound, an event planner ensures that all logistical details are sorted.
  • Crisis Management: If something unexpected happens, such as equipment failure or inclement weather, an experienced event planner is prepared with contingency plans to swiftly handle challenges, minimizing stress and disruptions.

How to Hire an Event Planner

1. Know Your Event Planner Requirements

  • Identify the Scope and Objectives: Clearly outline the types of events your business frequently hosts, the target audience, and what specific goals (e.g., lead generation, brand awareness) the events should achieve.
  • Evaluate Internal Capabilities: Assess your current team’s skills and resources to determine what gaps an event planner would fill. This could range from logistical planning to vendor management or creative direction.
  • Set a Budget: Establish a realistic budget that covers not just the event planner’s salary, but also associated costs like software, professional development, and miscellaneous expenses to ensure a successful partnership.

2. Search for the Top Talent

  • Industry-Specific Job Boards: Websites like MeetingJobs and the Event Marketing Job Board are tailored for event professionals. These platforms offer a pool of qualified candidates, making your search more targeted and efficient.
  • Leverage Professional Networks: Industry associations like Meeting Professionals International (MPI) or the International Live Events Association (ILEA) often have member directories. These networks can be a valuable resource for high-quality referrals.
  • Social Media Scouting: Platforms like LinkedIn allow you to search for event planners based on skills, experience, and endorsements. Be sure to check out profiles and project portfolios to assess fit.
  • Local Vendor Partnerships: Consult with venues, caterers, or other vendors you trust for recommendations. Often, these industry insiders have preferred event planners they work with regularly and can vouch for their quality and reliability.

We provide a detailed breakdown of the general costs associated with these services further down in the article.

3. Look for Professional Qualifications

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP): This is one of the most respected certifications in the industry and is recognized globally. It indicates that the planner has extensive experience and has passed a rigorous exam covering all aspects of event planning.
  • Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP): This certification is offered through the International Live Events Association and focuses specifically on special events planning, such as weddings, parties, and charity events.
  • Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards (MBECS): Although not a certification, an understanding of MBECS can show that a planner is knowledgeable about the foundational competencies necessary for successful meeting and event planning.
  • Event Management Certification (EMC): Usually, a shorter course designed to offer a broad understanding of the industry. It’s ideal for those who have recently entered the field.

4. Analyze Their Work Experience

When analyzing an event planner’s work experience, start by reviewing their portfolio for events that closely resemble the one you’re planning. Take note of the scale, complexity, and type of these events, whether they are corporate meetings, large-scale conferences, or intimate social gatherings. 

Pay attention to client testimonials and case studies that can give you insights into the planner’s problem-solving skills, creativity, and ability to manage budgets. Finally, during the interview process, ask them to elaborate on specific experiences that are directly relevant to your event, so you can gauge their depth of understanding and expertise in areas that matter most to you.

5. Conduct a Comprehensive Interview Process

Start the interview by asking for a detailed walkthrough of their most successful event, focusing on their role in planning and execution. This provides immediate insight into their expertise and problem-solving skills

Follow up with scenario-based questions related to common challenges in event planning, such as handling last-minute changes or managing difficult vendors. Don’t forget to inquire about their proficiency in event management software and tools, as this is crucial for streamlining tasks and analytics. Finally, ask for examples of how they’ve stayed within budget while exceeding client expectations to gauge their financial acumen and creativity.

6. Get to Know Their References

When speaking to a reference for an event planner, the following questions can provide crucial insights into the candidate’s suitability for your specific needs:

  • How Well Did the Event Planner Stick to Budget and Timeline?
    This question will help you gauge the planner’s financial and time management skills, which are essential for a successful event.
  • Can You Describe a Situation Where the Event Planner Had to Handle an Unexpected Problem?
    This will give you an understanding of their problem-solving and crisis management abilities. How they adapt to unexpected challenges is crucial in the event planning industry.
  • Was the Event’s Objective Met, and How Did the Planner Contribute to This?
    Understanding how well the planner aligns with and executes the goals of an event can indicate how effective they will be at achieving your own objectives.

Red Flags to Avoid During the Hiring Process

  • Lack of Portfolio and References: Be cautious if the candidate can’t provide a portfolio or references; it’s a red flag indicating potential lack of experience or unsuccessful past events.
  • Lack of Skill Balance: Watch out for an overemphasis on creativity without adequate attention to logistics, budgets, and timelines; this imbalance could lead to poor event execution.
  • Lack of Familiarity with Standard Tools: It’s concerning if the candidate is unfamiliar with industry-standard event management software; lack of tech-savvy could hinder efficiency and reporting.
  • Issues with Adaptability and Problem-Solving: Exercise caution in hiring if the candidate struggles with scenario-based questions; this may indicate an inability to adapt or solve problems under pressure.

A new hire's first day checklist

Event Planner Job Description

Download Template

Job Title: Event Planner

Company: [Your Company Name]

Location: [Location]

Job Type: [Full Time / Part Time / Contract]

Salary: [Salary / Competitive / DOE]

About Us:

[Provide a brief description of your company, its history, values, sustainability and work environment.]

The Opportunity: 

We are seeking a highly skilled and experienced Event Planner to join our dynamic team. As the go-to person for all event planning and coordination, you’ll play a pivotal role in bringing our corporate events, trade shows, and internal team-building activities to life. 

You’ll be responsible for everything from conceptualizing themes and securing venues to managing vendors and overseeing logistics. The ideal candidate will have a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) or Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) qualification and a minimum of 5 years of experience in event planning, preferably in a corporate setting. 

Strong project management skills, excellent vendor relationships, and a knack for problem-solving are essential for success in this role. If you have a keen eye for detail, thrive under pressure, and have a proven track record of executing successful events within budget, we’d love to hear from you.

What You’ll Do:

  • Conceptualize and design event themes in alignment with corporate branding and objectives.
  • Identify and secure event venues, ensuring they meet the specific requirements for each event.
  • Manage relationships with multiple vendors, including caterers, decorators, and audio-visual teams, to ensure seamless execution.
  • Develop and manage budgets, providing periodic updates to stakeholders and making adjustments as needed.
  • Create and execute detailed event timelines, coordinating with internal teams and vendors to ensure deadlines are met.
  • Oversee on-site logistics during the event, from set-up to teardown, ensuring all elements run smoothly.
  • Conduct post-event evaluations to gather feedback and measure the event’s success against pre-defined KPIs.
  • Negotiate contracts with suppliers and vendors, ensuring favorable terms and conditions.
  • Handle any crisis or unexpected challenges that arise before or during the event, implementing contingency plans as necessary.
  • Collaborate with marketing teams to promote the event through various channels, such as social media, email campaigns, and press releases.

What You’ll Bring:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Event Management, Hospitality, or related field.
  • Minimum of 5 years of professional experience in event planning.
  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) or Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) preferred.
  • Strong understanding of project management principles.
  • Proficiency in event management software and tools, such as Eventbrite or Cvent.
  • Exceptional organizational and multitasking skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication abilities.
  • Demonstrable experience in budget management and contract negotiation.
  • Proven track record of executing successful events, supported by a portfolio and references.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including weekends and evenings as required by event schedules.

Our Ideal Candidate is Someone Who Has:

  • Master’s degree in Event Management or Business Administration, providing a strong academic foundation for strategic planning and execution.
  • More than 8 years of hands-on experience in planning and executing a variety of event types, including corporate meetings, trade shows, and large-scale conferences.
  • Additional certifications such as Digital Event Strategist (DES) or a Project Management Professional (PMP), showcasing a commitment to ongoing professional development.
  • Proficiency in advanced event management software that includes features for attendee tracking, real-time event analytics, and integrated mobile applications.
  • Extensive network of contacts in the event planning and hospitality industry, including proven relationships with top-tier vendors and venues.
  • Demonstrated expertise in crisis management, supported by real-world examples where quick thinking and problem-solving skills were successfully applied.
  • Strong leadership experience, including managing teams of junior event planners or coordinators, as well as cross-functional teams.
  • Advanced skills in marketing and public relations, with experience running successful promotional campaigns for events.
  • Highly adept at using data analytics tools to assess event performance, make data-driven decisions, and provide post-event reports that offer actionable insights.
  • Experience in sustainability practices for events, including waste reduction and promoting eco-friendly initiatives.

Benefits and Perks:

  • Competitive salary and performance-based bonuses.
  • Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance.
  • Generous PTO and holiday schedule.
  • 401(k) with company match.
  • Life and disability insurance.
  • Continuing education and professional development opportunities.
  • A culture that prioritizes work-life balance.
  • Company-sponsored team outings and social events.
  • Employee wellness programs.
  • Access to professional associations, conferences, and subscriptions.

How to Join Us:

Please send your resume, a cover letter detailing your qualifications, and any other supporting documents to [email address] with the subject line “Application for Event Planner Position – [Your Name]”.

[Your Company Name] is committed to creating an inclusive work environment and is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We welcome applicants of all backgrounds and do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability status. All qualified candidates will receive equal consideration for employment opportunities.

Closing Date: [Insert closing date for applications]

Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Thank you for your interest in [Your Company Name].

Note: It’s important to tailor this template to your company’s specific needs and the specific role you are looking to fill. This template assumes a fairly broad role, but you may need to modify it if the role is specialized.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Event Planner?

Recruitment Costs

Posting a job listing on industry-specific job boards like MeetingJobs or the Event Industry Job Board may come with fees, which can range from $100 to $500 per listing depending on the platform and package chosen. 

Additionally, membership fees for industry associations like Meeting Professionals International (MPI) or the International Live Events Association (ILEA) can also be part of the recruiting budget if you decide to leverage their member directories for potential candidates. For example, membership in the ILEA can cost anywhere from $50 for a student rate, up to $350 for a regular member rate. 

Salary and Benefits

The median annual salary for an event planner is $52,560/year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to the base salary, consider the cost of benefits like health insurance, retirement contributions, and any performance-based bonuses or incentives, which can add another 20-30% to the overall compensation package. Furthermore, event planners often require a budget for ongoing professional development, such as industry certifications or courses, which can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year. 

Equipment and Software

If the planner is not already proficient in specialized event management software that your company uses, the training for such platforms could add another $500 to $2,000 to the cost, depending on the complexity of the software. The most popular and common event planning software programs include Cvent, Eventbrite and Bizzabo

Cvent’s pricing is based on the client’s needs and ranges from several hundred dollars for smaller events to thousands of dollars for larger, more complex events. Eventbrite offers more transparent pricing, often taking a percentage of the ticket sales (usually around 2.5% + $0.99 per ticket as of 2021), in addition to a 3-5% payment processing fee. They also offer a free tier for free events.

Like Cvent, Bizzabo typically customizes its pricing based on the specific needs of the event or organization. Costs are generally not publicly disclosed but can be quite flexible depending on the size and scope of the event(s) you’re planning.

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Sherice Jacob

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