The median salary for meeting and event planners is $49,370 per year and the field is growing at a faster than average rate of 11 percent. Most meeting, event and convention planners require a bachelor’s degree, often in hospitality or event management. Some employers prefer a certified meeting planner credential and experience with virtual meeting software and social media outlets.
Great event planners are typically organized multi-taskers with the ability to manage time, solve problems and communicate verbally and in writing. As an event planner, you must inspire confidence in your customers and be able to provide the best value for their investment. You must also be willing to work long and often irregular hours to assure events flow smoothly from start to finish. This may be difficult if you have young children, particularly if your military service member is deployed. Having a backup assistant who can help when you are not available may be a possible solution.
As a planner, you will be responsible for coordinating every aspect of a meeting or event, including location, transportation, entertainment, décor, food and more. Weddings, business meetings, conferences and conventions are examples of the types of events you might coordinate. You may start your career working for a company, but as you gain experience, you might consider working for yourself or starting your own business. Some of the possible titles and roles you might have in this career field include the following:
- Association planners organize conferences and trade shows for professional associations.
- Corporate planners organize internal business meetings and meetings between businesses.
- Government meeting planners organize meetings for government officials and agencies. As a government planner, you may want to consider government meeting planning to show you know government buying policies and travel regulations.
- Convention service managers working for hotels and convention centers help organize major events and are liaisons between the meeting facility and planners who work for associations, businesses and government.
- Event planners arrange the details of a variety of events, including weddings and large parties.
- 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.
To learn more about meeting and event planning careers, review the Research Occupations tool on MySECO and investigate your options. Take self-assessments to make sure your skills and interests align with your career choice. Talk to others in the field and get their feedback.
Start your job search for meeting and event planning positions on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Hundreds of partner employers have made the commitment to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers.
Below are a few MSEP partners that may be hiring in your field:
Professional organizations and networking
You may wish to consider joining a professional organization in your career field to gain a better understanding of current industry trends in meeting and event planning. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move.
Consider volunteering, if possible, or doing an internship and proactively networking to build your event planning experience. Tell family, friends, coworkers and all others that you are hoping to work in event planning and ask for contacts they might have who can help you build and expand your network.
Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 and speak with a SECO career coach to discuss career or education choices, searching for a job or overcoming challenges. Coaches are available to review your resume, practice interviewing, discuss networking or assist you in understanding employer requirements for this field. For additional guidance, use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website.