Culinary Career Options: Special Event Coordinator
One of the most popular careers in the hospitality management field is that of a special event coordinator. Hotels, catering companies, and trade centers make quite a bit of their money from large events that range from traditional weddings to large, corporate meetings. In addition to providing a space for the event to take place, these companies may also be responsible for the food, decorations, overall management, and cleanup.
In order to get all this accomplished and keep the client happy with the outcome, there is usually a special event coordinator in charge of it all. Whether managing employees on the line in the kitchen or overseeing dozens of vendors brought in to make the event a success, this is one job that comes with big responsibility—and big pay.
What Does a Hotel Event Coordinator Do?
The special event coordinator at a hotel, restaurant, or other event location handles the logistics of handling a large crowd. Duties may include:
- Coordinating vendors (such as florists, caterers, photographers, etc.)
- Managing a budget
- Marketing the company
- Bringing in new clientele
- Planning a menu and/or helping produce and serve food
- Upholding safety and sanitation levels
- Securing lodging for large numbers of guests
- Setting up audio-visual equipment
- Coordinating transportation
- Handling client contracts and payments
How Much Does an Event Coordinator Earn?
Because of the wide range of responsibilities and the long hours the job can demand, top special event coordinators can command up to $80,000 per year. The average is a little bit lower than that at between $30,000 to $50,000 annually, but there is typically room for upward mobility as your career develops. In fact, many of these positions offer commissions for signing up large events, so your potential to earn goes even higher.
How Does a Hospitality Management Degree Help?
Although a degree isn’t required, an education in hospitality management from a university or culinary school can go a long way in boosting your career. Hotel management programs tend to work best for fields like this, since students can choose between a two-year Associate degree, a four-year Bachelor’s degree, or even a six-year Master’s program. As you move up the educational ladder, you’ll find more chances to specialize and to develop the advanced business skills necessary to succeed in a supervisory role.
Depending on the culinary school or hospitality management program you enter, you may find yourself taking classes in:
- Hotel operations
- Office administration
- Event planning
- Food and beverage operations
- Restaurant management
- General business and accounting
- Culinary training
Hospitality management and special event coordination isn’t right for everyone, but if you have a passion for the culinary field as well as great organizational and leadership skills, this could be a great way to enjoy a solid future.