When defining event planning jobs, many will separate the types of jobs into two categories; sales and operations. If you’ve ever met, or known, a meeting or event planner then you know there are times when one person will be expected to perform both the sales and operations sides of the business. More often than not those people would be self employed.
This is the first of two posts defining the types of event planning jobs. This, part 1, deals with the planning, or sales, function of meeting and event planning.
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Event Planning Jobs Relating Meeting and Event Sales
The Meeting Planner. This is the position that gets the ball rolling. In some larger companies and associations, the meeting planner can have a department of staff working with them. It is their job to understand the concept of the meeting that is required and then initiates an RFP (request for proposal). And that’s just the beginning stages.
Meeting and Event Coordinator. Event coordinator jobs will usually report to the meeting planner, and help execute the program. This position does a lot of the grunt work. In other words, there’s a lot of communication and follow-up required for this position.
Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). A CVB is of great assistance to a meeting planner. Typically a CVB will become involved once the meeting planner knows where they are going to host their meeting. A meeting planner will work with a CVB by forwarding their RFP to the various vendors and suppliers that are members of the CVB. A meeting planner”s initial contact with in the CVB would be someone in sales role.
Hotel Sales. Many meetings and events will require hotel rooms for their delegates. As well, many meetings utilize the hotel’s meeting rooms and ballrooms for meal functions. A meeting and event planner”s first point of contact (sometimes via the CVB) is the hotel salesperson. The hotel salesperson will put together a proposal based on the requirements outlined on the RFP.
Venue and Supplier Sales. Like the hotel sales contacts, many meetings and events will require venues as well as other meeting suppliers to help fulfill the requirements of the meeting. Often times suppliers are members of their local CVB. Supplier sales people have good relationships with hotel salespeople. As that can often prove an excellent source of referrals.
Destination Management Company (DMC). The beauty of working with a DMC is that they can be one contact for many various suppliers and venues that are required. For a meeting planner, a DMC represents an efficient way of working with various meeting suppliers via one contact. And often times, it’s only one bill that they have to review and approve.
Putting together a meeting or event is no small task. The job involves a lot of initial planning to determine the requirements. From there, it’s reaching out to the various suppliers (hotels, venues and CVB’s for example) to get their proposals based on the meeting planner’s outline (or RFP). The selling stage of a meeting or event can occur months and even years in advance.