Event Coordinator

  • Event Coordinator

The event coordinator works under the direction of the event manager and is employed by event production companies that plan and staff functions like trade shows, conventions, award shows, and corporate parties. This role is similar to that of a stage manager or assistant stage manager, in that the coordinator is tasked with supervising both the technical preparation of the event as well as the crew assigned to execute operations.


Duties

When a corporate client hires the event production company, the event coordinator liaises with the client to plan for all equipment rental and crew labor associated with load-in, operation, and strike of the show. He or she will discuss with the client the vision for the occasion and help to identify the lighting and audiovisual solutions best suited to achieve the client’s goals. That information is translated into a production document that is then provided to the crew that is assigned to the function. The coordinator will be tasked with scheduling appropriate crew to pull and clean gear, and ready all equipment that must go out; this includes arranging for transportation and communicating with the venue operations manager. Concerning the venue, the coordinator is interested in identifying the power capacity and dimension of the room(s) holding the event. During load-in, this person supervises the installation of equipment, and will oversee a technical rehearsal to ensure that all equipment is functioning properly and that the operating crew understands their roles. The event coordinator remains on-site at the event through completion to ensure that the client is happy and to mitigate any problems that may arise. “Strike” is the process of disassembling all technical equipment upon conclusion of the event, and is overseen by the coordinator. He or she ensures that all gear is properly loaded back onto trucks for delivery to the warehouse and that the venue is left in acceptable condition. Following the production, he or she will communicate with the client to produce an after-action report to determine the level of satisfaction with the crew’s performance, assure proper restocking, and take inventory of all equipment. Where necessary, damage reports should be immediately filed and delivered to the event manager.

Skills & Education

College degrees in theatrical production, live show production, or entertainment business is encouraged for employment in this role. The event coordinator must understand the appropriate use and operation of lighting, audio, and video equipment in relation to his or her event and be able to accurately identify the correct piece of equipment to do the job. He or she should be an effective communicator, personable, and have a take-charge attitude. This role demands an individual who is highly organized, meticulous, and an excellent problem solver.

What to Expect

This is an entry-level role on a management track but does require prior experience in event production. Technicians of any field may advance to the coordinator role through the display of leadership and technical proficiency. Employment history as an assistant stage manager is also applicable to this role. On the job, you can expect to travel and work irregular hours. You will also deal with demanding and difficult clients that expect you to deliver miracles on a short deadline. You will never be given ample time to react to sudden changes and should plan for equipment failure as a matter of routine. Much of the success of an event coordinator rests on his or her ability to adapt quickly, create solutions, and regularly find a way to please the client under impossible circumstances. When everything goes right, appreciate those days as rare gifts. Nevertheless, this thriving industry can provide an exciting work environment to those who enjoy change and prefer a career that provides new challenges on a daily basis.

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