What Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners Do
Meeting, convention, and event planners arrange all aspects of events and professional gatherings.
Meeting, convention, and event planners work in their offices and onsite at hotels or conference centers. They often travel to attend events and visit meeting sites. During meetings or conventions, planners may work many more hours than usual.
How to Become a Meeting, Convention, or Event Planner
Meeting, convention, and event planners typically need a bachelor’s degree. Some experience related to event planning may be helpful.
The median annual wage for meeting, convention, and event planners was $50,600 in May 2019.
Employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be best for candidates who have experience and a bachelor’s degree in meeting and event management, hospitality, or tourism management.
Meeting, convention, and event planners arrange all aspects of events and professional gatherings. They arrange meeting locations, transportation, and other details.
Meeting, convention, and event planners typically do the following:
- Meet with clients to understand the purpose of the event
- Plan the scope of the event, including its time, location, and cost
- Solicit bids from venues and service providers
- Inspect venues to ensure that they meet the client’s requirements
- Coordinate event services such as rooms, transportation, and food
- Monitor event activities to ensure that the client and the attendees are satisfied
- Review event bills and approve payments
Meeting, convention, and event planners organize a variety of social and professional events, including weddings, educational conferences, and business conventions. They coordinate every detail of these events, including finances. Before planning a meeting, for example, planners meet with clients to estimate attendance and determine the meeting’s purpose. During the event, they handle logistics, such as registering guests and organizing audiovisual equipment. After the meeting, they make sure that all vendors are paid, and they may survey attendees to obtain feedback on the event.
Meeting, convention, and event planners search for potential meeting sites, such as hotels and convention centers. They consider the lodging and services that the facility can provide, how easy it will be for people to get there, and the attractions that the surrounding area has to offer.
Once a location is selected, planners arrange the meeting space and support services, such as catering and interpreters. They negotiate contracts with suppliers and coordinate plans with the venue’s staff. They may also organize speakers, entertainment, and activities.
The following are examples of types of meeting, convention, and event planners:
Meeting planners plan large meetings for organizations. Healthcare meeting planners specialize in organizing meetings and conferences for healthcare professionals. Corporate planners organize internal business meetings and meetings between businesses. These events may be in person or online and held either within corporate facilities or offsite to include more people.
Convention planners plan conventions and conferences for organizations. Association planners organize annual conferences and trade shows for professional associations. Convention service managers work for hotels and convention centers. They act as liaisons between the meeting facility and the planners who work for associations, businesses, and governments. They present food service options to outside planners, coordinate special requests, and suggest hotel services that work within a planner’s budget.
Event planners arrange the details of a variety of events. Wedding planners are the most well known, but event planners also coordinate celebrations such as anniversaries, reunions, and other large social events, as well as corporate events, including product launches, galas, and award ceremonies. 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.
Exhibition organizers are responsible for all aspects of planning, promoting, and producing a display. They are also called exhibit managers, show managers, or show organizer.
Meeting, convention, and event planners held about 138,600 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of meeting, convention, and event planners were as follows:
|Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations||19%|
|Accommodation and food services||11|
|Administrative and support services||10|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||10|
Meeting, convention, and event planners spend time in their offices and at event locations, such as hotels and convention centers. They may travel regularly to attend the events they organize and to visit meeting sites.
The work of meeting, convention, and event planners can be fast paced and demanding. Planners oversee many aspects of an event at the same time and face numerous deadlines, and they may coordinate multiple meetings or events at the same time.
Most meeting, convention, and event planners work full time, and many work more than 40 hours per week. They often work additional hours to finalize preparations as major events approach. During meetings or conventions, planners may work on weekends.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of meeting, convention, and event planners.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
Administrative Services Managers
Administrative services managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities that help an organization run efficiently.
Floral designers arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$28,040|
Food Service Managers
Food service managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants or other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$55,320|
Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization.
Lodging managers ensure that traveling guests have a pleasant experience at their establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the business is run efficiently and profitably.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$54,430|
Travel agents sell transportation, lodging, and entertainment activities to individuals and groups planning trips.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$40,660|
For more information about professional planning for meetings, conventions, exhibitions, and events, including information about certification and industry trends, visit
For more information about wedding planners, including information about certification, visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm (visited ).