What are the different types of event planners?
Some people may enjoy consulting as a living, so smaller events may be right up their alley! Or, if you’re more of a social butterfly, getting hired by a larger corporation would be a great fit in order to be hands on with large-scale trade shows and events.
There are tons of opportunities out there for event planners – which one do you think you are or are aspiring to be? Below are a few different areas you can test out if they sound appealing to you!
The Consulting Free Bird
How many times have you woken up and considered working for yourself as a living? Consulting gigs are awesome for those who don’t want to feel tied down at a larger corporation, or drive long distances to an office every day. You can create a very fun career path for yourself as a consulting event planner, signing on smaller jobs to keep your projects moving and due dates met on time. It may become too much for work one person alone to manage larger events while consulting, but if you have a small team working with you out of your home office, or remotely, it could be worth looking into planning larger executive meetings, dinners, and parties.
The idea around consulting is to offer your professional services to a person or group of people – you’re providing them with your amazing creative talents, ideas for ways to make their events shine, and show them how to stay on track to meet deadlines, set goals for before, during and after the events, and trust you will hire the best vendors in town to help pull of a great experience for them!
The Team Lover
Being in an office is extremely fun for some event planners. They prefer to wake up, get dressed, grab a cup of coffee, and get started around larger teams at companies that attend trade shows, regional events, host webinars, roadshows, and perhaps even host their own annual corporate event! The office event planner is very organized, has a day-to-day agenda for scheduled meetings to attend, vendors he or she loves to work with on events of all sizes, and knows how to keep track of budgets. It’s important to keep checklists for events to not only keep the planner on track, but also the team helping with the event. Their extended team usually consists of marketing members, sales, and sometimes execs. You will want to build relationships with these other team members as you start your corporate role as a planner to ensure there is trust between you, and you can all work easily and smart together to ensure successful events from beginning to end.
Planning events at a corporation is not an easy task, and for bigger brands, you will be planning events on a monthly, sometimes even weekly basis. Having the right attitude and personality is essential for working in the corporate planning world.
The Social Butterfly
If you’re looking for something a little bit more social and upscale from corporate planning or consulting gigs, the perfect fit for you might be in the area of wedding and party planning! These types of events can sometimes feel super stressful and overwhelming as you enter in your first couple of weddings or parties. There is the expectation from clients that they will “want the very best” when it comes to their wedding day or party they are planning. Clients usually come with ideas swirling around in their heads, so the perfect planner will be open to these ideas, and willing to guide the client into the right direction to ensure money is saved and they get exactly what they are looking for without going too over-the-top.
Wedding and party planning can be a ton of fun; so having vendors in mind that you like to work with is always handy when meeting new clients. You want to impress clients with the best of the best, and at the same time save them money.
Different Names for Event Planners
This position may be responsible for planning minor events or office functions but isn’t planning large scale events. Most of their duties revolve around managing and distributing information within an office. Typically, their main responsibility ranges significantly depending on industry and supervisor but generally includes answering phones and scheduling meetings.
This is the first true position focused on events. Generally, this position is a lower level one and involves coordinating all aspects of professional meetings and events. They often choose meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate other details.
This position ensures that everything related to an event is taken care of, from idea conception to programming and day-of logistics. They’re responsible for more aspects of the event and events are their job.
Manage staff responsible for event coordination activities. Coordinate details of events such as conferences, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, charity events, surprise parties, trade shows, sales meetings, business meetings, employee appreciation events, and virtual events.
An event technologist’s technical expertise allows them to make sense of different, ever-changing functions across the event technology stack, and then communicate them clearly to stakeholders in other parts of the organization. As part of the planning team, event technologists deeply understand the event goals and can, therefore, therefore find the best possible tech solutions to meet them.
Director of Events
Directs and oversees the planning of meetings and special events for an organization. This is a top position in the field and held by those that have years of experience.
The best types of events for hitting business goals
In this section, we will cover the top four most useful corporate event types. Each type includes a short description of what it is along with details about which business goals they’re best for, what types of venues you’ll need, how to plan your event layout, and real-world examples from leading brands that you can actually learn from. Let’s jump right in!
A conference is a large event (attendance numbers are typically in the hundreds or thousands) focused on a central theme or industry that is typically held over multiple days. Event activities for this event type include speakers, exhibitions, contests, and networking opportunities as well as more recreational get-togethers pre- and post-conference.
- Best for these business goals: Raise product or brand awareness, increase sales, position company as an expert
- Ideal venues for this event type: Conference and convention centers
Trade shows bring together tons of like-minded brands under the umbrella of one major theme. This interactive event type relies on exhibition booths and interesting partners to create memorable experiences for their audience.
- Best for these business goals: Showcase a variety of products both old and new, connect face to face with your audience, supercharge lead generation, build sales/marketing contact lists
- Ideal venues for this event type: Conference and convention centers, auditoriums, universities
On the surface, seminars are a lot like conferences. The biggest difference is that seminars are entirely dedicated to instruction and training. Because they’re academic in nature, it makes sense why they’re often done as a series and involve smaller groups than their more massive and diverse event type counterparts.
- Best for these business goals: Product training, employee training, certifications or courses, develop or strengthen long term customer loyalty
- Ideal venues for this event type: Classrooms, board rooms, small to medium size multifunction spaces
Corporate off-sites & executive meetings
Corporate off-sites and executive meetings are face-to-face events that often involve high level employees and/or key business partners. Companies use this type of event for lots of reasons but it’s up to the event planner to set them up for success through clear agendas, creative environments, and tools or policies that improve productivity.
- Best for these business goals: Generate new ideas, complete a specific task, make important decisions, establish partnerships
- Ideal venues for this event type: Boardrooms, restaurants, co-working spaces
Company parties bring employees together to celebrate shared victories, acknowledge milestones, boost morale, and enjoy holidays. While the focus of this type of event is usually fun and relaxation, event planners can still set and achieve concrete goals for their colleagues.
- Best for these business goals: Show appreciation for employees, facilitate interdepartmental mingling, improve company culture
- Ideal venues for this event type: Restaurants, converted warehouses, unique venues, on-site event facilities, wedding venues, recreational venues
Product launches help formally spread the word about a new brand, partnership, product/service, or special offer. These in-person events generate buzz and help attendees get to know your company better.
- Best for these business goals: Increase sales, improve brand recognition, connect more intimately with fans
- Ideal venues for this event type: Boutiques, hotels, spas, golf courses, restaurants/bars, any industry-specific venue that allows for mingling, photography, and mini booths.
Plan the right event type the right way
In order to help organize, keep track of, and monitor goal progress, you’re going to need to rely on a great free event planning software like Social Tables. In addition to helping you hit business goals, Social Tables helps corporate event planners find and strategically diagram venues to make sure they’re getting the most out of their investment.