Careers in Events & Conferences

NB: Listed below are an array of jobs available in the selected sector. We continue to add details to each job listed, including duties, required experience, suggested education, possible career paths and average annual salary.

Volunteer Coordinator

OVERVIEW
Volunteer coordinators organize, direct and control the services of volunteers at events, attractions or conferences. They motivate volunteers and accommodate their individual needs. Coordinators train volunteers properly so that they know what is expected of them, and ensure that they know their value to the event.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Required experience and skills include supervisory or management experience, experience as a volunteer, strong verbal and written communication skills, and leadership and team-building skills. Volunteer coordinators must enjoy working with people. Other desired skills include organizational and administrative skills, and planning and financial management skills. A network of contacts is also valuable. In addition, awareness of the cause or charity and knowledge of various methods of giving are desirable.

DUTIES
Develop volunteer programs and services, recruit, train, schedule and supervise volunteers, support and encourage volunteers, conduct volunteer evaluations, organize volunteer appreciation programs.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is required.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Assistant Manager, Manager.

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Trade Show Guide

OVERVIEW
Trade show guides serve as hosts to individuals or groups at trade shows, exhibitions and conferences. They may describe points of interest and supply information, or escort a party through a show or centre. The position offers an excellent opportunity to network and learn about trade shows and the sector in general, as well as about what the event is promoting.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
This position requires that the trade show guide have an interest in the subject area of the event, good communication skills, physical ability to stand and/or walk as required by the position, and a professional attitude and appearance. Also required is a willingness to work with people. Desired abilities and experience include customer service skills, presentation experience, and knowledge of trade show products and industry. A second language is also an asset.

DUTIES
Meet and greet visitors, respond to questions or concerns, hand out trade show maps and guides, guide visitors to display, or offer directions, fill out any required tracking data, statistics, etc.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is preferred.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Supervisor of Trade Show Guides, Meeting Planner.

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Special Events Manager

OVERVIEW
Special events managers are responsible for the planning, design, production, promotion, overall co-ordination and profitability of an event. They delegate many of the tasks and then oversee and support those they delegated to. This is a creative position, sometimes allowing opportunities for testing new ideas and themes. Like a special events coordinator, those who make a career of event management often move from one contract to another.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
A special events manager requires experience in coordinating or managing events, as well as marketing and promotional skills, problem solving and time management skills, and human resource and financial management skills. In addition, the individual must have an outgoing, people-oriented personality. Fundraising experience is an asset, as is knowledge of the local industry and area.

DUTIES
Determine parameters, policies and procedures of events, plan, design, program and produce events, develop and implement a marketing plan, develop and produce promotional materials and presentations, develop a risk management plan, solicit event donors, sponsors and participation by merchants, oversee the financial management of events.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A diploma or degree in marketing, communication, public relations or business is usually necessary.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Convention/Meeting Planner, General Manager, President, Owner/Operator.

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Special Events Coordinator

OVERVIEW
Special events coordinators assist in the preparation, implementation, execution and evaluation of special events. They help with human resource co-ordination by recruiting, training and motivating staff and volunteers. It is a job that requires creativity and the use of many talents. Event coordinator positions may be short-term contracts, and many event coordinators move from contract to contract, event to event.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
An event coordinator requires strong written and verbal communication skills, an ability to be an effective team member, planning and organizational skills and event/project co-ordination experience. Also required are public relations and marketing skills, and human resource/volunteer management skills. Desired experience and skills include negotiation, arbitration and accounting skills, and knowledge of the local area and industry.

DUTIES
Administer financial controls and procedures, implement event plan, including program, site development, equipment, staging, seating and parking, co-ordinate office administration, fulfill marketing plan including advertising, trade shows, contests and volunteer/sponsor appreciation programs, recruit, train, supervise and evaluate staff and volunteers, prepare/deliver written and verbal communications.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A diploma or degree in communications, marketing, business administration or tourism management is usually required.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Convention/Meeting Planner, Special Events Manager, Owner/Operator.

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Registration Clerk

OVERVIEW
Registration clerks look after all aspects of registering delegates to a meeting, conference or event. Much is done prior to the event, such as researching the list of potential clients, preparing the registration package materials and then sending them out. When forms are returned, the information is collated, and an attendee list is prepared. During the event, a registration clerk keeps track of the number of attendees, and may help or oversee the work of the trade show guides.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Necessary skills for this position include good communication and organizational skills. Cash handling experience is also required. Desired background includes meeting and convention experience, registration experience and customer service experience. Time management skills are also an asset.

DUTIES
Prepare and send mailings to members and others, set up registration area and system for tracking pre-registered delegates, greet/register delegates, provide information, give directions and answer enquiries, record and report attendance figures.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is preferred.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Registration Supervisor, Registration Manager.

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OVERVIEW
Fundraising consultants co-ordinate the fundraising activities for an event, conference or non-profit organization. They request support from businesses and individuals, and are required to explain what raised funds will be used for when asked. This can be a very creative position, as there are many ways to raise funds.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Required abilities for this position include fundraising experience, strong communication and marketing skills, proven experience in budgeting and managing money, and strong organizational skills. Skills and experience that would be assets include experience with different methods of giving, knowledge of cause for which funds are being raised, and a network of contacts.

DUTIES
Solicit corporate, government and foundation support via presentations, proposals, etc. solicit public donations via direct mail campaigns and donor programs, establish and operate endowments, bequests and deferred-giving programs, conduct membership drives and fundraising campaigns, raise funds and awareness through special events, write and produce promotional material, publicize organization and events, thank sponsors or organize sponsor appreciation programs.

RECOMMENDED EDUCATION
A secondary school diploma is required. A degree or diploma in business, arts administration, marketing or communications is an asset.

POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS
Executive Director, Owner/Operator.

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