Event Planner vs. Event Manager
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) combines the fields of event planning with convention planning. Against this backdrop, the primary functions of an event planner include:
- Coordinating the speakers’ arrivals and meet and greets
- Scouting and securing meeting locations
- Contracting to have print materials prepared
- Renting and testing audio-visual equipment and mikes
- Observing budgetary concerns of the employer
The BLS explains -- and anecdotal evidence supports -- that event planners are occasionally hobbyists who turned pro. Event planning factors in as one of the top-ranked home-based business opportunities, and administrative assistants as well as hospitality workers enter this line of work after learning the job hands-on. In 2008, the average median wage was $44,260.
In contrast, Simply Hired reveals that the median salary of an event manager -- in 2011 -- is $52,000. These professionals frequently function as the liaison between event planners and facility owners. As such, they represent the facility, its associated vendors and entertainers as well as ancillary organizations, such as labor unions and independent contractors. These pros must be industry insiders, know the return on investment that would make it possible to fulfill a special request and also have anecdotal experience of the types of requests the facility owner is unwilling to field.
Depending on the size of the employer’s business and the complexity of the events that the facilities hold, the event manager may be placed in charge of individualized event coordinators, who then work with outside event planners. This adds to the expertise the manager brings to the table and places him into the position of project manager.