Career Information Hotline

Toll Free 1-800-661-3753

Edmonton 780-422-4266

Guest Account Sign In Sign Up
Occupational Profile

Special Event Co-ordinator

Special event co-ordinators plan, organize and co-ordinate conferences, meetings, seminars, exhibitions, trade shows, festivals, fundraisers and other special events.

  • Avg. Salary $49,669.00
  • Avg. Wage $25.76
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 3,600
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Conference Planner, Convention Planner, Event Assistant, Event Planner, Meeting Planner

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

57%
57%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Special Event Co-ordinator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Conference and Event Planners
NOC code: 1226
DIRECTIVE

Interest in co-ordinating services such as accommodation, transportation, conference halls and other facilities, catering, signage, displays, translation, special needs requirements, audio-visual equipment, printing and security; in organizing registration of participants; in approving suppliers' invoices; in ensuring compliance with required by-laws; and in hiring, training and supervising support staff

SOCIAL

Interest in speaking with trade and professional associations and other groups to promote and discuss conference, convention and trade show services and to negotiate contracts for services; and in meeting with sponsors and organizing committees to plan scope and format of events

INNOVATIVE

Interest in planning entertainment and social gatherings for participants and in publicizing events

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Special event co-ordinators' duties vary depending on the nature of the events they organize but, in general, they:

  • identify the objectives of the event and determine the requirements that must be met to accomplish those objectives (for example, facilities and services)
  • meet with trade and professional associations and other groups to promote conference, convention and trade show services and research potential sponsors
  • meet with sponsors and organizing committees to plan the scope and format of events, establish and monitor budgets, review administrative procedures and discuss progress
  • co-ordinate services (for example, accommodation and transportation for participants, catering, signage, displays, translation services, audiovisual equipment, printing, security) and deal with any problems that arise
  • co-ordinate decor design and special effects
  • develop crowd management and risk management systems
  • plan set up and tear down procedures
  • plan entertainment and social gatherings for participants
  • receive and process registrations
  • hire, train and supervise volunteers and support staff
  • negotiate contracts for services, approve invoices, maintain financial records, prepare or review final billing for the event and prepare reports.

Organizing a special event may require:

  • developing or helping to develop a plan, program or agenda
  • identifying the event elements, determining logical sequencing and developing efficient schedules
  • selecting sites and co-ordinating building and property services (for example, audiovisual and technical details, decorations, seating)
  • preparing strategies to ensure that the event site complies with all required legislation and regulations, including those related to health and safety
  • sourcing speakers and entertainment options
  • selecting menus that meet the event's budgetary requirements
  • organizing transportation, security and emergency services
  • marketing the event and promoting sponsorships
  • negotiating rates with suppliers, controlling expenses and administering financial procedures
  • identifying and selecting appropriate registration, admission controls and guest greetings system for an event
  • designing and implementing public relations campaigns
  • recruiting, training and motivating staff or volunteers
  • preparing and distributing event minutes.
Working Conditions
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Special event co-ordinators may work on several projects at once. They work in offices but are required to travel to event sites. Long hours often are required particularly just before and during an event. At times, the work is stressful.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Special event co-ordinators need to possess:

  • excellent communication and presentation skills
  • excellent organizational and time management skills
  • problem solving skills
  • the stamina and energy required to work long hours when required
  • the ability to negotiate agreements and mediate disputes
  • the ability to work effectively with all sorts of people
  • the ability to pay close attention to details
  • the ability to work well under pressure and make responsible decisions quickly.

They should enjoy organizing and co-ordinating activities, and talking to people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Most employers prefer to hire special event co-ordinators who have experience in the co-ordination or supervision of 1 or more events, and have related post-secondary education or certification.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Thompson Rivers University

Vancouver Island University - Nanaimo

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Tourism HR Canada (formally the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council or CTHRC) offers voluntary certification that is recognized across Canada. Depending on preference and past experiences, candidates may choose to pursue training and certification as an Event Coordinator, Event Manager or Certified Event Management Professional (CEMP). Online certification training is accessible from the emerit website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Special event co-ordinators may work on a short-term or permanent basis for:

  • tourism associations
  • trade and professional associations
  • hotels
  • festival and event associations
  • municipal parks and recreation departments
  • educational institutions
  • not-for-profit organizations 
  • large corporations
  • convention and conference centres
  • conference and event planning companies.

Those employed full time may have other responsibilities as well. Advancement tends to take the form of being given responsibility for larger, more complex events or moving into supervisory positions as event managers or event producers. Experienced special event coordinators who have a broad range of contacts may establish their own companies.

Special event co-ordinators are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1226: Conference and event planners. In Alberta, 75% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth(work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 3,600 Albertans are employed in the Conference and event planners occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 40 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As special event co-ordinators form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for special event co-ordinators.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Special event co-ordinators' incomes vary considerably depending on the nature of the event, the qualifications of the co-ordinator and whether the position is full-time or contract.

Conference and event planners
NOC code: 1226

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $34.96 $23.15 $21.15
Overall $17.25 $40.79 $25.76 $23.17
Top $17.31 $45.72 $28.51 $27.88

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Educational Services
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

57%
57%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

11%
11%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

12%
12%

2015 Vacancy Rate

6%
Related High School Subjects
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Financial Management
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
Other Sources of Information
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association website: www.ahla.ca

emerit website: www.emerit.ca

Tourism HR Canada website: tourismhr.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Jan 31, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?
Top