Event Coordinator vs. Event Planner: What is the Difference?


With National Event Organizers Day coming up in a few weeks on Oct. 23, we started thinking about event professionals’ different job titles, especially these two popular titles: event coordinator and event planner. 

What is the difference between an event coordinator and an event planner? Let’s take a closer look at these positions and what they entail.

Event planner

An event planner is not the “party planner” people might envision but is an expert on the industry and a seasoned professional. An event planner brings others together for a common purpose and works to ensure this purpose is accomplished seamlessly.

Event planners work in hospitality, nonprofit organizations, professional organizations, corporate organizations, government offices, and other industries. Event planners create, detail, and execute functions to meet the purpose of an event and the message of what their client or organization is hoping to accomplish. This is a from start to finish process for events ranging from lunches, retreats, conferences, weddings, and other celebrations. 

The planner is the direct to-go connection for the client, bringing their vision to life. Budget management, event design, and contract negotiations can come into play in the event planner role. Still, planners carry this responsibility, primarily keeping the big picture in mind and ensuring the client is happy.

Event coordinator 

An event coordinator, though similar to an event planner, has a more specific set of skills. The role of an event coordinator is to primarily execute an event, as opposed to designing it, and bringing the plan for the client’s event to life. However, this is done in a more logistical way by bringing all of the details together, accomplishing the goal of the event on-site.

Most event coordinators are responsible for organization at the venue specifically and the day of the event itself with the client, vendors, and event venue staff. 

Bringing the team together

An event planner makes critical decisions in preparation for the event, whereas the event coordinator makes sure all details are executed seamlessly, and the plan is brought to action. Event planners and event coordinators often possess the same skills; therefore, they have the ability to combine these skills to work together, accomplishing the same goals. There are different responsibilities associated with both, but the ultimate goal of fulfilling a client’s expectations remains the same. Both will work with a client to achieve their event vision and see the details come to life. 

Why you should have an event planner or event coordinator 

Depending on your event’s needs, logistics, and details, having an event planner or event coordinator on-site is always valuable. They will help a client navigate, bringing all the details together and ensuring each event component is overseen while also problem solving any situations. This point of contact, whether an Event Planner or Coordinator, will assist in managing the event, bring the vision to life, and take on many pre-event and day of tasks to make your event seamless! 

Manage your event bookings with the best hospitality industry software

Whether you have an event planner or event coordinator (or both) on your staff, Tripleseat can help you manage and streamline every detail. If you’re not a Tripleseat customer and you’re interested in learning more about Tripleseat’s features, schedule a demo at your convenience to take a closer look.

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