Today, any organization with an internet connection has the ability to compete on an international level. That’s why meetings, events, trade shows and conventions are becoming a bigger priority for businesses across the globe. Across any industry, event coordinators are being called upon to bring people together and create experiences that result in lasting relationships. But how does growth across the industry impact the average event coordinator salary?
In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now over 100,000 full-time event coordinators in the United States alone. Employment of meeting, convention, and event coordinators is projected to grow at least 10 percent over the next decade. That’s actually faster than the average growth of all other occupations.
So where’s the demand coming from? A majority of event coordinators are employed by small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, political organizations, or work in the hospitality industry. Today, event coordinators operate across the country in these organizations and are rapidly expanding throughout the workforce.
The Top 5 Industries for Event Coordinators Ranked by Total Employment
Travel & Accommodation
Special events are among a few types of occasions we’re willing to jump on a plane for. That’s why you’ll find thousands of event coordinators employed by Hotels, Destination Marking Committees (DMC), or a Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Average Salary: $48,120
Political, Business and Corporate
What’s every political campaign if not a series of special events? What’s unique about event coordinators in business or in politics, is that they only have one client, their own organizations or campaigns. This industry is where event planners are paid the most on an annual basis.
Average Salary: $57,120
Third Party Planning Firms
Full-time event coordinators working at planning firms are some of the hardest working people out there. But they’re not necessarily getting paid the most. In fact, independent event coordinators end up with an average annual salary that’s about $3,000, less than their corporate counterparts.
Average Salary: $54,680
Universities, Museums, and Higher Education
Event coordinators and meeting professionals only make up about 2.2% of the Education / Museum world. That’s lower than any other industry in the top 5. In terms of salary, event coordinators in this industry are paid just below the national average ($51,200 annually).
Average Salary: $50,340
Arts, Sports, and Entertainment
If you’re in the arts and entertainment world and have read this far, you might be debating a career change. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, event coordinators in this field are paid about as much as the average graphic designer or film and video editor.
Average Salary: $45,400
Top 10 Cities for Event Coordinators Ranked by Average Salary
Here’s a stat that you might have a hard time believing: The city that pays out the most to event coordinators on an annual basis is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Coeur d’Alene is home to only about 44,000 people, but it’s also home to The Coeur d’Alene Resort and Golf Course, which is one of the largest employers in the region. Among the top 10, Napa, CA; Bridgeport, CT; and Hartford; CT, join Coeur d’Alene in a group of smaller towns that capture serious event demand.
If smaller towns and resorts are your thing, you know exactly where to go. The rest of you will be happy to find that major cities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., San Jose, New York, and Boston also made the top 10. These cities hold plenty of job opportunities for event coordinators, but you’ll also have to stomach a higher cost of living if that’s where your career path takes you.
Highest Concentration of Event Planners by State (Per 1,000 Jobs)
Remember when we said that political campaigns are basically a long series of special events? We also have the data to back up the claim. In Washington, D.C., about 3 – 4 people out of f 1,000 full-time employees are meeting and event coordinators. In fact, full-time employees in DC are more than 3 times more likely to be a part of the events industry, as compared to any other U.S. state. Turns out those campaigns can’t actually run themselves.
Technology has made it easier to connect online than to meet up in person. Yet, as simple as it is to text, Skype, and FaceTime, face to face interactions are also becoming more desirable. Add to this that global travel is more accessible than ever before, and you have the catalysts for a major boom in meetings and events. As demand for events grows, so too will demand for rock-star event coordinators. Planning firms, political campaigns, and businesses across any industry will compete for the talent of experienced event coordinators by offering higher salaries in the coming years.
As for event coordinators, you’ll still have to earn it. Most meeting, convention, and event coordinators work full time. But forget about the traditional 9 to 5. Planners spend weeks leading up to major events locked in the office on nights and weekends. Speaking of crunch mode… How do planners prioritize tasks during last-minute event production?
Read our latest guide which dives into exactly how modern meeting planners can juggle multiple events at once, and still avoid last-minute snafus.
David Budimir is the Content Marketing Manager at Social Tables. He’s probably enjoying a messy burrito at this very moment.