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Friday Finds: 5 Emerging Event Planning Job Titles You’re Not Hiring for (But Should!)

As trends in the event industry change (seemingly at ever-increasing speed), new event job titles emerge to meet the rising demand for niche knowledge and specialty skills. New tech and software platforms. Increasing expectations for customer service responsiveness. A deeper commitment to diversity and inclusion. These are just some of the must-haves for successful event planning businesses today. 

For global event planning organizations and corporate planners, hiring people full-time for these roles can make sense. In other instances, these will be contract positions that last for the duration of the planning, the event, and the post-event wrap up.  

Read on to learn the latest event industry job titles to keep on your radar and why hiring for these critical positions matters. And for those without the budget to fill these job types, we suggest ways you can offer these services yourself.  

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1. Event app creator

Why you should fill this event role:

Event apps are known for helping achieve two things planners love: increasing attendee engagement and smoothing logistics. Apps also provide a lot of useful data for companies and sponsors—two groups who are always on the lookout for audience data. Event apps also meet people where they are. Most audiences are on smartphones already, and the numbers will only increase. Global IT and networking solutions company Cisco estimates that traffic from wireless and mobile devices will be 71 percent of all internet traffic by 2022.

What an event app creator does:

Designs and creates user friendly apps that ensure privacy, legal compliance, and data protection. In some instances, these apps are built from the ground up, but in many cases the app creator will use an event app builder as the framework for a custom design. 

Event apps can simply guide attendees through the logistical basics, such as tickets, scheduling, and event layout. Or, they can engage guests and attendees through interesting, informative, and helpful content. They might create push notifications to remind attendees of workshop start times or let them know about vendor sales. When combined with geofencing, push notifications become location-specific, which can give users a personalized experience. 

The app creator may develop polling to measure and increase attendee engagement, or facilitate networking by letting people easily see who else is at an event. They may even build in gamification by allowing attendees to go on a scavenger hunt or hit all the vendor booths to unlock a prize, badge, sponsor gift card, or yummy sugar cookie iced with a branded logo. 

How to hire an event app creator:

Hire an app developer with experience and a deep portfolio—and bonus points if they have experience within the events industry. Seek out recommendations from industry peers, asking them to share their favorite app development partners in your social media direct messages. Most importantly, the app creator must understand the purpose of the conference, festival, or fundraising gala so they can build an app that feels organic to the event. 

Hiring a staff event app developer makes sense for large-scale event planning companies, where each event requires a unique app. If your business needs apps infrequently, consider contracting with companies such as Concise who specialize in bespoke app creation on demand.

How to tackle it yourself:

If you or a team member are tech-savvy, you can customize an app template. Some apps, like Guidebook, Pathable, and Yapp are well-suited to conferences. They focus on scheduling, networking, and real-time interaction. Festivals and consumer event planners should explore apps such as Aloopma or Eventbase, which use location-based information like beacons and GPS maps of the event grounds, and share event timing information with users.

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2. Event social media / digital marketing specialist

Why you should fill this role:

According to the Sprout Social Index, 84 percent of Millennials say they’re more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social. A positive social experience can build brand and event loyalty, while the toxic effects of a bad brand or event experience can spread over the network, far beyond the original customer.  A social media specialist can manage an event’s social media strategy, build a following, boost brand awareness, and positively connect with consumers. 

In many instances, an event digital marketer will also be a social media expert, but casts a wider net with email campaigns and online advertising. Social media specialists and digital marketers understand where their audience convenes (e.g. on Facebook or Instagram), as well as the needs, wants, and pain points of specific audiences. This way, they can cast a smaller marketing net but expect a better yield.

What an event social media / digital marketing specialist does:

In the run-up to an event, a social media specialist will post shareable content to build buzz and to increase engagement and affirmative RSVPs from the target audience. For the event day itself, they might set up an Instagram photo booth, moderate a social wall, live Tweet from the event, or manage Twitter submissions to a live Q&A session. They might also manage live feedback on social media during the event. (Someone complaining that the food line is long? The social media specialist can handle the feedback on social and dispatch someone to check out the situation on the ground.)

A digital marketer will develop and implement targeted email campaigns, paid ads online, and optimize your event’s website with keywords that capture search. 

How to hire an event social media / digital marketing strategist:

You’ll find the savviest social media managers on social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check out their followers, engagement levels, and get to know their communication style; then reach out to freelancers whose work you like. 

Explore event planning forums, seek references from industry contacts, and post a job on event planning websites and LinkedIn. Ask potential hires what data they use to assess and adjust their efforts, and expect them to be able to get specific. You can also check freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork for social media specialists. Keep in mind, event experience is a nice-to-have rather than a must-have; social media is a highly transferable skill, especially when switching to a people-focused industry like events.

A social media specialist uses the following skills: Communication (on social, but also with co-workers); writing (especially pithy, easy-to-read captions and tweets); creativity; organization; customer care; data analysis and clear reporting to stakeholders.

How to tackle it yourself:

Follow our comprehensive social media event strategy guide for before, during, and after an event. Learn all you can about digital marketing strategies, and keep learning—social media changes quickly.

3. Event videographer

Why you should fill this role:

Video is big, and only getting bigger. Cisco anticipates that by 2022, video traffic will account for 82 percent of the world’s internet traffic. A professional videographer can get great footage of your event—on the ground and even via drone. 

What an event videographer does:

Job responsibilities of an event videographer may include live streaming speeches and Q&As and capturing video to use in advertisements for the next event. For example, a videographer may capture footage of a skatepark event sponsored by a sports gear company that the company can feature on their website and social media feeds. Videographers may also videotape fundraising galas and public events for footage to share with donors or on the website of a non-profit. A corporate event videographer can record an intensive training event that will then be used to train other employees around the world. 

Determine the video goals of your company or your client ahead of time so that you can discuss essential shots, VIP attendees, and schedule stand-up interviews. 

How to hire an event videographer:

Let your budget and your videography goals dictate where you look. A video production company may be the best option for a larger event, while a freelance videographer could be a better budget fit for a smaller event. As you interview, use this guide to the top 10 questions to ask event videographers.

How to tackle it yourself:

You might be able to use your own footage or videos taken by other staff members for short TikTok or Lasso videos, especially if you plan well. Otherwise, a professional is the way to go. For one thing, much of a videographer’s work takes place during the event, and you are (to put it mildly) busy then. For another thing, a professionally shot and edited video reflects well on your brand. Finally, professional videographers can get the footage they need without being disruptive. 

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4. Event diversity coordinator

Why you should fill this role:

Today, diversity is a business imperative. Research from the Harvard Business Review and McKinsey and Company found that increased diversity improves business financial returns and innovation. 

D&I initiatives put a range of viewpoints front and center; foster creativity and innovation; make people feel valued, respected, and empowered; and help companies or events reach the broadest possible audience. A diversity coordinator helps provide these benefits for an event and its attendees.

What an event diversity coordinator does:

A diversity coordinator creates events that are accessible to, and actively welcoming for, a variety of people within its potential target audience—perhaps even expanding that audience beyond its prior limits. Other D&I responsibilities include: 

  • Ensuring access for event attendees with mobility needs, childcare needs, religious needs, or economic need. 
  • Ensuring events include—and value—the contributions of women, racial and ethnic minorities, and the LGBTQ community, especially in industries with historically low diversity. 
  • Hiring speakers and presenters who reflect a variety of backgrounds.
  • Hiring event staff who reflect a variety of backgrounds.

A diversity coordinator may also help smooth potential trouble spots during cross-cultural events. A corporate workshop involving the Seoul office and the New York office, for example, might use a cultural coordinator to head off any miscommunication with the setup. (Airbnb could have used that service when the terrarium-making stations at an event in Seoul got very lackluster participation. It turned out attendees were interested in making terraria, but most considered it too rude to do so without an explicit invitation.) 

How to hire an event diversity coordinator: 

Corporate event planners can often rely on their company’s Diversity & Inclusion office to get temporary support for an event, or to help pinpoint experienced D&I professionals to hire. A conference event planner may work with the conference group’s D&I staff. A national or international event planning company considering hiring a D&I coordinator should leverage industry and corporate contacts as well as D&I professional groups on LinkedIn. 

How to do it yourself:

Improving D&I takes conscious effort. Learn diversity and inclusion best practices, and explore resources that can help expand your thinking and deepen your understanding, such as these wikis from the tech industry about event childcare and inclusive event t-shirts, or this blog post about event accessibility guidelines

5. Event sponsorship coordinator

Why you should fill this role:

Securing event sponsorships is a difficult task, but the potential payoffs are enormous. A sponsorship coordinator can use their expertise, experience, and connections in this area to get greater returns on sponsorship proposals.

What an event sponsorship coordinator does:

A sponsorship coordinator will put together a list of potential sponsors whose interests overlap very well with those of your event. The coordinator will come up with proposals for each sponsor, tailoring the ask and the benefits the sponsor will receive in return. Customization and relationship-building are essential skills whether coordinators are soliciting for financial support or sponsorship opps besides money. (Kit Kat-sponsored “Take a Break” Wi-Fi-free bench, anyone?) 

How to hire an event sponsorship coordinator:

Explore event sponsorship coordinator profiles on LinkedIn, or post on job sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter

How to do it yourself:

There are plenty of guides to securing event sponsorships and writing winning event sponsorship proposals. It can be a time-consuming process, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Event planners today wear many hats. But sometimes you may not have the bandwidth to handle these event roles that are growing in popularity—and even expected by attendees. Thankfully, there are now specialists you can hire on a temporary or permanent basis to meet (and exceed!) those expectations. 

Now, you’re ready to hire for the right event planning job titles to grow your business!

Find out how Social Tables event design software can help organize and share the contact information of your go-to contract workers. And, check out these tips for staying organized while filling so many roles. Or see the best places to post and find event planning jobs.

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