What Does a Special Events Coordinator Do?

A Special Events/ Conference/ Meeting Coordinator (297B) assists in the coordination and execution of events including meetings, conferences, conventions, weddings, fundraising events, festivals and trade shows. They may work in a variety of situations, including government, corporations, cruise lines, banquet and resort facilities, event management companies and non-profit organizations.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • communicating with clients and co-workers
  • following health and safety procedures
  • arranging for shipping, storing and receiving of event supplies
  • performing event administrative duties
  • developing, coordinating and implementing event plans
  • implementing risk management including alcohol management
  • implementing marketing plans
  • implementing on-site events
  • coordinating staff and volunteers

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Service sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/wp-content/uploads/SPECIAL-EVE-COORD-297B-ENG-SOT-V200.FINAL_.AUG-311.pdf

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

A Special Events Coordinator is a voluntary certified trade in the service sector which means that it does not require a valid Certificate of Apprenticeship to work in the trade. However, apprenticeship training is recommended. Grade 12 and age 16 is the legal minimum requirement to be apprenticed in this trade. If you are currently attending high school, you may benefit from enroling in a Business Specialist High Skills Major Program. For more information, please click the following link:


Completion of a 5,000 hour (approximately 2-3 years) apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training. The in-school component is 350 hours that can be completed in night school or on a day release. This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

Classroom instruction includes:

  • how to protect self and others
  • communicating verbally and in writing with clients, volunteers, customers, vendors, committees and employers
  • administrative duties including scheduling, accounting, budgeting, and logistics
  • developing and coordinating a preliminary event plan
  • marketing
  • risk management
  • coordinating of staff and volunteers
  • implementing the event plan

What’s Your Future as a Special Events Coordinator?

Special Events Coordinators could work inside or outside. They could be self-employed or work on a contract basis. Because the success or failure of an event often depends on the abilities of the Special Events Coordinator, this can be a very high pressure, stressful trade. Hours can be long, especially close to an event, and evenings and weekends may be necessary.

Employers who hire Special Events Coordinators include:

  • Amusement and entertainment facilities
  • Government
  • Corporations
  • Non profit agencies, charities or associations
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Event Management companies
  • Cultural organizations
  • Catering companies
  • Destination and tourism companies
  • Convention Centres and banquet halls
  • Educational institutes
  • Festivals and events
  • Sports facilities

Wage Rate

Fully qualified Special Events Coordinators earn an average of $12-$17 per hour, not including overtime and benefits. Wages are affected by experience, type of employer, profile of the event, and if the tradesperson is self-employed.


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Special Events Coordinator For You?

Are you a people person?

Yes      No

Do you have strong  problem solving skills?

Yes      No

Are you good at making quick and important decisions?

Yes      No

Are you able to enjoy working in busy or stressful situations?

Yes      No

Can you work for long hours, often on evenings and weekends?

Yes      No

Do you like planning and organizing?

Yes      No

Can you work as part of a team, or independently?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Special Events Coordinator may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Executive Assistants
  • Hotel Managers
  • Concierges
  • Sport and recreational guides


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