The planning and hosting of an event can lead to stress for any team or individual that might be involved in the event. With a variety of planning that must occur before a set time or many tasks to complete the day of the event, individuals can be overwhelmed at a rapid pace.

There is a difference in occupations when focusing on an event planner and an event coordinator. While an event planner focuses on creating and building an event, the coordinator assures that everything runs as planned on the day. The planner set the stage while the coordinator manages it.

Both these roles are of utmost importance when hosting an event. The planner will ensure that all the admin and organizing tasks are done, while the coordinator will communicate any information on the event day, virtually or in person. Some companies prefer that the planner and coordinator should be the same person. This is a big role to fill, and with two separate teams and individuals to fill each role, the chance for a successful event is much higher.

Event Planner vs. Event Coordinator: What Does

Understanding the difference between a planner and a coordinator starts with the role these two individual occupations consist of within the event industry. A role refers to the primary work that the individual must focus on or complete.

Event Planner Definition and Role

Event planners have a set role within a corporation. These individuals assist a team in planning every phase of an event. From booking venues and determining the best vendors to informing and planning social media strategies that will be used to advertise the conference. These individuals will take charge of setting a budget, sending invitations, and building the ideal event.

Event Coordinator Definition and Role

An event coordinator, an essential aspect of any event planning organization, excels in problem-solving and communication and is frequently the driving force behind successful events. These individuals play an important role in assisting the event planner by liaising with vendors and potential venues.

Their key tasks concentrate on the event’s setup and faultless execution, necessitating a hands-on approach. This is especially important in cases like incentive travel, where maintaining a flawless experience for participants is critical.

Thus, understanding what incentive travel is and its relevance reveals that an event coordinator’s duty is all about bringing plans to life through focused execution.

Similarities and Differences Between the Two

These two occupations have some similarities that can be spotted from the get-go. Both of them have to communicate with vendors and venues to ensure that the team knows what is expected of them. Both must be present on the day of the event and be hands-on running and ensuring the success of the entire meeting.

The main difference between the two occupations is that a planner focuses more on the administrative aspects of the event such as determining the best venue or creating a budget. The planner has to build the foundation of the event. The coordinator is the one with the outgoing personality that focuses on communicating and directing vendors once they have been chosen. The coordinator will solve the problems on the floor, and ensure that every individual and guest knows where to go and what to do.

Event Planning vs. Event Coordination: Scope

The scope of an occupation refers to the actual work that must be done by the individual that fills the role of the occupation. Here a description of the work must be provided to any candidate.

Scope of Work for an Event Planner

A professional event planner will work with clients to ensure that their needs and wants are met. The planner will conduct market research and gather enough valuable information that will provide the team with a clear direction. The planner will need to create a budget and provide constant feedback to all stakeholders. Organizing facilities and vendors are all part of the planner’s responsibilities and many more.

Check Out What Is Event Planning?:

Scope of Work for an Event Coordinator

The coordinator must understand what each event requires to be classified as a successful event. The individual must work within time and budget constraints. While speaking and arranging with different vendors and venues or speakers the coordinator must be able to negotiate and communicate clear needs from all. The final checks and overseeing the event are part of the coordinator’s responsibilities and duties and many more.

Overlapping Responsibilities and How They Differ

Both will be present on the day of the event. While the coordinator will ensure everything runs smoothly and every part of the event is well-oiled, the planner will be the overlooking individual. Making sure the schedule is followed and that the coordinator knows what to do and where to place their focus.

Event Planner vs. Event Coordinator: Skills

Essential Skills for an Event Planner

There are many skills that will add value to any event planner’s resume, however, the following skills are a necessity for every event organizer. Planners must have the skill of managing themselves and other people. With managing comes organizing. The candidate must have organizational skills to ensure that every part of the event is according to the client’s goals. Excellent time management skills and focusing on logistical tasks are key skills for any effective event planner.

The planner must be able to adapt when things are changing at a constant rate, and with change comes flexibility. The candidate is working for a client and must ensure that their needs are always met. Lastly, the planner must be a great communicator and be tech-savvy. This will ensure that every person is informed if it’s via an app or in-person communication.

Essential Skills for an Event Coordinator

A coordinator that wants to spice up their resume must include the following skills. This will ensure the client that the candidate is well-equipped and will perform at a high level. The first skill is customer service. The candidate will deal with vendors, customers, and clients, thus having great customer skills is a must.

Event management is another important skill that will ensure that the coordinator will be able to manage and set up the entire event. With management comes event logistics and event planning. The coordinator will be in charge of the setup and running of the event. Thus knowing what to do to ensure a smooth setup is of utmost importance.

Specific Skills That Set Them Apart

The coordinator will have set skills in the form of event management and customer service. Their responsibility is to communicate with vendors and others that fall part of the customers of what to do and where to go. The coordinator must manage and ensure that the day of the event runs smoothly.

A planner must have great communication and planning skills. The planner will set out a schedule to ensure that all tasks are determined and completed. The planner will focus on the budget, determining key role players, and planning the entire event.

Event Planner vs. Event Coordinator: Education and Training

Educational and Training Requirements for an Event Planner

Some companies would state that an event planner does not acquire any set of education or training. They need a set of skills that is crucial for the occupation. Most businesses prefer a degree in hospitality, public relations, or communications with training specifically in planning and hosting an event.

Educational and Training Requirements for an Event Coordinator

There are requirements for a career in event planning. The traditional root is to acquire a business, communication, or marketing degree. These bachelor’s degrees will ensure that the candidate has an understanding of the background and different aspects of the career.

Certifications and Other Credentials

There are many certificates and credentials that individuals in event management and planning can pursue to lay a strong foundation. The focus should be to build planning or coordination skills to such a level, that the company can not create an event without the individuals.

Event Planner vs. Event Coordinator: Responsibilities

What Does an Event Planner Do

An event planner must fulfill a group of responsibilities that will ensure that an event is set up to be a complete success. The individual will have to schedule meetings to ensure they understand the goals, theme, and purpose of the event. From the meeting, planning the event, determining a budget, and determining the best location and vendors all become tasks and responsibilities to the planner.

The planner must be able to manage staff on and off-site, while they communicate the progress to stakeholders and managers. The planner must monitor every part of the setup to ensure that the best possible event is built.

What Does an Event Coordinator Do

A coordinator position is a person that works with the setup and creation of the event. The individual must be present on the day of the setup to ensure that every vendor and staff member knows where to go and what tasks to fulfill. The coordinator works right beside the planner, but rather than focusing on planning, execution is the primary focus of the coordinator. Contacting the guest list, event decor, and other difficult tasks for either virtual, in-person, or hybrid events are just some of the coordinator’s tasks. 

Areas of Overlap and Key Differences

The main difference between a planner and a coordinator is that the planner builds the ideas and sets out specific plans that must be followed. While the coordinator has to ensure that the execution is happening to what is planned. The planner decides on specific event décor while the coordinator ensures a great hands-on experience. 

responsibilities of an event coordinator

Event Planner vs. Event Coordinator: Which One Do You Need?

Determining Your Event Planning Needs

A company can only determine their needs once they have decided on a goal for the event, and if they have calculated and created a budget. The needs will be a support structure that will set clear guidelines on how the events company can fulfill and achieve the goals set by the organization.

Which Professional is the Right Fit for Your Event?

When determining the professional that will fill the occupation, companies must look past education. Education plays a key role in the ability, however, a ascertain set of skills is of more value. The individual or team must have the same values and outlook as the corporation.

This will ensure that they create an event that represents the brand of the company. The team must be able to communicate with this person. Thus having great communication skills is of utmost importance.

Factors To Consider When Making a Decision

Responsibility is the first factor to take into consideration. What will the responsibilities and tasks be? Secondly, ensure that the decision-making team is educated and knows the candidates. Research and previous work experience is of utmost importance when making a decision. Lastly, the ability to work under pressure. The candidate must be able to work under high pressure.

What Can Conference Source Do For You?

The conference source is an event management company with a team that holds all the needed qualifications and skills to ensure a successful event. The team is easy to communicate with and has all structures and vendors that will deliver a high-quality product on the day of the event. The focus is to build the ideal type of event that achieves all the set goals. With event planner software this event management company can host any major events from academic events to smaller social events.


Is a Planner Higher than a Coordinator?

There is no hierarchy in place when measuring the difference between coordinator and planner. Both have their skills, education, and different responsibilities that will add to the success of the event.

Final Thoughts

The key difference is that a planner sets the stage by planning and creating an event according to a set of goals, while a coordinator focuses on building and running the event, The coordinator will control all the physical actions and coordination between the vendors and staff, while the planner will plan every part from the beginning.

There is a place in the event industry for both a coordinator and a planner. Companies must use these separate occupations to the best of their ability because placing both in the same team can raise the probability of hosting a successful event. Use the role for the company’s benefit and ensure a safe workspace where a planner and coordinator can work with each other, and not against each other.

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.