Also called: Director of Event Operations, Events Coordinator
Event operations coordinators are responsible for every logistical aspect of staging an event, from ideation to cleanup.
What Does an Event Operations Coordinator Do?
Bringing together large numbers of people for a concert, convention, theatrical performance, fundraiser, or festival can be incredibly rewarding, but doing it right requires excellent research, planning, and coordination. Event operations coordinators take responsibility for every aspect of the events they manage, and ensure that people are talking about them for all the right reasons instead of the wrong ones—such as a poorly equipped venue, inadequate crowd control, or a dangerous incident. Good event operations employees have an uncanny ability to look into the future of a situation, see what could possibly go wrong, and plan for it. When it comes to planning and executing a live event, event operations coordinators do it all: they scout locations and bring in missing equipment; contract with vendors for food, bathrooms, and other necessities; hire all event staff, including security; create and post necessary signage; work through logistics concerning the site and weather; and oversee cleanup afterwards. If licenses are needed, or if contracts contain curfew stipulations, event operations coordinators seek and maintain those orders—and when problems of any kind occur, it’s their job to be on-site, managing the situation. Although their main responsibility is the logistics of events, in rare cases operations coordinators will take on some of the duties of concert/event producers, including booking talent and transportation and overseeing the rental and maintenance of audio and video equipment.
Work Life Balance
For events operations coordinators, life can be unpredictable. Their schedules vary widely depending on whether a large-scale event is coming up or already under way. Event coordinators are always on hand at the events they plan, troubleshooting issues as they arise. They are the first to arrive and the last to leave, setting up and staying late to ensure cleanup is completed, vendors are paid, and audience members are happy. Between events, they usually have more breathing room, and may only have minor administrative tasks to take care of until it’s time to start on the next event. The job can require some travel, particularly for the best in the business, who are always in high demand.
Event operations coordinators usually work for independent event-planning companies, which may take on a variety of events as jobs or specialize in a particular variety, such as weddings, festivals, tours, or conventions. Event operations coordinators may also work in-house for companies that own and rent large event spaces, like fairgrounds, ballrooms, and event halls. Some event coordinators are fully freelance, but due to the high labor requirement in organizing live events it’s much more common to pool resources in a company, however small.
- Event planning and management
- Personnel management
- Problem solving
To say that this position requires attention to detail would be a gross understatement. For event operations coordinators, details are the job. Good event operations employees have an uncanny ability to look into the future of a situation, see what could possibly go wrong, and plan for it. They are cautious, intelligent, and hyperaware of potential problems, which is all to say that they have backup plans to their backup plans. They are also excellent multitaskers who are deeply concerned with efficiency and resource management.