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Event Specialist vs. Event Coordinator: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in event planning can be both exciting and rewarding. If you’re interested in this field, you may be wondering whether you should become an event specialist or an event coordinator. Both of these roles play an important part in the success of an event, but they have different responsibilities. In this article, we compare and contrast the job duties of an event specialist and an event coordinator, and we provide information on education and training requirements.

What is an Event Specialist?

An Event Specialist is responsible for planning and executing events such as weddings, corporate functions, parties, and other special occasions. They work closely with clients to understand their vision for the event and then develop a plan to make it a reality. This can involve booking venues, coordinating with vendors, managing budgets, and handling all the logistics of the event. Event Specialists often work with a team of event coordinators and staff to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the event. They may also be responsible for post-event follow-up, such as thank-you notes and collecting feedback.

What is an Event Coordinator?

Event Coordinators are responsible for planning and executing all aspects of a successful event. They work with clients to understand their needs and develop a creative and comprehensive event plan that meets all objectives. Event Coordinators collaborate with vendors to secure event space, book entertainment, order catering, and secure all necessary event rentals. They also develop timelines and budgets, and manage all logistics leading up to and during the event. Event Coordinators must be highly organized and detail-oriented, with the ability to think on their feet and solve problems quickly. They must also be able to effectively communicate with clients, vendors, and other event staff.

Event Specialist vs. Event Coordinator

Here are the main differences between an event specialist and an event coordinator.

Job Duties

Event coordinators and event planners may also perform different duties. Event coordinators typically manage the logistics of an event, including selecting a venue, hiring vendors, booking transportation and setting up equipment. They often work with all aspects of an event before it takes place.

Event planners are responsible for planning the event itself. They develop the overall event strategy and plan the details of each aspect of the event, such as the theme, entertainment and menu. They may work with vendors ahead of time to ensure that the event is well-coordinated on the day it occurs.

Job Requirements

Event specialists and coordinators typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in event management, hospitality or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many event specialists and coordinators pursue certifications through professional organizations like the International Special Events Society (ISES) or the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to plan and execute events successfully.

Work Environment

Event coordinators typically work in an office environment, often for a large company or organization. They may also travel to different locations to plan events and meet with clients. Event specialists usually work in more casual environments, such as nightclubs, outdoor festivals or other venues where they can interact with customers.


Event specialists and event coordinators share several skills, such as customer service, organization and multitasking. They both need to be able to handle customer inquiries, plan events and coordinate with other vendors. However, there are some key differences in the skills each position requires.

An event specialist is typically more focused on executing the event itself. This means they need to have strong attention to detail and be able to think on their feet to solve problems that may arise during an event. They also need to be able to work well under pressure and maintain a positive attitude.

An event coordinator is responsible for planning and organizing events from start to finish. This includes tasks like booking venues, arranging transportation and managing budgets. Event coordinators need to be excellent communicators and negotiators to get the best deals from vendors. They also need to be very organized and have strong project management skills to ensure all aspects of the event are taken care of.


Event specialists earn an average salary of $44,943 per year, while event coordinators earn an average salary of $49,762 per year. Both of these average salaries may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


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