Job description: Event coordinator

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Diana Boldrini and Aicha Kone-Sane

Children’s birthdays, dinners, a friend’s bachelorette party or baby shower… without consciously knowing it, many people are organizing events in their everyday life.

If doing events is a passion, why not take the plunge and make it a career?

We spoke with Diana Boldrini, an event coordinator, about the exciting world of event management.

 

A day in her shoes…

Flexibility, creativity and most importantly people/client orientation, these are some of the qualities Diana learned from her training in hospitality, and which have served her well working as an event coordinator in an international organization for three years.

Being in charge of high profile events and conferences is more than just challenging. It provides a great feeling of accomplishment, bringing together people from different backgrounds who are cooperating and educating each other, knowing that they all have the same goal; to improve the world.

As one can imagine, such large-scale events (up to 3,000 participants and sometimes 1,000 staff) need a lot of logistics before the event takes place. One of the many tasks Diana was in charge of was to ensure that the staff were registered in the internal system to get an access badge.

In case you are wondering, administrative tasks are also part of the adventure; be it contracting or budgeting, there is no possibility to avoid them! At the end of the day “It’s a lot of follow up, chasing people and coordinating interactions and information between different departments” Diana affirms.

 

Here comes trouble…

“And this is what I love!” says Diana with stars in her eyes. You have to show your creativity, you need to improvise and find solutions. Her previous experience working in hotels, where you have to react quickly to please the customers, helped her have an open mind and focus on the solutions rather than the problems. And for her, the ideal would be to work in a heterogeneous team in order to gain and develop new ideas.

 

The good sides

Apart from the administrative tasks that can be seen as repetitive, every day brings surprises. You meet different people and discover different places. Also, you are doing something tangible: you can evaluate yourself and improve each event that comes your way. “The feeling of creating something great with people is so rewarding!” Working at sports events is a particular highlight: it reminds Diana of her feelings as a child when attending such events. “Knowing that I could create those kinds of memories for other people, that would be a really cool thing.”

Being part of the success of an event, where there are so many details and behind-the-scenes activity which people cannot see or even imagine “gives a weird satisfaction of, if they only knew!” Diana says laughing.

 

What about the recommended study/training route?

Diana would say that possessing project management skills, either by attending courses or by experience is the best training “because essentially that is what it is, an event is a project”.

Hospitality management can also be an advantage.

Being comfortable with Microsoft Office and communication tools is mandatory.

Also, she adds that “an event is so much about the person you are, and your skills are not about education. If you are the right kind of person, with the right mindset and the right personality or soft skills (i.e. organized, communicative, creative, problem-solving oriented) you can always be trained to do the tasks.

“Do not be afraid to start from the bottom. Do not minimize the impact of volunteering, or doing internships, which can later lead you to higher positions, such as a manager, director and why not start one day your own event company!”

 

Event Management: a bright future

“Just think about every event that can be organized: private events: birthdays, weddings, funerals; company team building, conferences, concerts, sports/cultural/fashion events …” Once you know the process – out of the many proposed she uses the 5D phases process: Discovery-Design-Development-Delivery-Debriefing – and here you have the foundations to do any kind of event.

 

Any advice?

We asked Diana if she could give some advice to people who are interested in the field. “Go for it, it’s awesome!” she answered without hesitation. Whether you are a man or a woman, young or old. Everyone can do their bit!

 

Aicha Kone Sane Aicha Kone Sane

I am a Senior Projects Assistant. I have a strong work ethic; therefore I want the work to be done well and as fast as possible. I am not afraid of working under pressure because I know how to manage my stress. I am confident in my ability to learn new things rapidly.

Looking for new challenges.

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