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Are you a Practical Bride? By Michelle D. Sanders – Do you know? (Part 2) What’s the difference between Event Planning and Event Coordination?

I hope Part 1 of Do You Know was helpful in determining the difference between Wedding Planners/Coordinators, Day Coordinators, and Wedding Church Coordinators. In Part 2 we’ll focus on Event Planning, Event Coordinating and Event Organizers. The more you know the better you are in deciding who you need when any event arises. Again, let’s look at the roles of each area and the responsibilities that go along with the title.

As I have said before being a planner is not always as easy as it looks. Many people always say, “Oh, I can do that same thing.” Yes, that might be true but as a professional and a profession you need the following qualities:

•Organized and an organizer

FLEXIBLE (I cannot stress this enough)


• Multitask

Customer Service skills or Hospitality

Communication skills

A Networker

• Leadership skills

Able to handle various budgets

First, let’s look at an Event Planner. This person is a visionary. They can listen, gather details, and create an event on the spot with just imagination. These people are often hired by non-profit organizations, are free-lance, or work as wedding planners.

Conference Planners are slightly different. They plan Corporate Meetings or Corporate Conferences for larger organizations. They work with caterers, travel agencies, hotels, and arrange the itinerary for the attendees. They also handle social media platforms, multi-media, and room set-up for the event. This also covers the décor for the room setting.

One of my favorite areas is Fundraising Events. I’ve been successful in this area. My greatest accomplishment has been the Dr. Laurence E. Norton Golf Tournament, which is hosted by one of our local non-profits. Planners for these types of events normally are hired staff that work for the non-profit. When planning a fundraiser, work closely with the CEO, Board Members, and gain community support. Normally, you have a limited budget. You will need to select venues, advertise the event, do public relations, work with vendors, know who to invite to the event, and know your sponsors, but most importantly know how to raise money. In my former life as a Self-Sufficiency Coordinator I had the opportunity to be a member of AFP. The Association of Fundraising Professionals, chartered at that time through Bradley University. I learned so much being a member and the knowledge I gained has helped me to help others. If you are interested in more details about AFP, visit the website for Central Illinois Association of Fundraising Professionals. You may also be interested in getting certification as a Fundraising Executive.

Entertainment Event Planners have a more complex job which requires a lot of time management, networking, and planning. And, then there are Party Planners who plan birthday parties, anniversary parties, or specialty parties like baby and bridal showers.

Now let’s talk education. All you really need is experience, but it is helpful to have an undergraduate degree or certification. I have a double major in Business and Finance and currently working on my

certification as an Event Planner through New York Institute of Art and Design. Here is a list of other schools you might be interested in as well:

Ashworth College

The Art Institute of Pittsburg

Kaplan University

Salary History on average $52,000 and Management roughly $102,000

If you would like to find out more follow me on Twitter@impress_divsol or on our Facebook Page “ImpressiveDivaSolutions”. You can submit questions for upcoming articles and discussions to