5 Traits to Look for When Hiring a Corporate Event Coordinator

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Whether you’re looking to fill an open event coordinator position, or you’re building your corporate events team for the first time, it takes quite the individual to make it in the events industry. There are people to manage, event management software to run, guests to invite, venues to select, and vendors to coordinate.

That’s why your company needs to know exactly the kind of person that will thrive in such a position. Without the right candidate with the necessary skills and traits, event preparation will fall behind, opportunities will be lost, and money will be wasted.

Things to look for when hiring a corporate event coordinator

I’ve put together a list of five traits to look for when hiring a new corporate event coordinator, as well as the questions you ought to pose to find the right candidate.

5 traits of a successful corporate event coordinator

Some of these traits are applicable to managerial positions in any market, while others are tailored specifically for events-based leadership. If you can find these traits in a qualified applicant, you’ll have found the perfect match for your company.

1. Leadership skills

Any position with the word “coordinator” in the job title requires leadership skills, but I would argue that is even more true for event coordinators.

You get only one chance at a first impression, and an event coordinator is tasked with leading entire teams to make these impressions for each new corporate client.

It’s one thing to lead a team toward a flexible and tentative goal, but it’s another to lead a team when the deadlines are as inflexible as your guests’ expectations. That is a lot of pressure, and it takes serious leadership skills to lead an event to success.

When hiring an events coordinator, here are the leadership qualities you should look for in your candidates:

  • Effective communicator: The best leaders know when to speak and when to listen, they’re precise with their words, and they can pick up on nonverbal cues. Managing an event team will require input not only from the coordinator, but also from the team itself, and an effective leader will make time to hear their team’s concerns.
  • Delegator: No event coordinator can do everything by themselves, which is the purpose of having an event team. An effective event coordinator and leader will have the capacity and willingness to delegate responsibilities to each team member according to their abilities.
  • Positive thinker: Leaders set the tone for the rest of the team. And in the events industry, with all of the changing variables of planning and executing an event, a positive outlook is needed to navigate these tasks. Your events coordinator has to demonstrate their positive outlook in the face of numerous challenges to maintain healthy team morale.
  • Responsible: Most importantly, any events coordinator has to demonstrate responsibility not only when things go right but even when they go horribly wrong. Making sure each team member is where they need to be and every vendor is set to execute on the day of the event requires a lot of responsibility on the part of the coordinator.

Your event coordinator should be able to demonstrate these leadership qualities in their previous experiences in the events industry.

Interview tools and questions:

If you are time crunched in interviewing candidates for the position, MindTools has a leadership skills assessment you can assign to potential candidates beforehand.

2. Technology know-how

The events industry is constantly changing and upgrading with the times, especially with the introduction of new technologies.

The most effective event coordinators stay up-to-date on these new trends and look for ways to embrace these changes in their own work, whether that be new event management software, attendee tracking tools, or ways to make their event more personal and experiential.

Interview tools and questions:

  • What do you think of X technology?
  • Based on what you know about our company, what new tech advancements do you think we’re missing out on?
  • If you were to find a new tech addition that would benefit our events management, how would you sell it to us as a “must-have” technology?

3. Organizational skills

There is no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in organization, which is something every good event coordinator should know.

An event coordinator will be in charge of the events team activities, the vendors and what they’ll provide, negotiating and finalizing contracts, overseeing the execution of the event, and reporting back to you, their supervisor, on the progress of the event.

To do all of this, your candidate will need excellent organizational skills.

Interview tools and questions:

  • How would you organize your communications with multiple vendors?
  • What is your optimal event team structure?
  • How would you organize your event schedule and timeline? Give an example of a past event timeline you created.

4. Creativity

Event coordinators do more than manage a team and put together events. Event planning and coordination is the constant challenge of finding new ways to accomplish old tasks, such as managing attendee check-ins, coordinating themes, and gathering guest feedback.

The best event coordinators find creative new ways to tackle these problems with outside-the-box ideas and new technologies.

These individuals must be skilled at creating aesthetically pleasing sights and sounds at events, which means they need experience with color coordination, creative writing for marketing, and interior decorating, just to name a few skills.

Interview tools and questions:

  • What are some examples of original creative input you’ve had in past events you’ve managed?
  • What would you change about our creative events strategy?

5. Time management skills

Finally, an events coordinator must juggle all of these responsibilities in a timely manner to meet event deadlines. Otherwise, your events team will forever miss these deadlines, leaving vendors and clients very upset with unmet timetables and delayed (or incomplete) events.

You need to make sure that your applicant can handle the stresses of managing and executing your events without falling behind.

Interview tools and questions:

  • Describe your timetable system for completing individual tasks, including pre-planning steps and your method for staying on track.
  • What is a good example of when you had to meet a tight event deadline and how you accomplished that?

What else does your corporate events team need?

Are there any other traits you feel an event coordinator should have that we missed in this piece? If so, be sure to leave a comment below!

Now that you’re on your way to selecting a new event coordinator, is your corporate event software the right fit for your organization? Have you even selected a software system yet?

If not, be sure to check out our comparison of the top five corporate event planning software options on the market.

Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Nick Morpus

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Nick Morpus is a former Capterra analyst.

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