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.
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.
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.
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?
Luckily, there are free software options that will enable you to produce video content at no cost. I’ve put together a list of four free video editing software options you can use to create all kinds of media for your event planning needs.
Four free video editing software options
I chose these four options based on several criteria. First, I want to provide both beginner-level and advanced software options, so I chose two options for each level of experience.
Second, in addition to the standard editing features (trimming, audio mixing, titles, transitions, etc.) each software option has to have either 4K resolution support, mobile video editing, social sharing, or an open source code. Each option meets at least one of these criteria.
Software options are listed in alphabetical order.
iMovie has come a long way from its old QuickTime-styled layout, simple transitions, and limited number of effects. Today, iMovie offers all of the basic video editing features such as cropping, transitions, and filters, along with higher-end editing features such as sound editing, high-quality video templates, and the ability to handle 4K resolution videos.
iMovie turns the video editing process into a plug-and-play system. Titles, transitions, video clips, and audio tracks are all drag-and-drop, which will save you time when creating advertisements, presentation materials, or other event video needs.
To further save you time, iMovie lets you post directly to your social media and video channels, including Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo, from the application, saving you the process of exporting and uploading your files to a browser. Finally, if you need to edit video on-the-go, iMovie is also available on iPhone and iPad with many of the same features.
The only drawback to this software is that it’s only available for Apple users. But if you have a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, chances are you already have this software available to you on your device.
No, this is not the same Windows Movie Maker you grew up with. That Movie Maker joined the rest of Microsoft’s discontinued apps in the great cloud storage in the sky as of January 2017. This Movie Maker is from V3TApps and it aspires to be the spiritual successor to the free Microsoft video editor.
Movie Maker offers all of the standard video editing features such as video trimming, transitions, video clip merging, filters, and titles. It accepts all of the most common video types (.avi, .flv, .mp4, etc.) but does not support 4K resolution video editing.
Similar to iMovie’s exclusivity for Apple, Movie Maker is available only for Windows-based devices, including Windows mobile devices for on-the-go editing.
One area where Movie Maker falls short is it doesn’t offer the ability to share your video projects directly to your event social media pages and YouTube channels.
OpenShot is open source, cross-platform, free video editing software. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and even Linux-based systems, so don’t fret if you’re running the latest version of Ubuntu.
While the user interface is not as aesthetically pleasing as iMovie or Movie Maker, OpenShot makes up for it by offering their source code to all users. If you are knowledgeable enough to alter or modify the code, this level of customization is perfect for those looking for unique capabilities not offered with the original product.
Aside from its customizable platform, OpenShot offers everything you would expect from a video editing software, including video trimming, audio mixing/editing, transitions, animated titles/effects, filters, watermarks, and video templates.
The feature I find most appealing for OpenShot is the multi-track capability. With this feature you can have multiple video tracks playing in the same frame at the same time, allowing you to create side-by-side videos or picture-in-picture.
For those looking to edit high-definition video clips, OpenShot also supports 4K resolution video files.
The only drawbacks with OpenShot are the lack of mobile device support and social sharing features.
Shotcut, like OpenShot, allows users to alter the source code to customize the software for their own use. If you have the coding know-how for open source software, you can’t put a price on that level of flexibility. Good thing you won’t have to though, as the software is free.
As for features, Shotcut offers all of the standard video editing features: video trimming, audio editing, titles, transitions, and filters. What sets Shotcut apart is the vast list of video file types accepted by the software and the 4K resolution support.
Unfortunately, the tradeoff you make with Shotcut is a gain in video features for a lack of convenience features such as social sharing, mobile editing, and video templates for plug-and-play video projects.
4K resolution video editing
Source code access/customizable
Vast list of accepted video files types
Level of expertise: Intermediate
Other free event tools and software
Are you looking for other ways to save money at your event planning business? I’ve put together many free event tool and software lists on the Capterra event management blog. If you enjoyed this piece and want to find out what other resources are available to you for free, check out these other lists: