Education and Training: Bachelor’s preferred
Average Salary: $44,200
Job Outlook: Good
A steward, or event steward or event planner, is a person who is responsible for coordinating any number of events, including conferences, meetings, weddings, and other major events. Event stewards must be very organized and people-oriented, since much of their job will involve contacting and organizing various suppliers and service businesses to provide for the convention or other event. The steward is responsible for meeting with the hosts of the event to ensure that all their goals, needs, and expectations are understood, and he or she is also responsible for planning the event from start to finish.
The particular duties of an event steward will depend largely on the type of event that the steward is planning. Conference and meeting stewards are often responsible for planning the overall layout of the meeting, and wedding and other event planners will be responsible for things like decorations, food, and the site of the event. Some event stewards work independently or for event planning companies, and others work directly for a hotel or other event venue to help plan events for businesses and individuals who have already planned to host their events in this particular location.
Education and Training Requirements
Most event stewards have a bachelor’s degree in administration, advertising, management, or other area. Some event stewards become stewards after holding lower-level administration jobs, since event planning requires many of the same people skills and organizational skills as many administrative jobs.
Most on the job training for event planners is informal. Often times, beginning stewards will work under a supervisor to complete smaller tasks, slowly working their way up to panning entire events. The job of a lower level planner may include registration assistance, contacting particular vendors and suppliers, or just planning small meetings and events.
Getting the Job
Many companies will hire event stewards straight out of a college or university program in this area. Many in this field start their own businesses, particularly when it comes to wedding and party planning. These individuals may start out by helping to plan events for people they know personally or through other social contacts, branching out to a full-blown event planning business with time.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Job prospects for event stewards are expected to be good over the next few years. The sector is expected to grow faster than average, and more jobs will open up due to workers leaving the field. Those who have extra certifications, such as the Certified Meeting Planner credentials from the Convention Industry Council, are more likely to find excellent job opportunities.
Often times, meeting and events planners will go on to more senior levels within their organization. They may plan larger events, which come with better pay, or they may oversee a team of stewards each responsible for a different area of the planning process. Some stewards break off to start their own businesses, which can be quite lucrative.
Working Conditions and Environment
Event planning and stewardship can be quite stressful at times, and it may require long and odd hours, as stewards need to be available to meet with clients and vendors on another person’s time schedule. This may tend to be a job whose hours ebb and flow, with weekly hours going up as the event gets nearer and becoming less in between major events.
Salary and Benefits
The average annual salary for an event steward is about $44,000, though they can earn anywhere from $34,000 to $74,000. Earnings depend on the organization for which a steward works and on the steward’s level of experience and expertise in the field. Independent consultants and planners may earn well over these averages, as well.
Event stewards who are employed by event planning companies are likely to have basic benefits, including health coverage and paid time off. However, independent consultants and business owners are responsible for providing these things for themselves.
Where to Go for More Information
Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
112 Destry Ct.
San Jose, CA 95136
Convention Industry Council
700 N Fairfax St., Ste. 510
Alexandria, VA 22314
Event Planners Association
25432 Trabuco, Ste. 207
Lake Forest, CA 92630