The WCIRB often receives questions regarding the classification of special event planners who organize receptions, parties, banquets and similar special events. To determine the appropriate classification, it is necessary to consider both the overall business of the employer and the specific job duties of the event planner.
Independent event planning companies typically arrange events with venues and services that they do not own or operate. If services such as catering, bartending, audio/visual crew, lighting, decorating and security are provided by another company, it is likely that the event planner meets the definition of an outside salesperson assignable to Classification 8742, Salespersons – Outside. In other cases, where some independent event planning companies retain employees to perform these same services, it is necessary to determine if the event planner directly supervises the employees. For example, an event planner that employs and supervises catering staff is assigned to the classification of work that they supervise which would be Classification 9079(1), Restaurants or Taverns, as a General Inclusion.
Hotels, restaurants or other venue operators may have event planners as a part of their staff. In these cases, it is common for the event planners to meet with prospective clients in a sales or public relations capacity to promote use of their employer’s venue and arrange event details. If the event planners conduct sales calls away from their employer’s location and perform only clerical duties in a clerical office workspace when at their employer’s location, they may be within the definition of an outside salesperson assignable to Classification 8742. In many cases, however, the event planner is not limited to working in a clerical office workspace when at their employer’s location but will show the venue facilities to prospective clients or will attend events at the facility. In these cases, the event planner must be assigned to the basic classification of the employer’s business and not Classification 8742. For example, an event planner employed by a hotel that shows hotel facilities to clients or attend events at the hotel is assigned to Classification 9050(1), Hotels.
The operation of events, including but not limited to farmers’ markets, flea markets, street fairs, swap meets, art or antique festivals, trade shows (public or private), fun runs, foot races, cycling events, marathons, triathlons and athletic charity events shall be classified as 9095, Event Market, Festival or Trade Show Operation.