Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 09 2014

5 Reasons Your Peers Love (And Hate) Meeting Planning

By David McMillin


Meeting professionals encounter some serious ups and downs throughout the year. One day, they’re earning rewards points while traveling internationally for a site visit and the next, they’re sitting behind their desks staring at inboxes with miles of unread messages. When Convene conducted research for its 2014 Salary Survey, the editors weren’t just looking to compile dollar signs and wage increases. They were also aiming to understand the balance between those ups and downs and feel the pulse of how respondents truly feel about their work.

Here’s a look at five areas that stirred up some strong feelings among meeting professionals.

1) The Power of People

The face-to-face industry is built on the members, customers and attendees who pay registration fees. Some of those people can put big smiles on planners’ faces while others can create big challenges.

Love: “I love our association members. They are the most grateful, kind and smart people I have ever had the pleasure to serve. 

Hate: “Most attendees, vendors and all stakeholders expect one-on-one attention. 

2) The Independent Spirit

While many respondents work for big corporations and associations, some of them have paved their own paths. Going it alone can come with some perks — and some problems.

Love: “I run my own business, so I have complete control of my time and income. 

Hate: “As an independent, I do not command the same rates as if I were a corporate or executive-level association meeting manager.

3) The Leaders at the Top 

When planners are done answering attendees on-site, some of them look forward to what awaits when they return to their offices. Others might actually prefer to extend their hotel stays.

Love: “The flexibility and trust my executive team and board have for me. 

Hate: “A micro-managing director who is in love with spreadsheets and has us create spreadsheets to keep track of spreadsheets. 

4) The Daily Routine

With so many details and last-minute issues, each day should bring new challenges for planners. However, that’s not always the case.

Love: “There is never a dull moment. 

Hate: “Some of the day-to-day work can be quite monotonous. Between immersing myself in spreadsheets and covering minute details, I sometimes have little to no time for creative development. 

5) The View From the Outside

Every meeting planner has heard this question from someone who isn’t in the industry: so, tell me, what is it you really do?

Love: “Through meetings, we are able to be an active part of the economy. 

Hate: “I’ve found most people outside our industry have a hard time understanding just how much work goes into organizing an event and managing over 185 trade shows year round. 

Show Me the Money 

Just as satisfaction with their roles and the meetings industry overall varies widely, planners report that their compensation runs the gamut. Click here to read the complete results of the 2014 Salary Survey in the June issue of Convene and see how your paycheck stacks up against your peers.

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