All signs are pointing up for business-event professionals on the hunt for a new job in the coming year. The U.S. unemployment rate hit a 17-year low in November, and experts say we can expect continued job growth in 2018. According to a recent study by the job site Indeed, 61 percent of employers expect to hire more people next year than they did in 2017, and more than half of those surveyed said they are hiring specifically to support business growth. Based on this confidence in the national job market, we decided to take a look at what people are looking for when they search our CareerCenter job portal. The data suggests a number of trends that point to a robust — if changing — job outlook.
The top keywords searched on CareerCenter over the past year were “meeting planner,” “meetings manager,” “education manager,” “conference manager,” and “meetings coordinator” — which together represented 40 percent of the 1,300 separate searches conducted over the last 12 months. When candidates searched by predetermined category, “Event Organizer” topped the list, followed by “Management,” “Sales,” “Technology,” and “Marketing.”
Here are three other trends that emerged from the data:
1. Shifting Office Space
Remote work is having its heyday right now, with 43 percent of Americans saying they spend at least some of their time working somewhere outside their office. This trend was reflected in the CareerCenter data, with nearly 1,000 keyword searches for remote or telecommuting opportunities in the past year. Contract and freelance opportunities were also popular searches, reflecting a national trend of employees opting to work for themselves — or at least on their own schedule — as part of the ever-increasing gig economy.
2. Future of the Industry
The keyword-search data also offered a look at the future of the business-events industry — specifically for the newest generation of workers. “Internships” and “entry-level” were popular keyword inquiries, with more than 500 combined searches. The entrance of Generation Z — those born between 1998 and 2016 — into the workforce likely will present some challenges to accepted norms in the industry, but these new entrants also should be able to offer insight into marketing and programming trends that organizers can adopt to attract younger attendees.
3. Drive to Digital
As meetings and events continue to adopt and adapt to new technologies, new job preferences are gaining popularity. Job hunters searched the CareerCenter portal for the keyword “digital” in eight different variations, including “digital meetings” and “digital event specialist.” The numerous possibilities associated with emerging digital and hybrid meetings trends suggest that the digital-meeting planner will become an increasingly in-demand career path for both new and experienced industry professionals alike.
Check out how these and other workforce trends will significantly affect future conference audiences.