Each year, meeting planners who are members of PCMA and an additional group of Convene meeting planner subscribers receive an extensive survey, which requests proprietary information and budget projections for their organizations. After answering an initial question on their professional role, respondents followed one of three survey routes; one for association meeting professionals and executives, another for independent meeting professionals, and the third, for corporate meeting professionals. While each response path had several unique questions, many questions addressed the same area but were worded differently to reflect the respondent’s particular role in the meetings industry.
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The data that follows was compiled from 867 usable responses that were submitted. More than one-half (63 percent) of respondents were PCMA members. Less than half (42 percent) worked for an association or nonprofit organization; 21 percent worked for a corporation; 16 percent were independent or self-employed; 4 percent described their organization as educational in nature; and 3 percent each worked for association management firms or were employed by the government. More than half of association respondents (54 percent) worked for associations that were international in scope. Among respondents not employed by associations, 48 percent work for organizations that are international in scope, and 37 percent work at ones that are national in scope, with 15 percent employed by state and regional organizations.
The departments respondents reported to depended, of course, on their category and employer. Respondents were most likely to report to the sales department (28 percent), followed by meetings and events (26 percent). Twenty-seven percent do not report to any department. Eight percent reported to the marketing department and 16 percent of all respondents reported to departments other than meetings, marketing, finance, and travel departments.
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Fifty-nine percent of respondents said that meeting planning is their primary job responsibility and 12 percent said it was a secondary job responsibility and were most likely to hold the position of manager (37 percent) and director (29 percent). Ten percent were vice presidents, and 7 percent were CEOs. Not surprisingly, given those titles, this year’s survey-takers were once again an experienced group, with an average of 15 years of work experience in the meetings field. Seventy-five percent of respondents had at least 10 — and among them, 38 percent had 20-plus — years of meeting-management experience.
Given their tenure, these additional respondent demographics naturally follow: The average age was 46 and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) earned undergraduate degrees (with 17 percent having earned post-grad degrees). And it won’t come as any surprise for those familiar with the industry that three out of four respondents were female.