28th Annual Meetings Market Survey: Who Responded?

Author: Michelle Russell       

Each year, meeting planners who are members of PCMA and an additional group of Convene meeting planner subscribers receive an extensive Meetings Market Survey, which requests proprietary information and budget projections for their organizations. After answering an initial question on their professional role, respondents follow 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.

The data from the survey was compiled from more than 500 usable responses that were submitted. More than one-half (63 percent) of respondents were PCMA members. More than half (54 percent) worked for an association or nonprofit organization; 19 percent worked for a corporation; 17 percent were independent or self-employed; 4 percent worked for association management firms; 3 percent described their organization as educational in nature; and 3 percent were employed by the government. Respondents worked for associations that were equally international and national in scope (46 percent each). Among respondents not employed by associations, 41 percent work for organizations that are international in scope, and 39 percent work at ones that are national in scope.

The departments that respondents reported to depended, of course, on their category and employer. With more than half of respondents working for associations, 30 percent overall report to the meetings and events department. Nine percent reported to the marketing department and 24 percent of all respondents reported to departments other than meetings, marketing, finance, and travel departments.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents said that meeting planning is their primary job responsibility and were most likely to hold the position of manager (34 percent) and director (31 percent). Six 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-six percent of respondents had at least 10 — and 40 percent had 20-plus — years of meeting-management experience.

Given their tenure, these additional respondent demographics naturally follow: The average age was 46 and more than half (60 percent) earned undergraduate degrees (with 22 percent having earned post-grad degrees). Likewise, as industry insiders would surmise, the vast majority of respondents (83 percent) was female.

The graphics below tell more about two responding groups: association professionals and corporate professionals.

More Meetings Market Survey

Meetings Market Survey

Meetings Market Survey

Convene’s Meetings Market Survey was prepared for PCMA by Lewis Copulsky, principal, Lewis & Clark. All material © 2019 by PCMA. Survey analysis by Michelle Russell.