How Event Professionals Are Feeling About Their Jobs

As part of our 30th Meetings Market Survey, event professionals shared how outside forces and internal changes are affecting how they feel about their jobs, and what worries and excites them about the future.

Author: Michelle Russell       

The responses event professionals wrote to open-ended questions in our 30th Meetings Market Survey, conducted in late summer, illuminate what they have on their minds in a different way than their answers to multiple-choice questions. Here is a collection of their responses as reflected on their roles earlier this year. The Meetings Market Survey appears in our November 2023 issue as part of our annual Events Industry Forecast.


Event professionals shared what is affecting the way they feel about their jobs.

“Hotels are impossibly hard to work with; attendees are changing the way they want to do business and making it hard to plan events; prices are insanely high for food and beverage, AV, and travel, but my budget isn’t changing. I am stressed all of the time. The job is no longer fun.”

“Large board that wants to keep things the same in a rapidly changing world.”

“We’re super busy, but with busyness comes a lot of stress.”

“I’m understaffed, overworked, model is everchanging, smaller players not adapting, and part of the business model is collapsing.”

“I worry that COVID is coming back and will halt the events industry and my job.”

“Working with hotels right now is extremely difficult.”

“Things are tenuous, layoffs have been occurring.”

“Burnout due to limited resources.”

“I don’t think my organization fully embraces the importance of meetings and events.”

“Lack of process and clarity around goals.”

“I feel fairly positive, however, there is still a lot of uncertainty to contend with.”

“I am confident our industry is moving forward and handling all the challenges that we are being faced with.”

“In-person meetings are back and attendance is high.”

“With what we’ve learned over the last three years, I believe the sky’s the limit for what we can offer our attendees. The pandemic compressed 10 years of tech advances into just one or two!”

“My company is in health care, which is a great industry to be in. Additionally, the company’s future is optimistic, with aggressive growth trajectories planned.”

“I believe in the power of events.”

“We live and work our mission and virtual/ hybrid helps us reach exponentially larger audiences.”

“It is one of the fields that has enough room for creativity. It allows you to incorporate your innovative ideas and work independently.”

“Being able to combine my love for being super organized and my creativity to provide experiences our members enjoy is rewarding. COVID was rough and I’m so happy the industry is recovering well and people see the importance of events.”


Even though more than a quarter of respondents said they start to actively design events with sustainability in mind at the time of concept generation and include it in contracts, nearly three out of 10 respondents said sustainability is not part of their planning process. Here are some reasons why:

“We try to include sustainability where it fits in, however, sustainability isn’t cheap and we rely on the hotel to make sustainable choices.”

“It is not a priority at this time.”

“Sustainability was part of planning pre-pandemic. Now, it’s an afterthought. The bottom line rules.”

Business Models

More than two out of five respondents said their organization’s business model has changed since the pandemic. Here’s how:

“Instead of 12-15 standalone in- person events throughout the year at various times, we started to co-locate meetings. We redesigned meetings that used to barely — if ever — make budget to be fully virtual, usually as a ‘learning series’ to break up the time in front of a screen. And we reduced housing blocks to limit attrition.”

“We have had to look at every expense and carefully examine the needs — does this provide value to our exhibitors or the attendee experience?”

“We count more on virtual registrations and hybrid events for income.”

Worried or Excited About the Future?

Can you feel two opposing emotions simultaneously? The answer is yes for nearly half of event professionals, who said they are both excited and nervous about the future. Here’s why:

What worries you the most?

“Global war, tribalism in the U.S.”

“Politics, climate change.”

“Lack of human resources overall. General satisfaction at our meetings is way down; expectations from attendees post-pandemic are high, but service delivery at hotels/venues/airlines is low — even though costs are much higher. It’s an equation that dooms us to fail as planners.”

“Decreasing membership, lack of engagement due to time constraints.”

“My biggest concern is that AI is not about improving the process of event planning, but completely overturning it, and we may lose control of it.”

“High-level meeting professional positions are being cut in preference for less experienced/lower-paid employees; outsourcing is growing but no benefits to workers. Also, hiring — it’s hard to find people who want to return to the office.”

“Ensuring the safety of attendees and staff will become increasingly difficult.”

What excites you the most?

“The importance of face-to-face meetings has been elevated.”

“The new stuff in modern tech.”

“There is so much opportunity to expand and explore in our profession in a post-pandemic world — we have only scratched the surface.”

“AI and machine learning.”

“Creativity in the event space.”

“Even with recession threats, people are still going to events. They are just being more selective.”

“I’m most excited about the industry’s progress in DE&I. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but I’m grateful for the discussions.”

Events Industry Forecast

This story is from the November 2023 issue of Convene and is part of our annual Events Industry Forecast, Find more stories from the issue below:

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