PCMA Convene’s 2018 Salary Survey: Event organizers see robust raises and work long hours


PCMA’s (Professional Convention Management Association) industry-leading magazine, Convene, has published its annual Salary Survey, which shows that nearly three-quarters of event organizers received a raise over the past year — and their average increase of nearly 7 percent is more than twice the average for North American workers across all industries.

But Convene Salary Survey respondents worked hard for that money, clocking in an average 46-hour workweek with nearly one-quarter reporting they spend more than 50 hours a week on the job. Long hours, stress, and lack of home/life balance were frequently cited by survey participants as the things that they like least about their jobs.

“Despite the challenges that come with the territory, most planners — seven out of 10 — said they are satisfied with their jobs,” said Michelle Russell, Convene’s editor in chief. “We think that speaks volumes about the passion and dedication event organizers bring to their work.”
Nearly 600 respondents participated in the survey, which was conducted in March and early April 2018 by Lewis&Clark and sponsored by Destination International’s empowerMINT.com.

Key findings include:

  • Seventy-two percent of respondents received an increase in pay within the last 12 months, three points down from last year’s survey, in which 75 percent of respondents got a pay raise.
  • Less than half (42 percent) reported that their salary increased by less than 5 percent; 15 percent said it increased by 5 to 9.9 percent; and 14 percent received increases of more than 10 percent.
  • The average salary for meeting professionals with 1–3 years of experience is $53,788; 4–5 years, $62,750; 6–8 years, $70,746; 9–10 years, $75,714; and 10-plus years, $93,352.
  • Respondents with a CMP earned on average more than $10,500 a year than their colleagues without the designation: Their average pay was $89,627 compared to an overall average salary of $79,013.
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About PCMA

PCMA educates, inspires and listens, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists, providing senior-level education, networking and market intelligence for the global business events industry. Our mission is to drive social and economic progress through business events. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries. Visit us at pcma.org

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