Meeting Mentor Magazine

June 2024

Convene Salary Survey:
Planners Unsatisfied, Women Earn Less

Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association, has released its annual meeting planner salary survey, shedding light on some long-standing issues when it comes to meeting planning and compensation.

The survey found that most respondents were happy with the profession of meeting planning but nearly 40 percent said they were dissatisfied with their salaries. The reasons have to do with stagnant wages, long hours that can easily extend into off-hours, and high stress levels, according to the magazine’s analysis.

The survey, conducted by Lewis&Clark and sponsored by DMAI’s, was completed by more than 800 respondents. As always, the annual report does a great job of analyzing salaries not only by job title but by demographics such as age and education and gender. And in the later lies a stubborn, long-term reality: Despite being a profession in which women are the very large majority, men still earn more in every job bracket.

Here are three key supporting stats from the survey:

• Ninety percent of respondents were female and 10 percent male.

• Females predominated all job categories: 94 percent of all managers surveyed; 89 percent of directors; and 71 percent of vice presidents.

• Yet the average salary (combining all job brackets) for men was $98,194, while for women the average overall was $80,475.

The bottom line: Women predominate at every level yet they are paid on average less than their male counterparts. Salary inequity of the sexes is, of course, not unique to the events profession, though the demographics of the field make it particularly glaring. Women’s leadership training has been the focus in recent years of efforts by Meeting Professionals International and the International Association for Exhibitions and Events, with one goal being to give women the confidence and the soft-skills set to not only rise to leadership positions but to negotiate and command the top salaries that organizations offer.

Megan Tanel, CEM, senior vice president of the Association of Equipment Manufactures, received the 2017 Woman of Achievement Award at IAEE’s Women’s Leadership Forum, held in May at MGM National Harbor in Maryland. She didn’t comment on salary inequities but did make this not-unrelated observation: “Regardless of gender, I and my team strive to achieve success in all that we do,” Tanel said. “But because of gender, sometimes we have to prove ourselves even more.”

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 4,400+ associations, corporations, and sporting authorities through our 400+ global associates.

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, is a business journal for senior meeting planners that is distributed in print and digital editions to the clients, prospects, and associates of ConferenceDirect, which handles over 13,000 worldwide meetings, conventions, and incentives annually.

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