In order to get on the list, U.S. News considered job-growth projections for a 10-year period (2008-18) from The U.S. Department of Labor. These occupations are expected to add jobs at an above-average rate through 2018, as well as, provide an above-average median income. Other factors that determined whether or not the occupation made the list were: overall job satisfaction, low turnover, and impending retirements, which crank up job openings.
As of 2008, there were 56,000 meeting planners in the US and that number is expected to grow by 16% by 2018.
The median pay for a meeting planner was $44,800 in 2009, with a salary range of $25 to $75K.
A bachelor's degree is generally preferred and many planners gain the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation from Convention Industry Council to add to their educational level.
However, all this being said, the climate for the meeting industry is changing. Meeting planners are expected to be leaders and visionaries in order keep pace with the ever changing dynamics of the event meeting services industry. According to US News and Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP who is CEO of Leadership Solutions International suggest that we focus on the following:
- Understand and continue to focus on the budget. Budgets are probably not going to grow by a lot, but it is important to understand exactly what areas you can cut and which ones you cannot.
- Look at your Return on Investment (ROI) for every meeting. Establishing meeting goals and objectives, tracking them, and then presenting or writing a final report shows great insight and the willingness to say whether or not those objectives were met.
- Continue to show the value of Face-to-Face Meetings. With many options out there for attendees, it is important to stress the continued value of F2F gatherings.
- Understand the global meeting marketplace. As our economy improves and the dollar becomes stronger, large companies and associations will be looking to host their meetings overseas. Understanding various cultures and meeting venues will bring your own value to the the discussion.
- Create a vision for your department and communicate it to the rest of the organization, your partners, and attendees.
- Move staff, partners, sponsors and attendees to action. Do you have good project managers in place?
- Be a Change Agent. Keeping current and understanding new ways of doing things is very important.