Salaries for Business Event Managers Are Rising, Says New Survey

June 5, 2019

Does your salary reflect what you think you’re worth? If you’re like most trade show organizers, the answer is probably no (more on that below); yet the forecast for our industry in this area is looking at least partially sunny.

Nearly 75 percent of business events organizers received a raise over the past year, averaging a 7-percent increase, according to PCMA’s annual Salary Survey, released this week.

While that 7-percent increase is more than twice the average raise for North American workers across all industries, only half of the 550 respondents in PCMA’s survey reported satisfaction with their current salary.

Chalk it up to long hours (an average of 46 per week), high stress, lack of organizational recognition and limited flexibility (goodbye, weekends before and after your event) — the average salary of $82,769 isn’t cutting it for everyone.

That’s not to say that event organizers don’t love the business they’re in, however. Eighty percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the business events industry as a whole, and 69 percent said they were happy with their current jobs. While that’s a majority reporting satisfaction in their roles, it’s a lower rate than other workforce happiness studies (for example, a CNBC/Survey Monkey workshop happiness index published this spring found that 85 percent of all workers were satisfied with their jobs).

“I think the disparity has a lot to do with the high level of stress that comes with their jobs, and how few of their organizations’ leaders recognize the skills and expertise required to execute successful events,” said Michelle Russell, editor-in-chief of PCMA’s Convene magazine, where the Salary Survey was published.

Other notable findings from the survey:

  • Having the CMP designation equates to a higher salary; respondents with one earned an average of $8,600 more a year than colleagues without
  • Professional development support is getting better; 11 percent of respondents said employers have increased support for attending educational events in the past year
  • As expected, greater experience equals greater pay; average salary for meeting professionals ranged from $52,986 for those with one to three years of experience versus $94,284 with 10 or more years

Salary Survey

How does your own experience compare with the results of the Salary Survey? Share with us on Twitter, @TSNN_com_US.

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