5 Things You Didn’t Know About Meeting Professionals

May 4, 2017
Karen Kotowski, CEO of Events Industry Council

I always enjoy learning something new about our industry, and better yet, about the diverse group of people who represent it. The nature of our work continues to grow and evolve, and in that spirit, below are five things you may not have known about meeting professionals. (Brownie points if you did!)

1. There are nearly 100,000 meeting professionals in the U.S. dedicated to bringing people together face-to-face for conferences, conventions, trade shows, exhibitions, incentive travel, and corporate meetings. We often wear many hats – from business strategist to logistics manager – to ensure that meetings are results-orientated, educational and engaging.

2. We contribute BIG to the economy, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in revenue. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most of us work for private companies and 1 in 10 are self-employed. Industries with the highest concentration of meeting professionals include: business and political organizations; performing arts, sports and entertainment; grant making and giving services; and museums and historical sites. See below.

3. We never forget where we came from and continually look for opportunities to connect meetings and events with the communities that host them. In 2015, convention attendees donated more than $2.3 million. According to The New York Times, “As new generations of executives and professionals become leaders in their fields, some are emphasizing philanthropy over revelry when they gather for their annual meetings…[and] the phenomenon is benefiting charities across the country.”

4. We never stop learning, thanks in large part to skill-building opportunities and industry certification programs like the Events Industry Council’s Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential. To date, more than 11,000 meeting professionals in 55 countries have obtained the CMP designation. To qualify, candidates must have a minimum of 36 months of meeting management experience, recent employment in a meeting management job and proof of continuing education credits. Those who qualify must then pass an exam that covers topics such as strategic planning, financial and risk management, facility operations and services and logistics. Attaining the credential is no small feat, and perhaps a testament to the value we put on education and learning.

5. We’re growing our ranks, with new professionals entering the industry year after year. The Labor Department predicts that employment of meeting, convention, and event planners will grow by 10 percent between 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

Looking for additional data points on meeting professionals? Find them here.