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Working As A Meeting Planner

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $45,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Meeting Planner Do

Meeting, convention, and event planners coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings. They arrange meeting locations, transportation, and other details.

Duties

Meeting, convention, and event planners typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients to understand the purpose of the meeting or event
  • Plan the scope of the event, including time, location, and cost
  • Solicit bids from venues and service providers
  • Inspect venues to ensure that they meet the client's requirements
  • Coordinate event services such as rooms, transportation, and food service
  • Monitor event activities to ensure the client and event attendees are satisfied
  • Review event bills and approve payments

There are millions of meetings and events held each year. Meeting, convention, and event planners organize a variety of these events including weddings, educational conferences, and business conventions. They coordinate every detail of these events, including finances. Before a meeting event, for example, planners will meet with clients to estimate attendance and determine the meeting’s purpose. During the event, they handle logistics, such as registering guests and organizing audio/visual equipment. After the meeting, they make sure all vendors are paid and may survey attendees to obtain feedback on the event.

Meeting, convention, and event planners search for potential meeting sites, such as hotels and convention centers. They consider the lodging and services that the facility can provide, how easy it will be for people to get there, and the attractions that the surrounding area has to offer. Planners may also consider whether an online meeting can achieve the same objectives as one that requires attendees to meet in a physical location.

Once a location is selected, planners arrange the meeting space and support services, such as catering and interpreters. They negotiate contracts with suppliers and coordinate plans with the venue’s staff, and they may also organize speakers, entertainment, and activities.

The following are examples of types of meeting, convention, and event planners:

Association planners organize annual conferences and trade shows for professional associations. Because member attendance is usually voluntary, it is important for associations to emphasize the meeting’s value and location; for some association planners, marketing is an important aspect of their work.

Convention service managers work for hotels and convention centers. They act as liaisons between the meeting facility and the planners who work for associations, businesses, and governments. They present food service options to outside planners, coordinate special requests, and suggest hotel services that work within a planner’s budget.

Corporate planners organize internal business meetings and meetings between businesses. These events may be in person or online, held either within corporate facilities or offsite to include more people.

Event planners arrange the details of a variety of events. Wedding planners are the most well-known, but event planners also coordinate celebrations such as anniversaries, reunions, and other large social events, as well as corporate events including product launches, galas, and award ceremonies.

Government meeting planners organize meetings for government officials and agencies. Familiarity with government regulations, such as procedures for buying materials and booking hotels, is essential to their work.

Healthcare meeting planners specialize in organizing meetings and conferences for allied healthcare professionals. Healthcare meetings have to meet strict standards in order for the meeting to count as continuing education and to comply with government regulations.

Nonprofit event planners plan large events with the goal of raising donations for a charity or advocacy organization. Events may include banquets, charity races, and food drives.

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How To Become A Meeting Planner

Applicants usually need a bachelor's degree and some experience related to event planning. 

Education

Many employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor's degree and some work experience in hotels or planning. The proportion of planners with a bachelor's degree is increasing because work responsibilities have become more complex. Although some colleges offer degree programs in meeting and event management, other common fields of study include hospitality and tourism management. If an applicant’s degree is not related to these fields, employers are likely to require at least 1 to 2 years of related hospitality or planning experience.

Planners who have studied meeting and event management or hospitality management may start out with greater responsibilities than those from other academic disciplines. Some colleges offer continuing education courses in meeting and event planning.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Convention Industry Council offers the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential, a voluntary certification for meeting and convention planners. Although the CMP is not required, it is widely recognized in the industry and may help in career advancement. 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.

In 2014, the Convention Industry Council created the Certified Meeting Professional-Healthcare (CMP-HC) certification, a CMP specialization related to healthcare industry meeting planners. Planners who want to earn CMP-HC certification must first hold CMP certification and also meet the work and planning requirements specifically in healthcare industry meeting planning.

The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) offers the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation for meeting planners who work for, or contract with, federal, state, or local government. This certification is not required to work as a government meeting planner; however, it may be helpful for those who want to show that they know government purchasing policies and travel regulations. To qualify, candidates must have worked as a meeting planner for at least 1 year and have been a member of SGMP for 6 months. To become a certified planner, members must take a 3-day course and pass an exam.

Some organizations offer voluntary certifications in wedding planning, including the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners and the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants. Although not required, the certifications can be helpful in attracting clients and proving knowledge.

Other Experience

It is beneficial for new meeting, convention, and event planners to have experience in hospitality industry jobs. Working in a variety of positions at hotels, convention centers, and convention bureaus provides knowledge of how the hospitality industry operates. Other beneficial work experiences include coordinating university or volunteer events and shadowing professionals.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners communicate with clients, suppliers, and event staff. They must have excellent written and oral communication skills to convey the needs of their clients effectively.

Composure. Meeting, convention, and event planners often work in a fast-paced environment and must be able to make quick decisions while remaining calm under pressure. When necessary materials do not arrive on schedule, they make alternative arrangements calmly and swiftly.

Interpersonal skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners must establish and maintain positive relationships with clients and suppliers. There are often a limited number of vendors in an area which can be used, and they will likely need them for future events.

Negotiation skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners must be able to negotiate service contracts events. They need to secure quality products and services at reasonable prices for their clients.

Organizational skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners must multitask, pay attention to details, and meet tight deadlines in order to provide high-quality meetings. Many meetings are planned more than a year in advance, so long-term thinking is vital. 

Problem-solving skills. Meeting, convention, and event planners must be able to develop creative solutions that satisfy clients. They must be able to recognize potential problems and identify solutions in advance.

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Meeting Planner Career Paths

Meeting Planner
Event Manager General Manager
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Event Manager General Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Event Manager Marketing Manager General Manager
Director Of Catering
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Finance Manager Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Business Manager Sales Manager
Group Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Account Manager Marketing Manager
Manager, Field Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner/Operator Food And Beverage Manager
Catering Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Assistant Director Director Of Catering
Director Of Sales And Catering
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Events Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Property Manager Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Food And Beverage Manager Catering Sales Manager
Sales And Event Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Manager District Sales Manager Group Sales Manager
Corporate Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales And Marketing Manager Events Marketing Manager
Director Of Marketing And Events
5 Yearsyrs
Catering Sales Manager Sales And Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Owner Assistant To The Director
Membership Director
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Communications Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Communications Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Restaurant Manager Banquet Manager
Manager Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Meeting Planner?

Average Yearly Salary
$45,000
Show Salaries
$29,000
Min 10%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Quintiles Transnational
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New York
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Meeting Planner make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Meeting Planner in the United States is $45,340 per year or $22 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $29,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $69,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Meeting Planner Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Meeting Planner Travnet Inc. Jun 23, 2011 $75,000
Meeting Planner, Health Care Renal Research Institute LLC Jun 28, 2011 $58,760
Convention and Meeting Planner Villa Travel and Tour Corporation Jun 15, 2014 $52,125
Meeting Planner Wildchina Travel Inc. D.B.A. Wildchina Nov 23, 2009 $50,400
Meeting Planner Renal Research Institute LLC Sep 29, 2010 $49,774 -
$58,100
Meeting Planner Renal Research Institute LLC Oct 01, 2010 $49,774 -
$58,100
Meeting Planner, Health Care Renal Research Institute LLC Jun 28, 2011 $49,608 -
$58,100
Assistant Meeting Planner Aacrao Jun 30, 2011 $46,238
Convention and Meeting Planner Villa Travel and Tour Corporation Jun 15, 2014 $45,956
Meeting Planner Dentsply International, Inc. Oct 01, 2011 $45,000
Tour Meeting Planner Aimotravel, Inc. Apr 25, 2016 $42,619
Road Scholar-Meeting Planner Global Poverty Project Inc. Feb 01, 2013 $36,130
Meeting Planner Lyoness America, Inc. Sep 03, 2014 $32,448
Meeting Planner Lyoness America, Inc. Sep 16, 2014 $32,448
Meeting Planner Lyoness America, Inc. Sep 22, 2014 $32,448
Meeting Planner Lyoness America, Inc. Sep 25, 2014 $32,448

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Top Skills for A Meeting Planner

  1. Audio Visual
  2. Annual Conference
  3. Onsite Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage meeting logistics for on-site training center including repairs/replacement of audio visual equipment.
  • Partner with insurance industry associations to manage Guardian s participation at annual conferences.
  • Maintained registrations on all attendees Coordinated housing, audio-visual and travel for guest speakers Onsite management of events Supervised hospital volunteers
  • Delivered strong contract negotiations, Prepared budget, Reconciled event invoices.
  • Conducted site selection/inspections of venues.

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Top 10 Best States for Meeting Planners

  1. New York
  2. New Jersey
  3. Arizona
  4. Virginia
  5. Idaho
  6. Nevada
  7. Washington
  8. Delaware
  9. Maine
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (118 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (122 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)

Meeting Planner Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,020 Meeting Planner resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Meeting Planner Resume

View Resume Examples

Meeting Planner Demographics

Gender

Female

81.0%

Male

13.8%

Unknown

5.2%
Ethnicity

White

61.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

13.2%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.4%

French

20.3%

Portuguese

6.3%

Italian

6.3%

German

4.7%

Arabic

4.7%

Korean

3.1%

Chinese

1.6%

Gujarati

1.6%

Mandarin

1.6%

Polish

1.6%
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Meeting Planner Education

Schools

Johnson & Wales University

13.1%

George Washington University

8.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

8.0%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

5.8%

Temple University

5.8%

Kean University

5.8%

George Mason University

5.1%

New York University

4.4%

Montclair State University

4.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.4%

Arizona State University

3.6%

James Madison University

3.6%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%

Purdue University

3.6%

University of Delaware

3.6%

Roosevelt University

3.6%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.6%

Bowling Green State University

2.9%

Georgia State University

2.9%

San Diego State University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

21.7%

Hospitality Management

19.5%

Communication

12.3%

Marketing

7.5%

Management

6.8%

Psychology

4.4%

English

4.2%

Public Relations

3.7%

Sociology

2.8%

Political Science

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Journalism

2.0%

Kinesiology

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Nursing

1.3%

Biology

1.3%

Health Care Administration

1.3%

Accounting

1.3%

Parks And Recreation Management

1.1%

General Studies

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

62.9%

Masters

12.7%

Associate

8.7%

Certificate

7.6%

High School Diploma

5.3%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.6%
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Updated May 18, 2020