What Is the Job Description of a Meeting Manager?

Meeting managers organize, set up, run, and evaluate events for a variety of industries. Read on to learn more about how to prepare for this career, and review the employment outlook and the salary potential. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A meeting manager is responsible for organizing the details involved with planning large and small events as well as meetings. You may work as an independent contractor or for venues like hotels or convention centers; your title could also be event or meeting planner. In this position, you often need to make decisions regarding the meeting location, budget, and catering. To make these decisions, you first need to know what type of meeting or event the organization is hosting, including details such as estimated attendance and type of audience in order to select an ideal location.

Additional duties include making sure the event is accessible to all those attending, as well as securing any necessary supplies and materials. Arranging for stages, lighting, concessions, and transportation for guests and attendees may be your responsibility as well. You must also work within your organization's budget to pay for the location, lodging, materials, props, speakers, and anything else that requires payment. Finally, quality assurance gauges the success of your meeting or event, so you may be required to conduct surveys with the attendees.

Important Facts About Meeting Managers

On-the-Job Training Not provided formally, but experience acquired through time spent working
Key Skills Problem solving, critical thinking, organization, negotiation, customer focused, time management, clear communication, composure
Work Environment Typically full-time in office with travel intermixed
Similar Occupations Food service managers; lodging managers; fundraisers; travel agents; administrative service managers

Education and Training Requirements

While there is not a specific education path required for this career, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employers often look for candidates who have at least a bachelor's degree, though some positions may be available to those with relevant experience. O*Net Online (www.onetonline.org) reports that an estimated 48% of meeting, convention, and event planners hold a bachelor's degree, while 29% have earned an associate's degree. A variety of certificate or degree programs in areas like tourism and hospitality, business, communications, or public relations could be useful in the field of meeting and event planning. Some schools even offer programs specifically in meeting management; these often offer courses related to the financial, marketing, and customer service aspects of the industry.

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs might focus more on the hospitality aspect of meeting and event planning, but you can also study related areas like marketing, hospitality law, risk management, and administrative practices. Earning a master's degree may afford you the opportunity to expand your career field by being able to organize events and meetings for larger-scale events, including conferences, festivals, and other special meetings.

The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential from the Convention Industry Council is offered to those interested in gaining certification in the field. Although this isn't required for all positions, it may help you with career advancement, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Salary and Job Outlook

The BLS reported that the average salary for convention, event, and meeting planners was $50,910 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Comparably, PayScale.com published that the majority of meeting managers earn between $36,485 and $79,921 a year, as of September 2015. The BLS predicted that employment for these professionals would increase by 10% between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average rate of growth predicted for all occupations. Having at least a bachelor's degree and some previous experience may be favorable to employers, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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