Meetings and conventions are still important even though telecommunication has largely taken over mass communication. Meeting people in your field in person is still a good and effective way to talk about business and similar interests. Those who attend business meetings and conventions might set goals they want to achieve, such as gaining information on companies who sell similar products. Those who plan smaller conventions might have more responsibilities, while those who plan larger conventions might have additional help.
Conventions must take place in an area suitable to hold the expected amount of people. Suitable areas could include hotels, conference centers, and halls. A convention planner will not plan a convention in a location which can hold 100 people if the convention expects a turnout of 1,000 people. Convention planners must research facilities to ensure that their desired place will accommodate them and their scheduled attendance. Planners must then acquire the necessary requirements to set up in the location such as chairs, tables, food, and beverages. Renting space for a convention will not be cheap. Typically a negotiated price is discussed and finalized many months in advance.
Working conditions can vary widely because conventions and meetings may start early in the morning, so waking up very early to make sure everything is taken care of beforehand is an essential part of being a convention planner. Working more than forty hours per week may be very common. On the bright side, those who plan conventions for larger companies may travel around the world and see beautiful sites. Convention planning can be a good way travel and see places one normally would not see with a different occupation.
Education and training will vary, depending on which type of field a potential convention planner is in. Many start out planning small meetings and work their way up to more complicated, larger conventions with more responsibilities. Many convention planners have on-the-job training and are supervised by more-experienced convention planners. Those who do wish to enter the convention planning industry should have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as public relations, meeting management, or hospitality management.
Communication skills and excellent organization skills are very important in being a convention planner: they are essential, actually. The job requires one to be very detailed oriented because a well-organized convention without difficulties and problems is ideal. Handling many pressures is common when trying to meet deadlines. This, multi-tasking, and managing the stress factor are all challenges of a convention planner. Being able to read and understand complicated contracts is also a major aspect of a convention planner’s duties.
Those who continue to show commitment, dedication, responsibility, and success in the convention planning industry may advance in their field of choice. Those who do show the necessary skills may choose to plan a specific type of convention. Convention planners interact with a variety of other occupations in order to understand other aspects of business.
There are certifications available by the Convention Industry Council, which offer the Certified Government Meeting Professional certification. Certification is increasingly becoming more of an essential part of the working field more than a bonus. More professionals are becoming certified, which will increase competition.
Convention and meeting planners are expected to grow over the next decade. The world is also shrinking with globalization and more international companies merging and working together. New companies and businesses that are starting out typically have more meetings and conventions to develop policies and procedures, hire employees, and complete other duties necessary to get the company off the ground. Many convention planners can interchange industries. If there are low job opportunities in one field, changing to another is relatively easy. Those industries that are experiencing growth and propriety will present the best opportunities for convention planners.
Wages can depend on experience, level of responsibilities, and industry. On average, a convention planner can earn from $36,000 to $70,000 a year. While the earnings seem low in regards to the amount of work involved, the job of the convention planner is one chain in the link of successful business. No matter how technology grows and becomes more involved in our lives, meeting face to face with others who share the same interest, ideas, business practices, or any other common goals or interests will never go out of style.