Employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is expected to grow 44 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. As businesses and organizations become increasingly international, meetings and conventions are expected to become even more important. For many of these organizations, meetings are the only time they can bring their members together. Despite the spread of online communication, face-to-face interaction is irreplaceable. In addition, industries and businesses increasingly recognize the value of hiring professional meeting planners who can deliver top-notch meetings at the best available price.
In addition to rapid employment growth, many job openings are expected to arise from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. However, job seekers can expect strong competition because the occupation usually attracts more applicants than job openings.
Job opportunities should be best for people with a bachelor's degree in hospitality management. A Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) credential is also viewed favorably by potential employers. Those who have experience with virtual meeting software and social media outlets also should have an advantage in the job search.
Job opportunities for corporate planners go up and down with the economy. When the economy is poor, companies often cut budgets for meetings. Planners who get laid off during a recession often go to work as private contractors until they can get a full-time job again.
Planners who work for the healthcare industry are least likely to experience cutbacks during a recession because attendance at medical meetings is often required for healthcare professionals to maintain their license.
Event planners can also expect strong competition for jobs. Those with related work experience should have the best job opportunities.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition