by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2018
In responding to M&C's biennial salary survey, planners were able to add additional comments while answering some questions, a selection of which follows the statistics set out below.

When asked which direct responsibilities they have for meeting planning, respondents offered the following:
• 84 percent said they influence hotel/facility selection;
• 83 percent negotiate terms of the agreement;
• 80 percent influence destination selection;
• 56 percent set the meeting budget;
• 43 percent make the final decision on hotel/facility selection;
• 40 percent set the agenda, and
• 35 percent make the final decision on destination selection.

In addition, 16 percent added other areas they handle for their events:
• Reconciliation and audit file submissions
• Compliance
• Airline reservations, rooming list, ground transportation, registration, menu selections/event orders, A/V and expo services, procurement and coordination, off-site venues, bill reconciliation
• Collaborate on the agenda with the stakeholders. Research and select speakers
• Together with management team, determine which events to attend, book flights, car rental, etc.; handle exhibit agreements and setup. We are entirely trade- and retail show-related with a limited handful of off-site management meetings.
• Overall program management of internal sales conference and other sales trainings, 1K-5K attendees, with $1M-$14M budgets. I manage a large virtual support team to cover keynotes, classes, hotel, F&B, network, A/V, décor, branding, signage, mobile app, meetings, party, showcase, head count, attendance tracking, online registration, on-site registration and all the related scenario planning, including proposals to exec management.
• All logistics including rooming list, air, ground, F&B, hiring guest speakers and other vendors/talent, on-site meeting management, reconciliation of invoices
• We direct the sourcing search, manage budgets, negotiate all vendor contracts and execute on-site.
• I manage five teams that put on more than 650 events a year globally.
• Coordinate logistics and volunteer management
• Operations, production management and vendor selection/RFP
• Run conference end-to-end, from initial planning/site through to the actual meetings' execution
• Secure sponsors
• Plan conference program, F&B, other vendors, special events
• Secure CEU, prepare all materials, supervise event-day volunteers
• Arranging all the details and logistics for up to 15 meetings a year, including creating up to 10 meeting-specific documents, hotel and facility coordination, and all communication with attendees
• A-Z, I have it all.
• Speaker-bureau logistics, travel arrangements, venue contracts
• Create and manage all food and beverage decisions and transportation
• Registration of attendees, travel management, hotel rooming-list management, venue setup and management, F&B, final invoicing
• Influence strategy, messaging and how these components tie to the event's goals and organization's mission
• Program design and presentation readiness
• Registration, networking, team building, gifts
• Contract and negotiate A/V, set design, crew logistics, scheduling, run of show, all client communications, stage manage
• Develop solution recommendations, including event architecture, technology and communications plan in addition to destination/venue; write proposals to tell the story
• Catering, all logistics
• Bringing in revenue producing events to our venue
• Identify on-site meeting pros for assistance
• All of the above
• Secure donations for live- and silent-auction gifts, plan raffles to increase revenue

What would make you happier in your job?

• Not being laid off after being acquired by a company that doesn't understand the value of an SMM
• More decisiveness from leadership; more lead time/ability to be proactive and not reactive
• Clear and concise directives when major departmental changes are being made -- open communication
• A larger team so I have time and bandwidth to be more strategic and innovative.
• Promotion, more resources, great ability for education and training
• More events to plan -- more to do!
• Opportunity to travel with staff to various trade and retail shows -- this is not on the radar at present due to expenses
• Since I manage about 45 people through the teams, I spend a lot of time dealing with HR issues. It's a time drain I wish I could have back.
• Ability to telework more often on a consistent basis
• Pay in this industry is very low.
• New supervisor
• Work from home more often
• Additional staff member to focus on events, instead of being the sole planner
• CEO is very difficult to work for/with. Employee moral is low. Two long-term employees are leaving as a result (11 and 17 years with the association). No bonus last year and less than 2 percent pay raise. Haven't had a performance review in two years
• Greater and more diverse attendance. Greater variety of topics.
• Software issues; what I was promised for what I do hasn't happened
• Totally satisfied as it is. No changes needed. Great job
• My job has grown into more operations of the association (HR, insurance, controller, office manager, etc.), while still being the meeting planner, which is what I enjoy. As a small association and small staff, I have become the overseer of all projects including HR, which is not in my wheelhouse.
• Support from association management to implement operational procedures in terms of staff-liaison interaction and collaboration with the meeting planning function
• For client to bring the different areas of their business together from the start to maximize the meeting. To remind everyone of the budget (or the lack thereof).
• Suppliers who actually try to understand our objectives, ask questions and want to talk through issues. I have gotten very weary of getting emails telling us how things are going to be done. Too often we just do as we are told.
• Standard operating procedures for all departments for cross-department collaboration
• More lead time from clients -- or less lead time if they had reasonable expectations.
• Changing my job to be one for sourcing/contracting only
• Decision-making power, ability to contribute to change, creativity
• Having the necessary administrative help so I don't have to sacrifice my personal life to cover administrative tasks, due to the position being unfilled for far too long