by Sarah J.F. Braley | December 01, 2007

A common complaint in this industry is that planners work in a vacuum, with clients and higher-ups oblivious to what goes into arranging a meeting -- unless something goes wrong. To gauge how widespread this problem really is for planners, M&C conducted an online survey in October. Of the 244 respondents, 28 percent said their bosses understand their jobs completely, while 57 percent feel they are understood to some extent. Just 15 percent said their bosses don’t understand the job at all.

Executives are similarly tuned in (or out). Twenty percent of those surveyed said their organization’s C-level people understand the importance of meeting planning, and 58 percent said executives are aware to some extent. However, 22 percent said executives do not realize the value of what planners do.

chartsClients, whether internal or external, are a bit more clueless: Only 3 percent said all of their clients understand the intricacies of the planning process, 60 percent said some do and 37 percent said clients don’t understand at all.

For a meeting well done, 58 percent of those surveyed said they pat themselves on the back and make notes for future performance reviews, and 44 percent are congratulated by their bosses. Fourteen percent celebrate with their departments, and 10 percent are rewarded with a gift or a bonus. Seventeen percent get no kudos.

Outside of work, fully 80 percent of those polled always or sometimes are expected to plan events for family and friends. Typically, they respond by giving advice (59 percent) or taking on the planning task (30 percent). Ten percent do what is asked of them but wish they had the nerve to say no; 1 percent decline to help at all.