by Loren G. Edelstein | January 01, 2015
In early December we asked meeting planners to weigh in on what they like and dislike about their jobs. Following are some of the many verbatim comments we received in response.

For what reasons do you remain in your current position?  

• Love our members; flexibility/freedom in the work I get to do

• Still learning the role and clients

• Travel and being with membership.

• Approximately 16 more years until retirement and I just can't fathom starting over someplace else. Although I enjoy what I do, I do wish my pay increases were more. There used to be a time when longevity was a plus. It seems that loyalty to companies for staying for more than five years is long gone.

• Too old to go elsewhere!

• I own the company

• Good opportunity for advancement

• Large amount of PTO days off

• Inertia and the fear that the next place will be the same

• Lack of jobs in area. Lack of jobs that pay well. Bad economy

• Home office

• I work for myself. Not even sure if it's fair for me to respond. But... I LOVE working for myself. And you cannot beat the commute or the dress code! ;)

• Difficult to find something at my level in this area, especially with my lack of free time. :(

• I am the boss and my associates are terrific.

• Travel opportunities

• Boss is very interesting and intelligent.

• Given my longevity here, it would be highly unlikely that I would start at my current salary, let alone better. I have a handicapped adult daughter that I can't afford to lose insurance coverage for.

• I am the co. and the boss. I like working relatively independently.

• No clue what I would do next

• I work for several "bosses." One of the three is tremendous, the others are just okay.

• Since we are independent contractors, the flexibility is invaluable.

• Am in a ministry position that meets with my mission objectives.

• Paying for me to sit for the CMP exam

• Advancements and promotions

For what reasons might you leave your job?

• Need some new challenges and variety

• Instability with company as a whole. Always changing and restructuring, etc.

• Selling the company and/or retiring

• Greedy ownership

• Lack of funding

• Lack of promotion opportunities

• Disagreement with ethics of organization

• Need a warmer climate

• Spouse's job situation

• Not close to any close friends and family

• None at this time. Only if we quit making money!!

• Lack of proper training for different work

• I want to retire! :^)

• Would never consider leaving except for PERMANENT retirement

• Using new skills elsewhere; benefits; salary

• If the two "bad bosses" made life intolerable, I would leave.

• Might move in to part-time work to have more family time, nearing retirement

• At the point that I feel/think that I am not adding value to the position

• Relocation

• High stress levels from job overworked

• No travel allowed

• I work 50-60 hours per week. I have many duties on top of my event planning duties which is a full time job in itself.

• Environment is very toxic.


What do you like best about your current job?

• I love the people that I work for. I love the flexibility in the work I do. I have a great team as well.

• I love producing a quality event, from educational to trade show, no matter the size

• Reasonable pay and benefits; work diversity

• Independence to do my work and not be micro-managed

• Ability to make critical decisions about the future of the events

• Good salary, flexible, great management, I like my job

• Flexibility, enjoyment of the work

• The ability to work from home

• Currently it's my boss. He's new and he trusts me. He's the first person in more than five years to appreciate the work I put in day-to-day. He's also very supportive of helping to expand my role and get some support staff -- which would be a first at the company!

• Great benefits, love the people within my own events department, and I like the work I do

• Ability to work hours I want

• The clients and the challenges

• I like my co-workers and I feel challenged by the position I am in, and I am constantly getting new projects and continuing to grow.

• Level of responsibility, salary

• Job duties, appreciation

• Salary/benefits

• The craziness of the schedule and that every event is a little bit different with new challenges!

• Event planning! I love doing all of our corporate events; unfortunately, it's only a portion of my current role.

• I get to work from home! Salary! Flexibility!

• Opportunities to travel and see places I may not normally get to see. The planning of meetings itself

• Job security

• The freedom

• Partnership development

• Easy

• Contract negotiation

• PTO days off. Good flexibility to work from home and work my own hours

• Great inspirational colleagues and a wonderful product

• The clients and the challenge of the events

• The work itself

• Flexibility and fun environment

• The relationships built with clients and vendors through the years

• Benefit package and flexible work schedule

• The opportunity to work the hours that suit my schedule best

• I have a sense of purpose and know what I do benefits the farmers I serve.

• Variety of tasks and settings

• Flexibility and satisfaction of producing valuable conferences.

• Location, location, location. Commute is 7 minutes.

• The whole process from prospect to client

• Co-workers and meeting new people and new places

• Supporting the membership (nonprofit association)

• Flexibility with hours to a certain degree. Knowing I have paycheck coming twice a month

• Not having a traditional event manager role. Instead, being more aligned with the business and involved in strategy and marketing, and integrating these into the event activity we deliver

• The work and interaction with attendees

• Putting together a program and working with hotels

• I feel valued and appreciated by my leaders.

• I love the work I do and the small staff of six get along very well. No back-stabbing, no pettiness, no discord. My boss gives praise and shows appreciation for my hard work. There is not a constant fear of being laid off as there was when I worked in a corporate environment, which was sooo stressful.

• Home office. Opportunities to interact with customers

• OH -- I am so blessed to do this for a living!! I have found my calling. The best part is watching it all come together. There is nothing like that moment when it does and clients are beaming!! Love it!

• I LOVE the opportunities that I have been exposed to.

• Working with a variety of people and seeing different cities and what they can offer

• That it's in the meetings industry (which is critical to maintaining my CMP designation), that it's convenient to where I live, and good benefits

• The challenge, the creativity needed, a constant evolution of the industry

• Being able to work on a lot of different meetings and events as needed and to schedule my own time

• The people I work with, and our members who reap the benefits of networking and learning from one another at our events

• Planning an annual conference for my co-workers

• I love solving my clients' problems and enjoy the satisfaction they show in being successful, particularly when market share is increased.

• Confirmation that I'm doing something that is impacting the lives of young women

• Support as far as equipment and supplies. Interesting industry, always learning something new about a new industry

• I love being a meeting planner!

• It's developmental and ripe for new approaches

• My clients, I am my own boss,and I have a comfortable income

• The values of my association are in line with my own -- great to work for what matters to me!

• The work itself - I love seeing an event from start to finish.

• Interacting with others

• That every day is different

• Because I work for an association, I truly enjoy working with the members. They are professional and for the most part very appreciative of all that I do.


What do you like least about your current job?

• That it consumes my life sometimes. It is a ton of work.

• I'm still relatively new to my position only seeing only 2 of our 8 annual events twice. Still, getting a handle on our events

• Lazy co-workers

• The lack of increases to my pay due to my longevity at the company. More than 20 years

• Office politics

• No challenge

• Time away from my kids

• I don't love the location (or commute), but it is not terrible. The area is just congested. I am not fond of some co-workers, but I like everyone for the most part and I am easy to get along with.

• Some of the decisions made, some micromanagement

• Salary

• So busy due to company growth, working a lot

• Most people have no idea what goes into meeting/event planning. I actually have a sign on my wall that says "Meeting Planning: So easy a monkey could do it," because that's the mentality my executives have. A few years back one of them actually said that to me after a highly successful, exceptionally difficult & stressful 5-day event. I just wish people could understand that this takes experience & know-how, and it's not something you can hand off to your assistant or the intern.

• No support or appreciation from senior leadership, and they don't really understand what I do and belittle my work

• Inability to do all the work needed in a reasonable number of hours

• The instability of the company as a whole

• Lack of organization

• Toxic office politics

• Salary, location, workload

• Commute/inconvenient location

• Very little support from the rest of the organization

• I'd prefer to be an event planner full-time.

• Bad boss, unable to make a decision, can change direction before the end of a sentence

• There are no women in leadership positions at the company and no sign of any woman being in such a position any time soon. The overall lack of acknowledgment from upper management that this is even a problem

• No room for progression

• The critics

• Not challenging, 50% time spent on administrative duties

• My boss travels to the meetings without me to save money, but doesn't do any of the planning

• Too far of a job. Boss who is not respectful of my tasks. Rude supervisor. VPs who do not really know what is going on in the company

• Senior leaders don't necessarily understand our industry.

• The ownership is greedy. This has created a deadly atmosphere within the company employees. The owner actually said "waitresses don't deserve raises" in a meeting.

• Some years the travel can get a bit much, depending on the locations.

• Sales calls to sell my services

• Low salary

• Internet reviewers

• I drive an hour each way to get to work. That is a big chunk of my day, but it is worth it considering I like what I do, who I work with and for, and the benefits and salary I receive.

• Worries about funding

• Securing speakers. I do have the help of committees for each conference but still some difficulty with finding people that can talk on our industry subjects.

• No promotion opportunities. Adding of more work without adequate help or compensation. Having to travel all the time. Having people who have no idea what you do tell you how to do your job

• Lack of support and enthusiasm of staff. Some just go through the motions or do as little as possible.

• Lack of professional development and resources. I want to learn something new and new challenges.

• Dishonest boss

• Unfair policies allowing certain employees benefits that others do not receive. Tired of stressing out for the same reasons every year. Not worth my time. I'm no longer passionate about this organization.

• Filing, last-second changes, which are inevitable

• Half-time as a receptionist!

• Supervisor and lack of respect from supervisor

• Co-workers complaining

• I work for a nonprofit and each of us is stretched pretty thin. In my 23 mos. here, one or two positions have been vacant at any given time causing the rest of us to chip in and do more. My boss works all the time, travels a lot and stays extremely busy. (I don't know when the man sleeps.) Filling those vacancies takes months. He needs a high-level assistant to delegate projects to, and while a new position was approved 18 mos ago, it remains unfilled. Because he's away or on conference calls so much when he is in the office, many business decisions take too long and it slows down progress. Other than the boss, everyone works basically a 40-hr work week except me, the Meeting Planner. I work a 60+ hr. work week and hate feeling overwhelmed and behind all the time, but I still LOVE MY JOB! I left corporate meeting planning and a 6-figure salary (not by choice), and after 18 devastating months of unemployment found this position. I'm making half of what I made before and am grateful to be here, doing what I love with people I like and respect, but at this stage of my career, I would prefer a little more work-life balance.

• Lack of qualified administrative support

• Stress... stress... stress

• Bad customers

• Well, it's still a J.O.B. When you work for yourself it's hard to pace yourself. Here it is 10:41 p.m. at night at I am finally getting around to completing this fun little form. But the job satisfaction makes up for the crazy hours!! :)

• That I am not traveling as much as I would like to! Dubai, Bali, Tahiti, places like that would be a nice change.

• Boredom. Not much changes and there is reluctance by my manager to let me stretch into other departments.

• The hours, the stress, the unrealistic expectations

• Poor salary/benefits for my level, and lack of appreciation

• I'm detail oriented, but I'm getting tired with all the tiny details and all the hours behind a desk.

• At the moment, lack of appreciation

• Volunteers who are wonderful, but make my job very difficult, especially when it comes to deadlines

• Uncertainty of my future here, with job cutbacks in the works

• The monotonous tasks

• Long, long hours; never getting caught up; people who wait until the last minute

• The travel. I had a baby this year and that has changed my outlook on traveling out of town for work.

• Fear of change from older generations

• Company is dated and inflexible. No room for any advancement

• Worrying about maintaining, growing client base

• The drive

• Not paid enough

• Poor management; never thanked. Never. Boss is easily distracted to the point of assigning the same job to several people. Plays favorites totally, big push for younger talent, and we "experienced" employees are not included in meetings, visible projects, etc.

• With a cutback on "events," it has become boring & tedious to plan training sessions. Also, I now have multiple departments to whom to answer vs. just the COO, so conflict is definitely an issue at times.

• My boss who threatened legal action to get her promotions

• PAPERWORK; billing; clients that change their minds hourly

• Lack of acknowledgment and appreciation -- not personally, but for the volume of work completed and the improvements being made while executing

• Feast or famine for time; cold climate

• I wish my staff were paid more.

• Current leadership micro-manages and interferes.

• Not being able to travel as much any more

• Not knowing what management's plans are

• One boss treats the staff like we are students, when we are all seasoned professionals. The other boss will make changes after much of the groundwork has been completed for a particular project. This comes with no regard for the effort already placed into the project.

• The pay is inconsistent, and it is tough giving up 50% of my commission to the corporate office.

• Burnt out; bored

• Long hours, pressure

• Learning a new industry

• Salary at a nonprofit is considerably less than in private sector.