. What's In a Name? | Meetings & Conventions

What's In a Name?

Does the title "meeting planner" sufficiently describe the scope of the job? Nearly three out of four meeting professionals say no (see our cover story here and the related Research department findings here. This isn't a new problem. In fact, the drive to validate the complexity of the job led Meeting Planners International to change its name to Meeting Professionals International in 1994.

Outside our business, misperception is an even bigger problem: Only 2 percent of our survey respondents find that people in other industries have a high degree of understanding about what a meeting planner does.

What would be a better title? "Meeting and event strategist" got the nod from a majority of respondents. But it's not that simple, many noted (read verbatim comments here). Some thoughtful points:

• "I'm not really sure, and that's the issue. We do so much that whatever title we use, it should reflect what we contribute to the bottom line."

• "I love the word strategist being part of the title, but I've grown weary of the word event. Anyone can call themselves an event planner, etc., which devalues us as true professionals."

• "COO? CS (chief strategist)? If I knew, I'd make the pitch for a title change myself."

• "Call me anything, just make sure my name is on the check!"

I discussed this hot topic with attendees at Northstar's recent Independent Meeting Professionals Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo. For the resulting video, click here.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Enjoy the issue.