job hunt (verb) 1. to pursue opportunities for gainful employment

Specialists!

Only a small number of search firms specialize in meeting-industry jobs. They include The Meeting Connection, Novato, Calif., (www.themeetingconnection.com) and The Meeting Candidate Network, New York (www.meetingjobs.com and www.meetingtempjobs.com).

Describe Yourself

A search for “meeting planning” or “meeting manager” on the job boards might come up short. Don't forget to key in conference, convention, event, planner, marketing, exhibits, trade show, coordinator, exhibits, symposium, CME, etc., to find all the jobs that might match your talents.

Men Still Earn More

Women are paid 80 cents for every dollar men earn, just as they were in 1983. This is the finding of a study by the government's General Accounting Office released in late November. The results held true even after controlling for hours worked, marital status, time away from the work force, and other factors.

Don't Sell Yourself Short

Meeting Professionals International's 2002 salary survey, completed by 1,509 meeting executives, came up with the following average salaries, organized by respondents' level of experience.

Fewer than 3 years: $42,695
3 to 5 years: $51,245
6 to 9 years: $55,903
10 to 14 years: $61,501
15 to 19 years: $64,153
More than 19 years: $85,068

Start Your Search

A good place to look for meeting industry jobs in your area is the Web site of your local chapter of Meeting Professionals International. For example, MPI chapters in New England (www.mpine.org), Chicago (www.mpicac.org), and Northern California (www.nccmp.org) all have online job boards. In fact, most of the meeting associations' Web sites have career centers.

13-1121

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began officially recognizing meeting and convention planners as an occupational classification in 2002. Coded 13-1121, the bureau broadly defines the position: “Coordinate activities of staff and convention personnel to make arrangements for group meetings and conventions.” Visit the BLS Web site for meeting planner salary statistics: www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes131121.htm.

Do Your Homework

Before an interview, learn the basics about potential employers online. Try research portals such as www.corporateinformation.com, www.hoovers.com, or www.wetfeet.com to find financial and market data.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov; The U.S. General Accounting Office, www.gao.gov; Meeting Professionals International, www.mpiweb.org;

Do you want to get the last word in? Send your ideas to shatch@primediabusiness.com