A RISE IN SALARIES, SECURITY? As the role of meeting planners becomes more important to the strategic success of U.S. companies, salaries are increasing at a steady clip, and job security is growing. So says the Meeting Professionals International 2000 Compensation Survey, which compiled information from more than 1,200 meeting organizers nationwide. About 53 percent of the respondents were corporate meeting planners.

"There's a demand for qualified corporate meeting planners," says Dawn Penfold, president of The Meeting Candidate in New York City, an executive search firm (dawn@meetingjobs.com). "People with solid skills and adequate experience are very highly valued in today's economy." Contrary to what some insurance conference planners are facing, Penfold notes a trend away from outsourcing in favor of in-house meeting planners with experience in a specific area. "Management doesn't have time to train anymore," she explains. "They need professionals who can roll up their sleeves and get going. And they're willing to pay for that."

Over the past two years, average income among in-house corporate meeting planners has increased more than 16 percent, to $56,120, up from $48,216 in 1998. The highest level of compensation is in the northeastern U.S., at $60,064; the lowest, in the South, is $52,920. Respondents with the title of director or vice president (about 12 percent of the 1,200 total) make an average of $73,029, while meeting planners (30 percent of all respondents) average $45,465. More meeting professionals are getting bonuses on top of their salaries (30 percent, up from 24 percent two years ago).

Overall, the 1,200 meeting professionals surveyed have a positive outlook: 90 percent are satisfied with their current positions, and three-fourths have no intention of changing jobs or leaving the field in the next year.

In Intertec Publishing, the business-to-business publishing unit of Primedia Inc. (NYSE:PRM), has acquired Insurance Conference Planner and its five sister publications in the meeting industry, as well as the MeetingsNet Web site (www.meetings net.com), from Adams Business Media. The acquired publications, based in Maynard, Mass., also include Association Meetings, Medical Meetings, Corporate Meetings & Incentives, Technology Meetings, and Religious Conference Manager.

The Meetings Group of magazines is now part of Intertec's Marketing Division, led by Vice President Jeff Reinhardt, and will be overseen by Group Publisher Kerry J. Smith. Leading products in the division, based in Stamford, Conn., include Folio:, PROMO, American Demographics, and Direct. The Web site will be part of the IndustryClick community of Web sites. IndustryClick, Primedia's Internet operating unit, manages all Web properties for Intertec.