Association meetings and conventions directors' paychecks are growing, from a mean of $59,772 in 2001 to $60,500 in 2002, according to the 14th Edition of the Association Executive Compensation & Benefits Survey, which was released by the American Society of Association Executives in June.

These numbers were derived from the total 800-plus associations that responded. But when you look at the responses from organizations that participated in ASAE's survey in both 2001 and 2002, which ASAE spokesman Chris Vest says is the more reliable indicator, median total compensation for meeting/convention directors jumped from $62,250 to $66,700 over the one-year period.

While that's good news overall, the tidings aren't quite so upbeat for women in that position, who in 2002 made $60,500, as compared to $67,125 for men. The biggest influences on compensation were association budget size, staff size, geographic location, membership type, and gender, with budget size being the biggest factor. The highest paying jobs for meeting/convention managers geographically in 2002 were in Denver, New York, and Chicago, a big change from last year when Washington, D.C., came in first.

Directors of expositions/trade shows, however, were among the 14 positions out of the total of 34 that were surveyed who saw their compensation go down in 2002. While they went from $56,356 to $70,800 in the 2000-2001 survey, total median compensation dropped back down to $65,200 in 2002. Again, the story was slightly different for male and female expositions/trade show directors, with men earning a median of $80,665 to the women's $60,224.