A surprising result came out of the recent The 13th Edition of the Association Executive Compensation and Benefits Study, conducted by American Society of Association Executives, Washington, D.C.: Trade show/exposition managers are among the elite few titles who made the largest gains in total compensation since 2000. In 2000, median total compensation for people in these positions was $56,356; in 2001, it jumped to $70,800, a 26 percent increase. The bad news, at least for women in this position, is that their base salary still doesn’t measure up to their male colleagues’: female trade show/exposition directors in 2001 made median base salaries of $58,500, while men in that position made $72,909.

Meeting and convention directors also saw an uptick in total median compensation, from $56,386 in 2000 to $59,772 in 2001. Again, men made more in base salaries—$64,120, as compared to $56,688 for women—but at least the difference between genders wasn’t quite as dramatic as it was for those on the expo side.

Of course, some areas pay better than others. The study found no major surprises when it looked at metro areas having the highest median total compensation for meeting and convention managers: Washington, D.C., came in first, at $72,855; New York City was second, at $72,100; and Chicago was third, at $68,419.

The 13th Edition of the Association Executive Compensation and Benefits Study is based on surveys mailed in August 2001 to ASAE members representing 8,624 organizations. A total of 925 responses were completed.