According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality industry is predicted to grow by 17 percent between 2004 and 2014, adding more than 2.2 million new jobs. One of those jobs will be the meeting and convention planner. So what's it like being on the firing line of one of the most demanding jobs in hospitality?
As a meeting and convention planner, you'll plan the meetings and special events that clients often hold at your hotel. You'll be responsible for coordinating budgets, speakers, entertainment, transportation, facilities, technology, equipment, logistical requirements, printing, food and beverage, and other related issues.
It's a challenging job, one that requires you to be at the top of your game. You'll need a thick skin and the ability to diplomatically deal with company VPs and managers who will insist on perfection with no time to spare. This is the occupation that takes multitasking to a whole new level, taxing your time-management and organizational skills. Long and irregular hours are the norm, so cherish your downtimes and get plenty of rest for the "emergencies" when clients call.
The most challenging part of being a meeting and convention planner is that it's often difficult to prepare for the job, even after years of experience. Because every client is different. No two conventions, meetings or seminars are ever the same. They all have unique needs in terms of food, floor demands/accommodations, scheduling, audio/visual equipment and, of course, timing.
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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.