LIVE ISSUE: Questions of pay - Last month we analysed the lifestyle data in our salary and lifestyle survey. This month we turn to the all-important issue of pay. Mike Fletcher looks at how salaries compare across the sectors

According to the lifestyle results of our salary and lifestyle survey, carried out with ESP Recruitment and Vivid Interface and published in last month's Marketing Event, women are thriving in all areas of exhibition and event management. Their career progression is of paramount importance to their working lives and every rung of the ladder brings them closer to the dominant seniority enjoyed by their male counterparts.

According to the lifestyle results of our salary and lifestyle survey, carried out with ESP Recruitment and Vivid Interface and published in last month's Marketing Event, women are thriving in all areas of exhibition and event management. Their career progression is of paramount importance to their working lives and every rung of the ladder brings them closer to the dominant seniority enjoyed by their male counterparts.

Heading the poll of reasons for respondents leaving a job - whether male or female - was restricted career progression. This view is backed up by the fact that well over half of respondents (58%) reported there was no training scheme in the company and 27% reported having no appraisal.

Salary, it seems, is not the crucial factor. The people surveyed enjoy working in the industry and seem willing to work long hours and weekends.

Although men are more likely to move for the sole promise of increased financial reward than women - 22% compared with 12%.

But does this mean that most people are happy with their wage? According to the salary results of the survey, only 25% of respondents expressed satisfaction with pay and only 38% reported a rise of between 2% and 4% in the past 12 months.

From this, we concluded that the enjoyment of working within exhibitions or live events outweighed concerns about salary. What is even more likely, is that little is known about comparative salaries across the wide-ranging industry sectors, resulting in a state of blissful ignorance.

The salary survey results, analysed by Vivid Interface and coupled with information from ESP Recruitment aims to rectify the situation. The tables let you compare salaries across the industry to discover if you are being paid what we've discovered you're worth. Here are the findings.

Exhibition industry

According to ESP director Liz Sinclair there is a shortage of good exhibition sales people, which means candidates can pick and choose the roles they want. 'At one point there seemed to be a large number of sales people moving to the dotcom companies which were paying considerably more than the exhibition organisers,' she says.

'However, this industry is quite unstable and people are not as willing to move just for the money.'

Average salary: pounds 21,600.


'If you include the hotel industry in these figures, it could decrease the average by 10%,' says Sinclair. 'The size of the venue and the regional location may also affect the figures.'

Average salary: pounds 31,500.

Event management agency

According to Sinclair, event management provides an excellent all-round experience of working on a variety of events for a variety of clients.

However, career progression is difficult in privately owned agencies at the higher levels.

'Where employees reach a glass ceiling within a company at a senior level, they are tending to become freelance, charging a daily rate, or move to business development to increase their financial gain,' she says.

Increased movement in the sector is down to the recent spate of high-profile mergers, which has led to redundancies in some companies with expansion in others.

Average salary: pounds 35,400.

Not for profit events

It should come as no surprise that this area, involving charities, trade associations and the public sector, does not offer the best salaries.

However, it is a hands-on and varied role which offers experience of working with tight budgets. 'At a senior level it can be limiting in terms of movement to different sectors in the events industry,' Sinclair says.

Average salary: pounds 21,400.

Corporate event management

This is the most highly paid sector, with the least movement and ususally the best benefit packages.

Many experienced event managers look to head corporate event teams to break through the glass ceiling. However, posts are not always 100% events based.

'These roles often incorporate general marketing functions and thus sometimes fail to meet the expectations of a hands-on event manager,' says Sinclair.

'The economic climate affects this sector most and some companies have made events teams redundant and outsourced to agencies.'

Average salary: pounds 25,400 but a head of events can earn up to pounds 45,000.


The industry has changed over the past few years with more agencies offering production and event management as a complete service. This sector has the highest proportion of freelancers and contract staff, brought in on a project basis, charging high daily rates for a specific skill set.

Average salary: pounds 32,300, helped by the business developers who are expected to bring in large corporate clients with big budgets in return for a good basic salary and generous commission.


JOB TITLE                                      SALARY RANGE

Sales executive                        pounds 15-18k + comm

Senior sales executive                 pounds 18-22k + comm

Sales manager                          pounds 22-30k + comm

Show/exhibition manager                pounds 25-32k + comm

Exhibition director                    pounds 30-45k + comm

Group exhibition director              pounds 35-50k + comm

Marketing executive                            pounds 15-22k

Marketing manager                      pounds 22-30k + bonus

Marketing director                     pounds 30-45k + bonus

Logistics/operations executive                 pounds 16-20k

Operations manager                             pounds 22-30k

Group operations manager                       pounds 30-40k


JOB TITLE                                       SALARY RANGE

Sales executive                         pounds 16-18k + comm

Sales manager                           pounds 19-25k + comm

Sales director                          pounds 25-40k + comm

Event coordinator                              pounds 14-18k

Senior event coordinator                       pounds 18-22k

Event manager                                  pounds 22-30k

Marketing executive                            pounds 18-20k

Marketing manager                              pounds 20-30k

Sales and marketing director                   pounds 35-45k


JOB TITLE                                       SALARY RANGE

Account executive                              pounds 16-20k

Account manager                                pounds 20-28k

Account director                               pounds 28-35k

Event manager                                  pounds 22-28k

Business development manager            pounds 20-30k + comm

Business development director           pounds 35-45k + comm

Venue coordinator                              pounds 14-17k

Project manager                                pounds 25-30k


JOB TITLE                                       SALARY RANGE

Conference administrator                       pounds 14-16k

Conference executive                           pounds 16-20k

Conference manager                             pounds 20-30k

Event executive                                pounds 16-18k

Event manager                                  pounds 18-25k

Head of events                                 pounds 22-35k

PR and events executive                        pounds 18-24k


JOB TITLE                                       SALARY RANGE

Conference administrator                       pounds 18-22k

Conference executive                           pounds 22-25k

Conference manager                             pounds 25-32k

Event manager                                  pounds 25-35k

Head of events                                 pounds 40-45k

Marketing executive                            pounds 18-25k

Marketing manager                              pounds 25-30k

Marketing director                             pounds 30-50k

Exhibition assistant                           pounds 18-20k

Exhibitions manager                            pounds 20-30k


JOB TITLE                                       SALARY RANGE

Production assistant                           pounds 14-18k

Project manager                                pounds 20-30k

Life Event producer                            pounds 28-40k

Logistics executive                            pounds 16-20k

Logistics manager                              pounds 25-30k

Senior Logistics manager                       pounds 28-35k

Bus Development manager                 pounds 28-35k + comm

Bus Development director                pounds 35-50k + comm

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