Salary Survey: The right moves: how you view the industry

This year's salary survey has thrown up some interesting trends on what the priorities are for people working in the events sector, from motivating factors to why people would leave a company.

Salaries are continuing to rise in the events industry but women are struggling to match the wages of their male colleagues, according to the latest results from Event's annual salary survey.

The feedback indicates that within some sectors women are earning as much as 25% less than men in equivalent roles.

The survey, produced with sister title Conference and Incentive Travel, was sent to more than 11,000 people in the industry and compiled in association with ESP Recruitment by research company Vivid Interface. Respondents came from a range of backgrounds including logistics, operations, event management and production (59%), marketing departments (30%) as well as 11% from sales. Sectors include automotive, financial services and IT.

The gender split of respondents is a fair representation of the industry, with 74% being women and 26% men. From all responses the average salary for men, across all levels and sectors, is £43,751 while for women it is £27,812. The average salary, excluding overtime, bonuses and profit share, is £32,025.

Comparison between men and women in the same role drew deficits in a number of areas. In the exhibition sector, for example, the average salary for a male director is £57,380, but women in the same role reported an average wage of £43,512. Similarly, the more junior post of male exhibition manager reported an average salary of £33,706, with women earning more than £6k less.

ESP Recruitment director Liz Sinclair admits she is surprised by the results. "This is not something we've found before. It's surprising as it is illegal for employers to specify if they're looking for a male or female. Also, the events industry is quite female oriented so I'm quite surprised to hear this," she says.

Similar differences are highlighted in the not for profit/association sector, in which male directors recorded an average salary of £45,000, while their female counterparts earned an average of £36,000.

A £10k deficit between male and female managers in the same sector was also apparent (see graph). In addition, there remains a disproportionate number of females within administrative roles.

Education and training also remain hot topics, and the survey found that 66% of respondents were educated to degree level, with 3% boasting an event management degree, and 17% have a vocational qualification.

"It's certainly not a bad thing to get any kind of qualification," says Sinclair. "But we very rarely get asked for anyone with an event management degree. The industry is very much about experience and personality. It's never a bad thing to have the theory to back up the experience but it's really all about the experience.

"The difference between those with an event management degree and those without is that people who have completed a degree have a year placement and the companies that often host these schemes are quite large organisations that generally give quite good experience. With an event management degree you can get a better first job," she adds.

For employers, motivation can be integral to staff retention. This year the survey found that money is a key motivator, followed by working environment and then creativity of projects.

Sinclair is surprised that financial concerns factored so highly. "I'm surprised by this because it's not a very well paid industry in comparison to other areas," she says. "Around 10% of people we speak to cite money as the reason they want to move. The most common reason is because there is nowhere to progress to within the company."

When it comes to benefits, respondents ranked a bonus/profit share as most important, followed by company pension contributions and flexible working hours.

Last year, a level of despondency arose around the subject of career progression, with only 7% of employees rating their prospects as excellent. This year that figure rose to 10%, while in total more than 70% of respondents felt the chances for promotion within their company were average or above.

Not for profit/association employees and those from venue-finding agencies indicated having the least confidence in their prospects for promotion, with 18% and 22%respectively rating them as hopeless.

"Venue finding is a really good first job because you learn about venues, destination knowledge and dealing with clients," says Sinclair. "But there are quite a lot of small venue-finding companies and that is where you get that lack of progression, when the only place left to go would be to head up a team of venue finders. It's a good first job to then move on to a junior organising role after one or two years. At a junior level this transition is relatively easy to do."

In spite of the large percentage who said that the prospects within their own company were good or average, the majority of the survey's respondents felt that promotion would mean moving to another company within the events industry (60%), and only 32% thought their best chances were within their current company. In addition, 13% thought they would need to leave the events industry to gain promotion.

Finally, the survey also uncovered the salary division between the type of events within certain roles. Exhibition sales managers working largely on B2B events earned around £31,848, £4,723 more than those involved in B2C projects. Similarly, the responses from event agency managers that regularly work overseas suggest they earned almost double the salary of those based solely in the UK.

SALARY SURVEY 2005 Job title Min Max Mean 2004 pounds pounds pounds Sales co-ordinator Exhibitions 18,000 22,000 20,000 19,125 Hotels 15,500 20,000 19,000 18,500 Venues 16,500 20,500 18,700 18,150 Sales/business development executive Exhibitions 18,500 25,000 22,500 21,150 Hotels 16,500 21,750 19,750 19,250 Venues 16,750 23,000 21,750 20,500 Event services 18,000 25,000 20,000 19,550 Sales/business development manager Exhibitions 25,500 35,000 28,750 28,525 Event management agency 26,000 36,250 28,000 27,500 Hotels 19,700 30,500 24,000 28,750 Production company 26,000 40,000 32,000 30,000 Venues 23,500 35,000 30,000 29,000 Event services 24,000 35,000 27,500 26,250 Commercial conferences 25,000 35,000 28,000 28,000 C&IT agency 24,000 38,000 30,000 29,000 Sales/business development director Exhibitions 42,000 62,500 47,500 46,000 Event management agency 32,000 45,000 40,000 40,000 Hotels 30,000 56,000 47,500 45,150 Production company 32,000 62,500 48,000 45,500 Sales/business development director (cont) Venues 35,000 60,000 47,500 45,250 Event services 35,000 60,000 41,500 40,000 Commercial conferences 30,000 55,000 47,500 45,550 Marketing executive Exhibitions 18,375 24,500 20,000 22,500 Venues 18,500 26,000 20,000 19,250 Marketing manager Exhibitions 26,765 35,000 32,000 31,000 Venues 24,000 38,000 32,000 30,500 Commercial conferences 25,000 35,000 30,000 28,000 Marketing director Exhibitions 35,000 55,000 40,000 46,250 Commercial conferences 33,250 60,000 43,000 42,500 Event administrator Commercial conferences 15,000 20,500 18,500 18,025 Corporate in-house 15,430 19,250 18,750 20,000 Event operations Exhibitions 17,500 25,000 22,500 22,000 Production company 18,200 24,350 21,500 21,000 Event management agency 15,500 21,000 18,500 18,200 Event operations continued Hotels 16,000 21,500 18,750 18,500 Commercial conferences 18,175 23,360 21,500 20,500 Charity/public sector 19,750 25,000 22,150 20,500 Corporate in-house 19,400 29,000 23,000 21,500 Venues 19,500 22,500 21,000 Event executive Corporate in-house 24,500 30,500 27,000 Not for profit 18,000 28,000 25,000 Event/operations/account manager Exhibitions 26,250 33,625 30,000 29,500 Event management agency 24,750 33,000 28,000 26,350 Hotels C&B 22,000 36,000 26,000 25,500 Production company 28,000 39,500 33,000 31,750 Production company: logistics 26,000 45,000 30,000 29,000 Production company: technical 32,000 55,000 41,500 40,000 Venues 23,000 38,000 29,000 28,500 Event services: project manager 23,500 35,500 29,500 27,750 Commercial conferences 26,250 42,000 28,500 26,985 Charity/public sector 25,850 31,900 28,750 26,573 Corporate in-house 27,250 45,475 36,000 33,500 C&IT agency 24,750 33,000 30,000 29,000 Not for profit 24,750 30,000 28,375 Event operations/account director Exhibitions: sales 37,500 56,400 45,250 45,000 Event management agency 30,000 42,000 36,000 36,150 Hotels 30,000 46,250 40,500 40,000 Production company: head of production 35,250 61,750 45,000 45,250 Production company: head of Logistics 33,000 60,000 46,250 45,000 Venues 29,000 54,000 41,750 40,250 Event services 30,000 58,000 40,500 42,500 Commercial conferences 35,650 48,000 42,000 38,333 Charity/public sector: head of events 30,000 50,000 37,500 36,250 Corporate in-house: head of events/ conferences/roadshows 55,200 92,500 70,000 55,000 C&IT agency 35,000 46,000 37,500 36,000 Producer Commercial conferences 22,2000 32,000 28,000 26,000 Commercial conferences: senior 28,000 38,750 32,000 29,000


Have your say

Only registered users may comment. Sign in now or register for free.

Follow us

Latest Event Jobs