Evolution of a Profession

It is moving day for the dctchospitality.ning.com site.  This post, originally published in spring, 2012, deserves another day in the sun!

Evolution of a Profession

It’s pretty rare that the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) recognizes a new profession by adding it to its official list of accepted occupations. So meeting, convention and event planners cheered when their profession was added to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook in 2005. In the ensuing years, our profession has met global and economic challenges. We faced bad press and found our “voice”. We learned to measure and report project outcomes and have increasingly earned a seat at the corporate “table”. The importance of meetings, conventions and events as drivers of success and profitability for hosting organizations has become a pivotal business focus. We’ve always known, and now our stakeholders are aware that –

When people meet, business happens!

One of the Fastest Growing Professions
We’re cheering again In 2012! The BLS projects 44% growth for our profession over the next decade. Indeed, they report that meeting, convention and event planners are among the top 20 fastest growing occupations. In the complete BLS report on this profession, BLS cites that “meetings and events bring people together for a common purpose . . . to ensure that this purpose is achieved seamlessly.”

In many organizations marketing and meeting personnel work together, so it’s no surprise that our close “relative”, market research analysts and marketing specialists, also earned a place in BLS’ top 20 fastest growing occupations with 41% growth projection over the next decade.

One of the Best 25 of ALL Jobs in 2012
U.S. News selected meeting, convention and event planners as #16 on their list of The Best 25 Jobs of 2012. (Jobs ranked #1 thru #15 are not in the business sector.) In their report, U.S. News states, “All of the occupations on our Best Jobs of 2012 list are outstanding, but the top 25 make for a particularly great career choice.”

#1 Business Job in 2012
But we work in the business sector. Right? So, (this one is more than a cheer – it deserves a drum roll, please) check out our ranking in U.S. News’ Best Business Jobs of 2012We’re #1! Their report cites, “The Department of Labor predicts that this sector (business) is just behind healthcare and social services in gaining the most jobs this decade, with nearly 3.8 million expected openings.”

Then and Now
In the middle of the 20th century the meeting, convention and event industry was well underway, contributing substantially to our gross national product, but not yet recognized as an industry. Neither the industry nor the profession was acknowledged as “real”. Individuals employed in the industry gravitated to their “non-profession” jobs in the “non-industry” by chance. There were no formal educational programs, standards, guidelines, or even formal expectations in place.

Today, this same industry is a gateway to other hospitality industries. A major percentage of hospitality venues and service providers target meetings, events, conventions and tradeshows as their primary market. As an employer, I hit the jackpot when I can hire someone trained in both my AND my customers’ business. As a result, many of DCTC’s Meeting and Event Management graduates elect to work at venues and destinations. They can be found working in venues such as hotels, theme parks, country clubs, casinos and more. Many graduates are also employed by service organizations. This sector includes a wide range of services such as props, tradeshows, catering, design, production and more. Many graduates opt for the planning end of our business. Whether they work in the corporate, government, religious, sports, non-profit, wedding, festival or one of the many other markets, they know that the training they have received provides fluidity to later transitions into venues and service organizations.

In fact, the symbiotic relationship of the many hospitality careers stimulated the need for DCTC’s Spa and Resort Management as well as the Hospitality Lodging Management programs. The many facets of hospitality all lead to the same destination –

The Guest.

Visit Rosealee at www.linkedin.com/in/rosealeelee or reach her at rosealee.lee@dctc.edu.