Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner Ranks 12th on the List of Best Business Jobs

US News and World Reports ranks Meeting, Convention, and Event Planning as one of the top business jobs again this year!  It’s pretty clear that when people meet, business happens.  In fact, meetings, conventions, and events are major revenue drivers for much of today’s business community on a global scale. I love that I now get a chance to share tips and tricks learned in my career of planning VIP functions for 20 or larger groups of up to 70,000 “close personal friends”.  I am honored to mentor others in the diverse field of hospitality, while connecting with peers and associates.  There’s something very special about this community and I am continually astounded at how much everyone shares their ideas and innovations.  Even after decades in the field, I love that I can learn daily from others.

Once again, US News and World Reports has honored this field with one of it’s crown jewel rankings.  As pointed out in the article linked here, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects meeting, convention and event planner employment growth of 33.2 percent between 2012 and 2022, adding 31,300 more jobs.

Please connect with me on LinkedIn and visit Dakota County Technical College to explore your future in:

Meeting and Event Management

Hospitality Lodging Management

Spa and Resort Management

Making Learning Real at DCTC!


Here’s a toast to our corporate hosts for spring ’15 semester! These amazing organizations will help in very real ways to make learning real by hosting Hospitality course Saturdays at their offices and venues, providing guest lectures, and sharing facility tours.  This is REAL education for the REAL world!

Feb 21: The Grand Hotel, Minneapolis

Feb 28: Midway Party Rental

Mar 7: Apres Party & Tent Rental

Mar 14: Care Providers of MN

Mar 21: Marriott Minneapolis West

Mar 28: Hope Lodge

Apr 11: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Apr 18: Minneapolis Convention Center

For more information about DCTC’s Hospitality Programs, visit:

Meeting and Event Management Certificate and AAS Degree

Hospitality Lodging Management Certificates and AAS Degree

Spa and Resort Management Certificate and AAS Degree

Connect with Rosealee Lee too!

Ronald McDonald Called – He Needs You for a One-Day Internship – Act NOW

Ronald McDonald 35th Anniversary Gala Shift is Resume Magic
Select Ronald McDonald Internship Shift not later than 10/16, 11:59 p.m.

Gala Date: Saturday, 10/25
Location: Marriott City Center, 30 S 7th St, Minneapolis

Ronald McDonald Shift Sign Up
Name ______________________________________________________________________
Email ___________________________________ Phone __________________________
Select ONE 1 p.m. arrival: Silent Auction Set-up 2-3 hours, break and then monitor/close auction from 4p-10p ONLY 4 spots remain
4 p.m. arrival for registration or invoice running/champagne delivery (anticipate 5 hour shift) Only 3 spots remain
(Dinner will be provided) Carpooling encouraged to save on fuel and parking $.

Complete form and send this page to, use subject line: Ronald McDonald Gala, on or before 10/16, 11:59 p.m. Shift confirmations will be sent out 10/17 by noon.

Pics from last year’s event here

All interns will receive letter of gratitude from host organization, photo of event and sample collateral for your portfolio. This is resume magic and fun!!

Saint Paul RiverCentre Makes Learning REAL

2014-02-08 10.55.38Meeting and Event Management students were treated to hands-on learning when the RiverCentre complex became our classroom for a day. Zach Foster was our host. Zach is Sales Manager at Saint Paul RiverCentre & Roy Wilkins Auditorium. He was recently promoted to that position after serving (since 2008) as Events Floor Manager and subsequently as Event Manager. Hospitality employers are well-known for promoting from within their own ranks and it’s easy to see why Zach has been successful in his career track at RiverCentre. He is, in short, a rock star. I am also a client of the RiverCentre, and was previously privileged to have Zach assigned as my Event Manager. With Zach on board, I could breathe easy.

2014-02-08 11.18.06Zach shared his own career story and the many elements of the RiverCentre business model. He discussed employment positions within the organizations that make up the complex, as well as provided a glimpse into departmental interactions. Zach is a great trainer and, as it turned out, an excellent tour guide. Students enjoyed the back-of-house tour of the facility as well as the Home and Garden Show set-up. Learning how such a large public show moves in and actually constructs buildings on the show floor was a great experience.

2014-02-08 09.10.10 RiverCentre’s boardroom became our classroom for the balance of the class day. The great views of Saint Paul from the boardroom, combined with the information Zach shared, were fuel for our coursework.

Susan Hubbard represents the Saint Paul RiverCentre on DCTC’s Hospitality Employer Advisory Board.

Want to know more about why we meet in real companies?  Check out the article, Hospitality Employers Make Magic Happen!.  It really is magic when employers give of their time for back-of-house tours and guest lectures.  At DCTC, employers help to make learning REAL!

Questions?  Want to know more about becoming a student? Let’s connect. Meet me on LinkedIn or complete the following form.

Meeting Professionals Salary Update for 2013

Meeting professionals have come a long way since the days of party planning. Convene’s 2013 salary survey results are a true reflection of the maturation of this profession that wasn’t even a profession* a decade ago. Check out the full report at the link provided above. Here’s a quick peek:


Of the meeting professionals surveyed,
75% received or expect to get a raise in 2013
9.4% is the average salary increase reported – that compares sizably to 2.3% last year
$77,711 average salary in 2013 – compares to $71,038 in 2012
$73,996 average salary for females (89% of respondents)
$108,482 average salary for males (11% of respondents)
Both genders report putting in long hours – 51% reported 41-50 hr/wk; 21% 51-60 hr/wk

*It’s been little more than seven years since the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) deemed this a profession. BLS now ranks “meeting, convention, and event planners” to 44% job outlook growth, 2010-2020.

Contact me to learn more about this amazing profession. Want to explore backfilling your education to advance your career in the field? Interested in discussing amazing interns and employees for your organization? Let’s connect. Meet me on LinkedIn or complete the following form.

Yahoo! Advises “Don’t let one of these thriving careers pass you by”

In the article, Booming Careers You Haven’t Considered, Yahoo! names three careers as fast-growing and in demand.

Software Developer
Medical Assistant
Event Planner

Yahoo! cites advice of Anita Bruzzese, a workplace issue columnist for USA Today and author of “Take This Job and Thrive”:

“I’ve heard some truly sad stories of people spending $80,000 on a college degree in a field that has very little demand now or in the future,” says Bruzzese. “They didn’t bother to do any research on their chosen field, and they are now saddled with some big student loan debt.” Bruzzese says many factors can impact job demand, such as the economy, population, and politics. And while it may be difficult to predict the political future, we do know something about job growth and demand from the U.S. Department of Labor’s employment figures.

It’s true. And thanks to the Internet, research is far easier than when the world was flat and I was trying to figure out my next career. A quick trip to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics and their Occupational Outlook Handbook confirms why Yahoo! considers these fastest growing careers. Students in DCTC’s Meeting and Event Management Program are excited about the growth of their chosen career. It probably also has something to do with the fact that students in the program are located across the United States.

Visit for complete contact information.

Boom and Challenge Expected

As the U.S. lodging industry booms ahead of the world, and meetings, conventions and events increase, buyer and seller relationships will share challenges that require sustainable relationships and strategic negotiation skills. CNBC just reported the U.S. hotel industry is booming ahead of the rest of the world. Americas Lodging Investment Summit delegates (98%) expect positive RevPAR gain in 2013 for the U.S. with drastically lower growth in Asia and Europe.

All indicators are that the meeting, convention and event planning occupation is also in a boom; with 44% growth projected by 2020 by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Meeting, convention and events are one of the major drivers of business in hotels, so the puzzle fits nicely together. In many organizations marketing and meeting personnel work together. It’s therefore no surprise that many marketing occupations are also slated for faster than average growth.

When people meet, business happens.

Meetings, conventions, and events serve as 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. The “then and now” perspective of these symbiotic industries were addressed in my article, Evolution of a Profession awhile back.

As we recover from our economic doldrums, it’s pretty clear that it takes less time to implement a meeting, convention, or event than it takes to build a new venue. Financing for a new hotel today requires about 40% down payment. Financing for a refurb is at about 20%. So for the time being we will see few new properties built and many tired properties given a face lift with a new flag.

Veterans in our industry have witnessed this pendulum swing back and forth over the decades. We are now officially in a time period where the supply does not quite meet demand and according to Mark Woodworth, president of PKF Hospitality, a hotel property-research firm, this trend is expected to continue into 2016. In the CNBC release, Woodworth stated: “Growing demand in the face of very limited new supply sets the stage for very attractive room rate increases and therefore profit growth.” In fact, he likened the market’s position to the good times of the mid-1970’s. “Key fundamentals, including demand growth, average daily rate growth, revenue growth and profit growth are several times their long-run averages, while new construction is well below average.”

The margin of demand and supply will continue to narrow over the next several years. It’s a fact of life and business. Cautionary tales of abusive buyer-seller relationships from the past several years will be good to remember during this new pendulum swing. Why? We can all bet that the pendulum will swing back around by 2020 and that buyers and sellers in our industry have a long memory.