Conferencing; a £19.2 Billion Industry

In 2014 BVEP (Business Visits and Events Partnerships) reported that the events industry in the UK is worth 39.1bn.

Conferences and meetings made up 19.9 billion of the overall figure. This figure is now somewhat outdated. According to research by the same company, the total figure has grown to £41.4 billion. Conferences and meetings make up a slightly lower figure they did in than 2014. The most recent figure stands at £19.2billion. Nonetheless, £19.2 billion is sizable.

With such a large worth to the UK economy, this means that there are many companies in competition with one another for good candidates. It also means that the conference and meetings industry will present good, long-term career prospects to candidates. The large conference providers usually have multiple divisions. This offers the opportunity to develop transferable skills and move within the company. Once candidates have secured a role, trained and learned the company systems and processes, it is not unusual for these companies to offer excellent progression. For example, candidates who secure sales roles often progress to conference producers within 12 months.

However, for Amdas, there has been a marked increase in the number of content marketer vacancies. When there are a high number of vacancies going unfilled for more than 2 weeks, when there are qualified candidates available, it suggests that something is out of sync. Amdas suspects that above average graduate salaries are playing a part in this. With the rise of the tech startup, the standard grad starting salary of £18,000 + does not cut the mustard. According to recent figures, the average marketing grad expects to earn between £21,000 – £23,000 basic.

Is Basic Salary the only Factor?

A higher basic salary can be scary for conference and meetings companies. But not for the reason you might think! Effectively, companies want to see that their entry-level candidates want to succeed. The benchmark for this is on target earnings. With OTE, graduates with a basic salary can see their annual earnings skyrocket up to £50K. Therefore, these companies look for candidates who are money hungry and who have clear material goals. Want a new car? Great, hit your target! A Rolex? Awesome, smash your target! A penthouse pad of your own in ten years? Reach for those stars!

Why do they look for money-hungry candidates? Because these are the candidates who will not coast along happily on their monthly basic. These are the candidates who will keep finding new and innovative ways to grow the business.

Yet, OTE can’t be the only appeal of a company. When these candidates begin to progress and move in another direction, they need to know that the skills they studied hard and worked hard to accumulate will be valued beyond the place they work. They want to see audiences engaging with their content. They want to see stats to prove as much.  So, when it comes to an attractive marketing department, the companies with the most appeal are those who are a) forward thinking, b) innovative c) informative and d) provide unique and creative opportunities. Furthermore, with the rise of companies like Google and Facebook (they have marketing departments too!) offering very competitive employee benefits and packages, other large companies with marketing departments will have to start measuring up in order to continue to attract talent.