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17 Mar 2020

Say hello to the AEO salary survey. And stop saying goodbye to great talent

Say hello to the AEO salary survey. And stop saying goodbye to great talent

Imagine a thief in the night snuck in and made off with the awards from your office display cabinet.

Would you still be the same noteworthy company?

Of course you would.

But what if another employer made off with the talented people who helped win those awards?


It could happen and it does.

While looking attractive to new recruits is important, a strong retention strategy is one that should never be overlooked. After all, you know that the most valuable assets of your company are not the trophies on display but the hard-working folks, who bring them to the cabinet. 

Every year the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) conducts a salary survey which gives its members an opportunity to benchmark earnings and benefits against other organisers in the industry.

The 2019 AEO salary survey revealed that 93% of its participants had no intention of throwing the towel in on events over the next five years.

While this is fantastic news for the industry, this isn’t necessarily an indicator of loyalty to any one company.

In fact, the research showed that more than half of the participants expected to move on to a new company within three years.

The case for retention

Whether you’ve been in the interviewee or interviewer seat before, you’ll know that “how long have you been with the company?” is a popular question to ask or be asked. It’s an indicator of company culture and happy staff.

People jumping ships is knowledge lost, the relationships they built, need to be picked up or sometimes even reset. It also means finding time to invest in training new staff once again. Lower staff turnover, therefore, equals higher productivity.

What’s more, there’s the impact on the bottom line to consider. If you use a recruitment agency, you’ll appreciate that it’s not small change.

So what should organisers do to retain their staff?

Think of employees as customers. Your company would run research on your customers to understand what makes them tick, keeps them happy and most importantly keeps them loyal.

Employees are no different. They are buying into the brand of the company and the package their employers are offering.

It is therefore completely logical to understand how your company is faring against your competition.

Enter the AEO salary survey

The survey is run annually and is an opportunity for your company to position itself in the industry as one of the most competitive places to work and remain.

The more participants this research attracts, the more accurately the AEO will be able to reflect the market. 

The benefit of taking part

Participating members receive exclusive access to confidential and aggregated findings. This gives them insights on whether staff are being paid fairly, how their packages contrast with other sectors, how their salary brackets for the next step up fares against their key competitors and more. 

If your company is armed with this knowledge and shapes its package competitively,  your best talent will find themselves asking if it really is possible for the grass to be greener on the other side. Maybe just maybe, you’ll be doing away with those goodbyes – at least for a little longer.

The survey in more detail…

The 2019 salary survey drills into pay and benefits across a variety of different roles and levels within a business and is categorised by sales, marketing, operations, event/conference managers and managing directors.

It saw participation from a third of members, some of which took part in a new phase of the survey, designed to understand which benefits motivated and were most valued by events professionals.

The next AEO salary survey will be launched to members in May 2020.