Here's some interesting data from the United States Department of Labor that bodes well for job prospects in the Event Management and Meeting Planning industry. And the most positive and truly encouraging bit of information for our students - Employment is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Some highlights from the report on Meeting and Convention Planners from Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition: Meeting and convention planners held about 56,600 jobs in 2008. Employment of meeting and convention planners is expected to grow 16 percent over the 2008-18 decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Annual wage estimate for this occupation is as high as $76,840 The skills that meeting planners develop are useful in whichever industry they work. They often do not need industry-specific knowledge, which allows them to change industries relatively easily. There will also be opportunities for freelance meeting planners to contract with organizations that do not maintain meeting planners on staff. As businesses and organizations become increasingly international, meetings and conventions become even more important. In organizations that span the country or the globe, the periodic meeting is increasingly the only time the organization can bring all of its members together. Despite the proliferation of alternative forms of communication, such as e-mail, videoconferencing, and the Internet, face-to-face interaction is still irreplaceable. Associations for industries such as healthcare, in which meeting attendance is required for professionals to maintain their licensure, are the least likely to experience cutbacks during downturns in the economy.