Stressed Out

The annual nationwide study of the world’s most stressful jobs is out for 2017. Here’s the top ten most stressful jobs in America and their stress intensity factor on a scale from 1 (completely without stress) to 100 (blow the top of your head off stressful):

  1. Enlisted military personnel – 72.74
  2. Firefighter – 72.68
  3. Airline pilot – 60.54
  4. Police officer – 51.68
  5. Event coordinator – 51.15

( WHAT! STOP RIGHT THERE! What did you say?)

  1. Newspaper reporter
  2. Senior corporate executive
  3. Public relations executive
  4. Taxi driver
  5. Broadcaster

Is this list for real? Event Coordinator is ranked in the top five right behind Police Officer, Airline Pilot, and Firefighter! Is this a joke?

No Joke

Let’s take a closer look. When you consider the complex, collaborative nature of a career where the measure of success is set at 100% for every event you begin to get a feel for the stress levels involved. Event planners must be masters at managing projects, building relationships, developing best practices, managing budgets, coordinating logistics, setting agendas, overseeing F&B, and procuring accommodations — not to mention practicing duty of care/risk-management and now meeting GDPR requirements and much more. Come to think of it…no wonder the job is ranked at number 5 on the stress scale!

No One’s Laughing

On the heels of the stress scale report above comes the ironic announcement by Marriott that they will be cutting third party commissions on group bookings from 10% to 7%.

“Other folks I’ve talked with weren’t surprised, but I genuinely was,” said Lori White, CMP, Director of Convention and Meeting Sales for Destination Niagara, USA. “Here you’ve got people with passion and experience …. Their contribution to the business-events industry cannot be discounted, but this does just that. People need to recognize intermediaries for what they are — entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurs, they rely on getting compensated for their services. That’s support-worthy,” White added. “The independent planner has played a huge part in growing our business-events industry. They operate with their client’s full knowledge of the commission structure. And their clients find the service they provide valuable, so why any hotel would take exception to what their clients think is valuable is beyond me.”

It Never Fails

Planners have also been talking about the lack of adequate warning to adjust their pricing structures and business models and noted that the hotel industry is experiencing a “golden age” of profitability that is expected to continue for several more years. As the “face-to-face” meeting experience becomes more essential to corporate strategic initiatives, the job of the meeting planner becomes more essential, complex, and stressful.

Wouldn’t you know that would be exactly when the hotel giants would get greedy? As the pie gets bigger they want a bigger piece of a bigger pie.

It never fails.

It must be human nature.



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