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Salary survey reveals marketers losing ground

Exhibitor Media Group, the award-winning leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, announced the results of its 29th Annual Salary Survey, finding that compensation hasn’t kept pace with the increasing cost of living.

While average base salaries increased by 3.4 percent, that increase was offset by a 21-percent drop in extra compensation (which includes bonuses, overtime pay, profit sharing, etc.). All told, exhibit marketers’ total compensation only increased by one-tenth of one percent between 2014 and 2015. When cost-of-living increases are considered, face-to-face marketing professionals are actually losing ground as expenses outpace their statistically insignificant gains.

“Base salaries for exhibit and event professionals have remained relatively predictable since 1987, when EXHIBITOR began tracking compensation data,” commented Travis Stanton, editor, EXHIBITOR magazine. “Over the past 29 years, salaries have inched up a percentage point or two every year, with very few exceptions. But despite that expectable growth, total compensation has failed to keep pace with cost-of-living increases, meaning that face-to-face marketers are actually losing the big-picture budgetary battle.”

Exhibit and event professionals with at least one industry certification, such as EXHIBITOR’s Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM) designation, enjoy annual salaries an average 15 percent higher than their acronym-free peers (plus roughly 24 percent more in extra compensation). That places the monetary value of such certification at $12,669 in increased earnings per year. Still, less than 12 percent of survey respondents currently possess any form of industry certification.

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