National Conference Services: Going beyond the 9-to-5

Columbia-based National Conference Services has a big job: organizing conferences and events for the federal government.

Employees work long hours and are expected to shoulder considerable responsibility, said Megan Parmenter, executive director of corporate marketing and operations for the privately owned company, which was founded in 1997.

"Nobody goes into event planning to work 9 to 5," she said.

National Conference Services strives to promote workers from within, Parmenter said. That can mean advancing employees from smaller events to larger ones. It can even mean sending staff members overseas, perhaps to a military base, to represent the organization — with company credit card in hand.

"They definitely have to be a top-notch person and have that passion for what they do," Parmenter said.

National Conference Services does not take its employees' hard work and dedication for granted.

In addition to full health insurance coverage, profit sharing, and employee training and certifications, among other benefits, the company also regularly commends its staff for jobs well done.

"The company is very big on rewarding people that go above and beyond, no matter how big or small their event is," Parmenter said.

Awards are distributed monthly at meetings in the firm's multipurpose room, which has cafe seating, sofas, big-screen televisions and even a bar for special events and happy hours.

Asked what they love about their job, employees who took part in the WorkplaceDynamics survey said they enjoyed being given responsibility for challenging projects, and appreciated being able to advance within the organization.

And the job can be plain enjoyable. Wrote one National Conference Services employee: "I work in [a] fast-paced, fun environment with people that I respect and can also call my friends."

National Conference Services Inc.

Founded: 1997

Ownership: Private

Sector: Government contracting

Locations: 1

Employees: 50


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