Penton Reviews

Updated April 21, 2015
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2.4
144 Reviews
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Penton CEO David Kieselstein
David Kieselstein
66 Ratings

Pros
  • PTO is great with many managers appreciating the importance of work life balance (in 16 reviews)

  • The flexibility of the work environment is wonderful (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior management does nothing to foster career growth and actually prohibits it (in 13 reviews)

  • Upper management out of touch with the worker bees (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Slow to move forward

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Penton full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Good benefits and work/life balance.

    Cons

    The organization has been through a lot change, downsizing and management shifting.

  2. Overall Disapointment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Penton full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Work/life balance
    Working from home or remotely is allowed
    Good personal computers
    Decent benefit package

    Cons

    There is no office or team culture - majority of people on the team spread around the globe and don't know each other. Huge communication overhead because of this and lack of any personal bonds between coworkers.
    Quite depressing office - you don't feel any energy or collaborations.
    Bad open space layout - windowless, people sit very close to each other, distractive and noisy.
    Extreme outsorsing - most projects are done by consulting company in Russia and there is no knowledge transfer or any attempts to listen to US employees. It's more like us vs them culture.

    Advice to Management

    Build teams locally
    Create a great working environment
    Foster culture of collaboration

  3. Helpful (8)

    Frustrated, Incorporated

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Middle Management in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Middle Management in New York, NY

    I have been working at Penton full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good colleagues, flexibility, well-intentioned CEO, a handful of new SVPs who are trying their best to teach old dogs new tricks

    Cons

    Abusive senior managers, micromanagement, top heavy pay scale, impending sale of company...Also, don't be fooled by the nice collage of diverse headshots. Go to the "About" section of Penton.com and you'll see that the company is run by 10 middle-aged white men, a token female, and one non-Caucasian (who happens to be the CEO's colleague from a previous job).

    Advice to Management

    Displaced anger is not a good motivator. Un-credentialed bullies with deep-seated psychological issues should not be given a corner office and left unchecked by HR.

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  5. Helpful (8)

    Overall disappointing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Penton full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They've been in transition mode as they move forward with all-digital platforms, and they're still figuring everything out. They seem to WANT to be a great company someday.

    Cons

    There is virtually no office culture. Team building and fun events are non-existent despite a clear lack of employee motivation and overall morale. There seems to be a giant disconnect between each market, their leadership, and how they connect to Penton's overall goals as a company. The New York City office might as well be in rural Kansas -- no one would be able to tell because there are no windows and no sense of the NYC culture. Every single person you talk to seems to be going through the motions and trying to "get through the day/week/month/quarter" instead of actually enjoying their work.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in your employees. We need more than a holiday party once per year to feel valued and connected to the company.

  6. Helpful (7)

    Too Old

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Penton

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good colleagues; lots of autonomy.

    Cons

    As company transitioned from print roots to digital centric, old timers became cannon fodder. A lot of good experience and solid leadership was jettisoned.

    Advice to Management

    Young people are cheaper; old people are often wiser.

  7. Helpful (12)

    Thinking of working here.......THINK AGAIN!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Coordinator
    Former Employee - Production Coordinator

    I worked at Penton full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Not many pros at all. Casual dress. Flexible with schedule (kind of ). The hope that this company will be sold soon.

    Cons

    HOW IS THIS COMPANY STILL IN BUSINESS? Penton is a company that needs so much to change it is not worth your time. How this company has managed to stay in business for so long is a mystery. However, from what I have heard it will not be around for much longer. I actually heard the Atlanta office is completely empty at the moment due to horrible managers. If you read other comments you will see that the people in charge are absolute idiots. If you are the type to not ask questions and just do what you are told then this job could work for you. If however you would like to use your brain, grow professionally, and work with intelligent management, then you must STAY AWAY. I never usually write reviews but because this company is so uniquely terrible I felt it was important to warn potential employees. You will be fed a bunch of lies at your interview about Penton and how it is changing but please, please do not believe those lies. Look at Glassdoor reviews. There is a reason ( well actually many) that people are not recommending this company.

    Advice to Management

    At this point I think it is too late. See what happens when this company is sold.

  8. Helpful (16)

    Clueless upper management, incompetent mid-level management, IT developers' clown show

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Penton full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Casual about dress and work hours, can be late to work, and free to stay late to compensate.

    Cons

    So many cons, hard to know where to start. Clueless out-of-touch upper management, a culture of shoddy incompetence that begins with terrible mid-level management. It's their way or the highway. They try to compensate for an ingrained culture of incompetence that creates LOTS of mistakes with jokey, infantile activities and emails that are supposed to build community and positive morale, but comes off like high-school activities while the building falls apart around you. Physical work environment is insultingly cheap and congested; tiny little horse-stalls in a large room with a small bathroom for over a hundred people. On top of it all, they are trying to drag the company into the 21st century and place all emphasis on digital media, yet they employ possibly the most incompetent team of IT developers the world has yet known. Their apps are months behind schedule and are rudimentary at best. They seem to be dedicated to killing all the brands they own. All-in-all a laughably incompetent clown show that pays well below scale.

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourselves and mid-level managers, give cost-of-living raises to worker bees, and get in a whole new team of qualified IT developers that know what they're doing.

  9. Helpful (2)

    good place, changing and growing, definitely not standing still

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager

    I have been working at Penton full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    growing and changing for the better
    looking to the future, trying to adapt, built from print history but knows future is digital
    this place keeps me inspired, challenged to do better and grow in my role, learning every day
    people here care about employees
    CEO of the company is personable and approachable. He remembers the name of people that work here, makes it a point to reach out to engage, and gets "it" (so, do your homework and be ready for questions)
    there are career opportunities (moving up the ladder)

    Cons

    wish we had a matching 401K
    we are spread out among many locations in the US - video calls help improve communications but it can be a challenge to grow relationships
    some Penton offices are older, with less physical amenities, comforts, perks

    Advice to Management

    We believe in your leadership and trust your direction - we ask that you do the same of us. We care about the content and the clients - let us help build a future in digital, data and events.

  10. Helpful (11)

    Almost comedic when you think about how many people have left

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Penton full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Your co-workers are what made this job bearable. I am having to stretch for more pros...I guess the dress code was not strict so that was nice.

    Cons

    Out of 15 co-workers I started with almost 2 years ago, only one of them is left, but is quickly putting in the 2 weeks. The lack of competent management is mostly to blame. Along with really really really LOW pay. You are expected to do the work of 3 employees all while getting paid practically nothing. Managers do not listen or value their employees. There is no room for growth. Not one of my co-workers got promoted. The most growth you would perhaps experience is a change in your position title. Keep in mind this happened rarely and the change in your title did NOT increase your pay. In addition, a good amount of resources were spent on promoting and creating new products. These products have failed miserably, again a result in poor planning by management. Instead of putting money in new products, invest in your employees!

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees. Pay them what they deserve. Promote growth. Get rid of the terrible managers you have now. Do your homework on new products before you shove them out there. HR, read these reviews and take them seriously!!

  11. Helpful (9)

    Definitely wouldn't recommend

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager
    Former Employee - Senior Manager

    I worked at Penton full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice office, bring your dogs to work

    Cons

    Company struggling to evolve from a trade magazine publisher to a digital information company. Lots of stress, top-down pressure. High turnover. Didn't seem to have a lot of respect for individual talent. A culture of win-at-all-costs.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in the change by hiring proficiency in the new areas. You can't cut your way to success or excel by frugality. Competing in high(er) technology requires a different financial model. Learn it.

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