Penton Reviews

Updated August 24, 2015
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2.5
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Penton CEO David Kieselstein
David Kieselstein
68 Ratings

Pros
  • Work/life balance is great for now (in 16 reviews)

  • Casual work environment, small perks (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Incompetent and arrogant senior management (in 13 reviews)

  • Most middle to upper management are brought in from other companies (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

149 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Great place to work with a lot to look forward to.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Technology Editor in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Don't be discouraged by people who have left. They are gone for a reason. Working here is fun. The job rarely boring and there is something new happening all the time. The company is working on hard to transition into digital media and have aggressively bought new companies and hired new senior staff to help the transition. Employee engagement is getting better and everyone in the office is very friendly. My senior management is friendly, easy to approach, earnest about listening to you and your thoughts, and are open to discuss new ideas. IT Staff is quick and knowledgeable. The NYC HQ is in a great area and a nice building.

    Cons

    - 401K should be a matching program - More vacation time

    Advice to Management

    - Provide a plan on how people can progress in their professional careers. While opportunities are there, they are sometimes not that obvious to everyone.


  2. Helpful (2)

    WIIFM?

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Penton full-time

    Pros

    Penton is a company that is taking the necessary steps to evolve its businesses and strategies to remain competitive in today's world. We have a 12 member Executive Management Team whom are not perfect, but nobody is, and they all collaborate and do their best to discuss ways to make Penton a more profitable, innovative and solid company. The Team takes a deep dive into their products and yes, like all business-minded individuals there is always a WIIFM. The WIIFM is the everything an individual is made of and the success they want to achieve with where they are in life. Penton is a nugget of opportunity, growth, leadership, innovation and of course working with the best diverse group of people that make up Penton is bar none. There is so much more to Penton too - historically, Penton has been and remains a top B2B business company. Penton used to be known by its magazines now Penton is known for marketing excellence, online digital products, data products, research, marketing/creative services, apps for various niche industries, events - live and virtual and so much more. It is a great company to start your career, develop more skills and transition into many different areas throughout Penton, if that is what you want to do. Let it be your choice to work where you want and if Penton is your choice, it will be a good one. Hope to work with you soon.

    Cons

    Cons - Overall people will have opinions as it is human nature, but some will be more negative and tend to be top contenders to write very negative and some not so nice company reviews. Just remember, every experience is up to an individual to determine a positive or negative outcome. So don't believe all the reviews posted. Another Con is if a current employee has a great Penton experience and reads the negative reviews, you want to do everything to stop them, thus this post.

    Advice to Management

    Continue: 1) listening to your employees, 2) building trust with your employees, 3) producing the new and latest products 4) developing a profitable Penton 5) innovating Penton 6) being passionate about everything at/for Penton.


  3. Helpful (1)

    An old print media company in transition

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penton full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Penton is definitely a forward-thinking company. They are actively winding down their print magazine publishing business that used to be their bread-and-butter. They are focusing on becoming a B2B data and events company, which is the right way to go. Even though they are a privately-held company, they are very transparent about their business to their employees, delivering a quarterly report to their employees, as if we were investors.

    Cons

    Benefits are way below par. They don't contribute any money to your 401k. Also, they won't approve a raise above a small percentage, even to match another offer. We lost a few good people on our team that way.

    Advice to Management

    There are some good people at Penton... do your best to hold onto them!

    Penton Response

    Aug 17, 2015 – Human Resources

    Thank you for sharing your review. We are actively engaged in driving the best business strategies for Penton. We've seen great success in declining print and increasing our digital and events ... More


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  5. Editor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor, ATW Online in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Editor, ATW Online in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penton full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company is riding the digital curve so if you are on the digital side you are pretty solid. Good benefits. If you have a good manager, you are set. Since the integration with Aviation Week there is more opportunity to advance. Lots of employees are able to work from home with a company-issued laptop.

    Cons

    The work is very stressful as every day's work is measured by analytics. Some managers are difficult to get along with. If you have one of those, you are in for a very stressful time. Also, the workload is pretty heavy for the salary.

    Advice to Management

    Clear out the bad managers and focus on teamwork. Pay your employees what they are worth and hire an adequate amount of people for the workload.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Good Place if You're Desperate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Penton full-time

    Pros

    Health insurance and all the other standard benefits that come with a full-time job.

    Cons

    Penton is trying to find its place in this new editorial economy, but it relies too much on metrics and, as a result, most of its employees are stressed to the point of breakdown over "making their numbers." Company managers tend to make decisions without the input of site editors and there is a lot of animosity between sales and editorial.

    Advice to Management

    Relax the metrics. Let your employees be creative without cramming page views and other site metrics down their throats.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Content Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Content Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Content Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Penton full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with. Strong digital strategy. Good investment in technology and best practices.

    Cons

    I wish they would invest more in their people.

    Penton Response

    Aug 17, 2015 – Human Resources

    Hello, Thank you for writing. We agree, we do have amazing people. Some of the industries top talent. Please check out Lynda.com or Fred Pryor.com. Over a year ago, we implemented these tools and ... More


  8. Helpful (2)

    Penton is a solid place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penton (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    great environment, leadership and upward mobility

    Cons

    Shared services roles have confusion within the markets and are often times are not included when needed

    Penton Response

    Aug 17, 2015 – Human Resources

    Thank you for writing. Working in a matrix environment can be confusing at times. Penton's working on strategies to ensure everyone understands how each group fits into the bigger picture as well as ... More


  9. Helpful (3)

    Reflections on Penton

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Online Content Strategy Manager in Overland Park, KS
    Former Employee - Online Content Strategy Manager in Overland Park, KS
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penton full-time

    Pros

    Some excellent coworkers. Good hours. Relaxed environment.

    Cons

    Continually changing mission. Limited promotion of existing workers to upper management. A high percentage of dead-weight employees.

    Advice to Management

    Pick a direction and focus. Look for internal stars and give them room and resources to grow.

    Penton Response

    Aug 17, 2015 – Human Resources

    Thank you for sharing your comment. For the past few years Penton's mission is to drive digital product sales, marketing services and events, while decreasing print production. We've engaged in ... More


  10. Helpful (4)

    Optimization Specialist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There were several pros of working at Penton when I was there. First, the people you work with are awesome. The writers and editors know their stuff and most of the people I worked with were highly respected in their fields. For my position I had a ton of autonomy. I was able to pick out gaps and suggest fixes with SEO, in which corporate usually took my advice. I was able to travel a lot. My job required media coverage for big events/conventions, so I was able to travel to several different states to do so. My boss would always pick up the tab for meals, and when he didn't, I was able to use my corporate Amex. Some of my best life experiences happened during this job, and I'm really glad I took the position. I was able to work from home when I needed to. This helped out big time because whenever I had huge projects, I was able to work where I felt most comfortable. I always got my work done, so I never had issues asking to work from home.

    Cons

    Our group was fueled by data, but the wrong kind of data. Our sales reps didn't really understand how to sell for the digital world, so page views ruled over all other conversion data. (If you are in sales and understand the digital world, you could grow very quickly at Penton.) The office atmosphere was rough. The people who worked there were awesome, but it was very quiet and felt dead most of the time. The sales guys were never in their offices so beautiful window spots remained vacant. The people were great, but it felt like a ghost town at times. Salaries seemed very unbalanced. I was underpaid, but I lead multiple efforts to train people who were making double/triple my salary. I'm not going to lie, it was discouraging because I could easily have done some of their jobs. Luckily my boss was awesome and tried to get me a raise.

    Advice to Management

    If Penton is doing well, that should be reflected on their employees. Competitive salaries are essential in bringing in good talent for the digital world. The work order system also needs to be heavily revised. I was there for over a year and there were some major projects that were never addressed. It seemed like the dev. team was overwhelmed and didn't have time to work on things that would help some of the smaller sites. Get interns on board. If certain divisions can't afford full time employees, there is work that still needs to be done. I had to drop some major projects simply because I didn't have the time or resources to do so. An intern could really have helped me aggregate data, run backlink audits, research competitors, etc..All these things I tried to make room for, but I had no time or space to do so. I could have definitely generated more revenue for the company if I had someone to help with some of the heavy lifting. Partner with more charities and organizations. I feel like Penton would really benefit from having more character. The few times the office went out, it was a ton of fun. If salaries can't be raised, there needs to be more room made for team building.


  11. Helpful (6)

    Overall Disapointment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penton full-time

    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



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