CBI Research Reviews | Glassdoor

CBI Research Reviews

Updated December 28, 2016
14 reviews

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2.1
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Joseph Loggia
4 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good place to work...if you can handle it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Woburn, MA

    Pros

    Excellent benefits
    Collaborative team environment
    High earnings potential

    Cons

    High workload; one size fits all model
    Poor orientation and training
    Outdated support and sales/marketing tools

    Advice to Management

    Update technology capabilities to decrease workload on all departments; outdated processes are decreasing quality of products.
    Increase the number of managers and their responsibilities to streamline internal communication, problem solving and the production process


  2. Helpful (5)

    "A Conference "Factory""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Conference Producer in Burlington, MA
    Current Employee - Conference Producer in Burlington, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Causal Dress
    Free Drinks after Conferences(needed)
    Entry level job in a good industry

    Cons

    While this company HAD the potential to be an interesting and fulfilling place to work, the reality is it is just a "conference factory". The company churns out as many events as they can regardless of if they are commercially viable tor not. Each event (minus 9) is put together haphazardly and is put on at the cheapest hotel.

    While the content of the events could be interesting the amount of time spent putting together and understanding each one is laudable.

    The company expects the same person to conduct research to understand and write content on a very complex topic within pharma or healthcare AND find speakers, venues, dates ext. for the event WITHIN 6 WEEKS! If the event does poorly the person who researched the event is punished and blamed for the "failure"

    This role was a good fit if you wanted to change your career and gain some experience but know the industry is noticing how badly these events turn out and now working here has a stigma so i doubt people will be hired into industry from this role in the future.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your events better, do less of them at a higher quality and your attendees will come back for more.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Ability to earn well at a price"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Woburn, MA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Woburn, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Strong earnings potential
    Peers are awesome.

    Cons

    Very unexciting, artificially stressful and slow adopting work environment

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the unnecessary stress and create a more collaborative and friendly environment.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "A great place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at CBI Research full-time

    Pros

    I'd highly recommend establishing your career at CBI. CBI is the best in the business at staying on the forefront of innovative conference topics and producing high-quality events. I have been working at CBI for several years and continue to develop professionally and love being surrounded by a group of passionate, driven and collaborative team members. I've also been able to maintain a very good work-life balance and leadership has been very understanding and supportive in regards to this. We are also poised for growth and it's very exciting to be a part of it.

    Cons

    Conference production is a fast-paced environment and if you are not the type of individual that thrives off of results and aren't intrinsically motivated to be successful this may not be the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to maintain high standards for quality and motivating employees to reach new heights.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Where Your Soul Will Go To Die"

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

    Pros

    The only pro of working at CBI is the day you give your notice knowing you will never work for a worse company throughout your entire professional career. Please note, the only 3 good reviews that were all posted on September 11, 2015, were written by management to skew the actual rating of this organization.

    Cons

    Management: The leadership at CBI is as bad as it gets. The team is comprised mostly of women who have all been there for 10+ years and have never worked anywhere except CBI, (besides perhaps one other job post college). They are extremely catty, bully the employees daily, gossip about every person in the office and speak to all subordinates with complete disrespect. They take micromanagement to a new level and your opinions and ideas are forbidden. Your professional development will regress throughout your tenure here because you will never be allowed to make even the smallest decision without approval from your manager. They consistently lie to employees and manipulate the staff daily into believing they are worthless and incompetent if they do not work around the clock to reach the unattainable deadlines that are set by management. The processes are completely outdated and nothing has changed in the way they do business since the early 2000s when the nokia flip phone was still the hottest technology on the market.

    Culture: Horrible office environment. Employee perks are nonexistent and more than 50% of the employees have quit over the past 15 months, so the workload and expectations for people still there are completely unmanageable unless you work 60+ hours a week. Add huge pay cuts each year to that and you can see why everyone is so burnt out, uninspired and unmotivated.

    Quality of Products: This is the worst part about working at CBI. Management does not care about quality. Their main concern is churning and burning as many conferences out to the market as possible regardless of how terrible the events are. We are forced to lie to our speakers, sponsors and attendees to get their money which results in furious clients and a horrible reputation in the marketplace. CBI will never refund money to an unsatisfied client. Morals and pride in your work must take a backseat until you find a new job where you can actually look your customers in the face without cringing with embarrassment.

    Advice to Management

    All managers who have worked at CBI for 10+ years should be immediately fired or demoted to the positions they held back in their glory days when they were actually good at their jobs. They are an embarrassment to leadership and are doing a complete disservice to the employees who they are supposed to be teaching, motivating and helping to grow. Why would you choose to be a leader if you treat your team with an 'I can do your job so much better than you' attitude and focus your entire career on outdoing daily tasks of your subordinates. This mindset harvests an environment that is oozing with toxicity. It is disgusting and they should be ashamed.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "People Don't Leave Bad Companies, They Leave Bad Managers"

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

    I worked at CBI Research full-time

    Pros

    - Knowledge learned sets you up for success in the life sciences industry, if you choose to stay in it
    - Many external connections are made through speaker recruitment and networking opportunities on-site
    - Travel to every conference that individual producers develop
    - Non-management employees are enjoyable to be around
    - Casual Dress

    Cons

    Don’t let the above pros fool you. While it sounds good on paper (it sure did to me), this is a pretty terrible company to work for. Not only will you be lied to in your interview about commission, career growth opportunities and expectations, but the bullying from upper management will never ever stop. Prepare for your quality of life to drastically decrease while your stress levels rapidly increase. Don’t let the previous “positive posts” steer you to accept that offer from CBI. It can also be confirmed that these were written by upper management when they heard of all the terrible posts written about their company. Notice how they were all written on the same day?

    This company has the ability to be a great company but management is too worried about “hitting the budget” than putting the resources into the conferences that are produced. The management team would rather sacrifice quality over quantity than put in the time to truly think about a conference’s commercial viability. CBI says that they pride themselves on content and always put the customer first, but that is 100% not true. Management would rather a customer pay a lot of money for a conference that has 3 attendees and 5 speakers than lose money. That’s just not right.

    One phrase used quite frequently at this company is, “well, when I was doing this we did it this way.” That’s great, Congratulations… If we were 20 years in the past. CBI refuses to adapt to the changing industry and generations that are now entering the workforce. If you are going to be a company who hires newly graduated college students, then it’s time to join the now and get out of the past. “Phone Blitz Tuesday” where CBI employees cold call industry every Tuesday. Would you want a call out of the blue at 9:30am? I don’t think so.

    As stated before, this company has the potential to be a great company, but with the leaders it currently has, there is no hope. Prepare for the heat, because this company will soon go up in flames.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to keep your employees happy and decrease the VERY high turnover rate, it’s time to start putting resources into the people you currently have. Many of your employees get the feeling that you believe they are “expendable” and you will soon find someone else to replace them. In the past year, CBI has lost so many senior people that management will find it hard to replace that many years of experience. While I’d like to think this will change, expectations are extremely low. Hopefully something over at CBI changes very soon or this company will need more than just one staffing agency looking for potential employees.


  8. Helpful (6)

    "An Inside View"

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

    I have been working at CBI Research full-time

    Pros

    Project Management Skills
    Travel Opportunities
    Forming Connections with Industry Market Leaders
    Earning Potential (if you are willing to devote 60+ hours a week and weekends)

    Cons

    CBI is comprised of many intelligent people who are passionate about what they do, but the expectations are unrealistic and not achievable. At the end of the day quality is sacrificed for quantity and conference topics are sliced and diced to ensure “X” number of events are brought to market. For many recent graduates the workload can seem overwhelming with very little upside. There is absolutely no corporate culture with the exception of travelling onsite to the events with your colleagues.

    Most of the organization (with the exception of 6 people in mgmt.) are considered expendable and it is hard to be motivated when you are undervalued and never heard. The organization needs to move forward with the times by innovating and embracing technology in order to produce successful events.

    Advice to Management

    You need to invest in your people first, it doesn’t always come down to the bottom line. Spend a little money to make a little money and if you reward your people they will want to work harder for you.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is the definition of..."

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

    Pros

    -Most people leave at 5pm

    -Somewhat relaxed dress code

    -The Office Management role is very helpful

    Cons

    -Two-faced management that is stuck in the past and doesn't care to invest culturally and financially in its employees

    -Legacy employees set the tone= inability for organization to innovate

    -Treats customers like quick paychecks, doesn't work to really establish strong, long term relationships generally speaking

    -Corporate culture is absolutely awful

    Advice to Management

    To be frank, all the horrific reviews are true. And it must be said that it is also presumed true that management wrote glowing reviews all on the same day (interesting that a slew of them all came in on September 11, 2015). Let me start by saying that never in my life have I seen an organization run by such delusional and old school team of managers (I have to say, however, there are a select few that really are good people). But overall, the manipulation and conniving artistry of upper management would only be realistic on a horrendous soap opera or reality show…the scheming nature of “The Survivor” wouldn’t be able to touch that of CBI. If you would like to work for a company whose management could care less about their employees and who lie to their face and make promises they never keep, then go ahead and work at CBI. The management consistently treats its staff as though they are in middle school, emailing you if you are five minutes late or glare at you in the hallway if you did or said something that didn’t fit into their mold…Essentially like minions, but worse because they make you believe that you are making a difference and for two whole seconds you believe them, but then you realize that they are just blowing smoke. There’s no real transparency and everyone has a personal agenda which forces teams to turn on each other when their personal agenda is not being met. The ones most guilty of this are the people that have been at the company since the dinosaurs roamed the Earth and they are usually never held accountable. The leaders literally have zero idea what innovation is, they think they do but because many of them have only worked at CBI (maybe one or two jobs straight out of college before), they really only compare the company to itself, so they have no outside perspective of how the real business world works in 2016. The company, as a whole, treats its customers like they are just a quick paycheck and is constantly chasing its tail because leaders are so concerned about making budget next month instead of focusing on a realistic, long-term growth strategy and tactical plans for execution. Everyday working there felt somewhat like the Twilight Zone and many people who work/worked at CBI have had to seek professionals to help them manage their stress and deal with the day-to-day drama. I mean, I still feel bouts of severe PTSD. It is my recommendation that the world is scary and dramatic enough, so do yourself a favor and pass on this job opportunity. Unless, the aforementioned gets you excited in some weird way, then by all means no one is stopping you.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Conference Producer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Conference Producer
    Former Employee - Conference Producer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CBI Research full-time

    Pros

    I suppose if you are a LONG time employee, then you're there for life.

    Travel opportunities are nice.

    Cons

    The leadership team is mostly women with dreams of being the leader of a sorority house. They thrive on token 22-year old employees' praise: "You're so pretty and OMG SUCH A HARD WORKER!" Reality is that of a bitter, burnt-out, has-been. The leadership team does not, in fact, possess leadership qualities and often air out their dirty laundry to the junior conference producing staff, resulting in a very gossip-filled atmosphere.

    There is very little flexibility in schedule and this company is of the mindset that more hours spent at your desk means more productivity. They have established a culture that praises sending emails from home at midnight on a Friday.

    Advice to Management

    I hope that something has changed over there to improve the culture, but by the looks of things, Conference Producers stay for a year and then run for their lives. Forced "let's all get along" gatherings are not working, especially when the leadership team leaves halfway through saying they have "too much work to do to be here."


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Engaging, Dynamic Work Environment!"

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

    I have been working at CBI Research full-time

    Pros

    The opportunities afforded me, both from a professional development and financial perspective have been outstanding. CBI provides a environment ideal for self motivated, driven individuals. Employees are afforded a great deal of autonomy and the opportunity to build their own portfolio of events.

    Cons

    The expectations are high but so are the rewards. If you are not incentive driven and are adverse to investing the time and hard work into building a successful career, this job is not for you.


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