Smart Meetings Reviews | Glassdoor

Smart Meetings Reviews

Updated August 13, 2017
69 reviews

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3.3
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Smart Meetings Founder & Publisher Marin Bright
Marin Bright
57 Ratings

69 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Hard-working team and a beautiful finished product month after month (in 4 reviews)

  • Company values employee engagement which creates great team work (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Owners lead by fear and intimidation (in 5 reviews)

  • There is zero work-life balance (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "The most creative media company in meetings world"

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

    I have been working at Smart Meetings full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart meetings is always the innovative company on the forefront leading in the meetings industry. It is great to work somewhere with freedom to express my creativity and have my voice counted. The management is extremely inclusive and great to work with.

    Cons

    The only thing I can think of is that the tides get high in the area and flood occasionally.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on doing what you do- you are the best!


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Stay Away!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sausalito, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sausalito, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Employees in the editorial and events departments get to travel for free to many great locations. The magazine itself is a beautiful finished product, and the events are always fun and well received by clients.

    Cons

    The success of the company comes at the expense of the workers, who are never valued and viewed as dispensable. The husband/wife team that own this business are the most horrible people you will ever meet. There's a reason this company consistently has a 75 percent turnover rate...the ownership creates a negative and toxic atmosphere that poisons what COULD be a great workplace, but isn't . Every day employees are subjected to verbal and psychological abuse from the narcissistic wife or the arrogant husband. They pit employees against each other to create a divisive environment. There is absolutely no work/life balance. The benefits are terrible... most workers get just two weeks of PTO, which covers sick leave and vacation time. There are hardly any paid holidays, and due to deadlines employees are often expected to work on them anyway. Steer clear of this awful place. You will get sucked in, give it your all, and get relatively little satisfaction for your efforts.

    Advice to Management

    Stop operating from the psychological perspective that employees are trying to take advantage of you. (In actuality, it is YOU that take advantage of your never-ending steam of workers!) Let go of your ridiculous (and illegal) workplace rules that keep employees apart from each other, such as the fact that employees are not encouraged to eat lunch or socialize together. Don't micromanage every little thing. You hire smart, competent people, but then alienate them by questioning their every move.

    Smart Meetings Response

    Aug 17, 2017 – CEO

    I really appreciate that you acknowledge that people who work here trave far and wide, from Hawaii to NY and internationally on the company's dime. The average employee works here 3 1/2 years and... More

  3. Helpful (9)

    "75% turnover for a reason"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    office location is very nice

    Cons

    Wife/husband owners have created and maintain a toxic workplace where no one enjoys going to work. CEO focuses on all the wrong things (what time someone leaves the office rather than what they accomplished for example), and is extremely negative about everything. ZERO work-life balance is allowed (note that while employees are made to feel terrible for taking any time off- including sick days, owners take exotic vacations regularly). And regarding other reviews on this site, it is 100% true that the CEO demands that employees post positive reviews (they are all fiction)

    Smart Meetings Response

    Jan 10, 2017 – CEO

    This place is not for everyone. Yes we do work hard here, welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area. I would never ask you to do something that I would not do myself. We try to pick the very best people... More


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Better Than Their Competition"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in Sausalito, CA
    Former Employee - Editor in Sausalito, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Meetings full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I've worked in a variety of roles for both Smart Meetings and Meetings Today (previously Meetings Focus), and I have to say that in all honesty Smart Meetings is the more trustworthy, reliable and honest company by a wide margin. I'm also impressed that Smart Meetings seems to care about diversity in the workplace, something apparently completely overlooked by Meetings Today.

    Cons

    They can be a bit demanding of their employees, and do ask for some sacrifices from time to time.

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps respect employees' work-life balance a bit more, but in general I'd say keep up the good work.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Room for Creativity & Growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Sausalito, CA
    Current Employee - Director in Sausalito, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A highly collaborative, deadline-driven work environment that allows its employees to be as expressive and creative as can be. Hard-working team and a beautiful finished product month after month. The awards (for both products and employees) speak for themselves.

    Cons

    A combination of high transparency and competition means everyone is aware of how productive each employee is, and everyone is responsible for pulling their own weight.

    We're a company that believes in "old-fashioned" face-to-face conversations and meetings, which requires everyone to work from the office, and is expected show up to meetings on time, energized and ready to contribute. That means no working from home!


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Newbee Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Meeting Planner in Sausalito, CA
    Current Employee - Meeting Planner in Sausalito, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smart Meetings (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I've only been with the company about 4 months. I love the whimsical office environment AND the best coffee ever. Large enough to get projects done well, small enough to make nice friendly connections with all the staff. The company is in an exciting period of growth and exploration and hard workers have good opportunities for growth. The owners have an open door policy and consider staff feedback valuable.

    Cons

    With regard to "cons" ... I've found that you can approach the owners with ideas or concerns and they are open to reasonable change.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Digital Business Development"

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

    Pros

    Fun place to work for

    Cons

    Commute is a little tough

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great learning experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Smart Meetings full-time

    Pros

    This is a company full of talented, creative individuals who are constantly encouraged to share their opinions and bring new ideas to the table. All departments get to work closely on a regular basis to produce great products and services.

    Cons

    Not the right place to work if you aren't prepared for a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Passionate Engagement with lots of room for employee input and engagement"

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

    Pros

    Employee's opinions are valued and taken into account. Company values employee engagement which creates great team work. Open door policy allows for transparency in the work place and motivates employee on their work output
    Employer values health and

    Cons

    I find it interesting that one is forced to write 5 words under Cons to be able to list their opinion. I do enjoy working here and should be able to do so

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for providing a motivating place to work and thinking out of the box with exciting possibilities and incentives for the employees

    Smart Meetings Response

    May 21, 2016 – CEO

    Thank you for being a part of our great team and for your honesty!


  10. Helpful (17)

    "A truly toxic workplace"

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

    I worked at Smart Meetings (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Office is in a beautiful area. The web team is good, and a few others there are quality people.

    Cons

    Basically everything else. The wife/husband CEO/President team are terrible people. They lie, manipulate and pit employees against eachother to get what they want out of employees. There is zero work-life balance. They expect you to devote your entire life to them when they give no good reason for you to do so.

    As many have said here, the CEO rules through fear and intimidation and wouldn't know good leadership skills if they were right in front of her. She is also a raging megalomaniac and frequently berates employees for no good reason. The only enjoyable times is when she's not around the office (which can be frequent, since she left for hours many afternoons during my time there all while sending office spies around to make sure all other employees were glued to their chairs). She wears so much perfume to try to mask the fact that she smokes that it's disgusting and often a distraction when she's near.

    Trying to get to know coworkers during and outside of business hours is discouraged, as the CEO is paranoid that everyone is talking bad about her or the company. People have gotten fired for socializing with each other outside the office. The turnaround in unbelievable. I worked there for about 4 months and saw 16 employees get fired or quit and often not get replaced so others are left with more workload.

    Only a few employees care about the quality of the product, and sadly the CEO is not among them. She cares more if you kowtow to her egregiously bad ideas and personality than if you do a good job. If you are actually passionate about wanting to produce quality work, you won't get much satisfaction here. Beyond the CEO, most employees that have been there more than a year (there aren't many considering the high turnover) are beat down and afraid of whatever or whoever the CEO might go off on next, often out of the blue. There is no camaraderie or support (profesional or personal) among employees, as most are too paranoid to inadvertantly cross the CEO

    Leadership does not invest in good people or good equipment. The chairs are more valuable than the computers, and most other equipment (copiers, etc) are substandard, amking it even more difficult to do anything in the ridiculous timeframes management demands (also because the leadership won't hire near enough people to handle the workloads—the CEO excuses this by going on and on about how the employees there should have a stronger work ethic.

    And yes, employees are often ordered to write fake good reviews on Glassdoor. Just read the CEO's responses to the many negative reviews on here to get a sense of how out of whack she and the company really are.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to lead in a productive manner. With so many people putting the same things as cons, it's clear that they're true, and you need to grow up and act like good leaders. The negativity you create only hurts your prospects. The CEO will likely call this review full of lies and/or self loathing, but I was so happy when I left I wished I had left much sooner.


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