The latest research from meetings, events and hospitality technology provider Cvent shows that companies are continuing to invest in their meetings and events programs and that planners are managing more events than ever before. In the fifth annual Cvent Planner Sourcing Report, which surveys nearly 3,000 professional event planners worldwide, more than 50 percent of respondents said that their event budgets have increased year-over-year, with fundraisers, trade shows, and conferences & conventions receiving special attention.
The increase in budgets is predominately associated with revenue-generating events, according to the report, consistent with the increasing value of meetings and events for the marketing and sales functions within organizations.
Additional findings from the study include:
Event Professionals are planning more events than ever before.
- Sixty-nine percent of planners said they are organizing more than 11 offsite meetings each year, while 37 percent are organizing more than 50.
- More than 50 percent of respondents said their overall event attendance has increased.
Increasing budgets means higher expectations.
- Fifty-five percent expect an increase in food and beverage budgets and a further 52 percent expect an increase in venue budget.
- More than 40 percent cited activities available outside a venue as an important influence on sourcing decisions (up from 21 percent in 2018), pointing to a growing desire to create a strong event experience.
- Fifty-six percent of respondents utilize live music and entertainment to enhance the attendee experience while a further 35 percent use pop-up events and surprises.
Planners analyze a number of different factors when sourcing event venues or deciding to submit a request for proposal (RFP). Though planners remain sensitive to costs, other factors including space layout, location, and brand reputation are important.
- Forty-five percent of planners rank event space and layout as the most influential element in their venue selection. That’s tied with cost and slightly ahead of location (42%) and dates (42%).
- Fifty percent of planners surveyed highlighted the venue’s brand and reputation as a key consideration for RFP submission. More than 40 percent say they were influenced by positive reviews of the venues they were sourcing.
- Seventy-two percent of planners said they would expect a cost savings of at least 6 percent before considering a switch to their second-choice venue. This demonstrates again that planners are willing to invest more if they believe a venue can provide their company with a memorable event experience.
Communication, transparency, and attention to detail throughout the RFP process can make a venue stand out. By providing proactive solutions, offering a digital presence that caters to the event professional needs, and delivering a quick, thorough response to RFPs, hoteliers can win more group business.
- Nearly half (44%) of planners cite communication problems as the reason for choosing to not submit an RFP to a venue.
- Thirty-two percent want better attention to detail in RFP responses.
- Just 16 percent say that trustworthiness is the primary area that needs improvement – down from 30 percent in 2018.
Over the coming weeks, Cvent said it will release region-specific versions of the report which will address the unique pain points and areas of improvement for Europe, Asia Pacific, United Kingdom and North America.