Cvent Research: Event Budgets, Numbers on the Rise
This year’s study showed that companies are increasingly investing more in meetings and events programs, reflecting strong corporate confidence in the economy and the positive business impact of meetings and events.
The study found that 52 percent of respondents say their event budgets have increased year-over-year, compared with 32 percent reporting increases the prior year. Likely an extension of these larger budgets, the number of events planned each year has also grown, and event size is on the rise. 28 percent of planners said they are organizing 6 to 10 offsite meetings (up from 15 percent last year) while the number of planners organizing only one or two meetings halved (decreasing from 26 percent to 13 percent). From a size perspective, planners report that the number of meetings exceeding 100 attendees has grown, while smaller meetings (100 attendees or less) have declined.
Additional findings from the study include:
Most group business is available for the taking and can be earned by any venue with great marketing plans and a strong digital presence.
- Only 16 percent of planners say they are extremely certain of their venue when they begin the sourcing process.
- Peer recommendations are the top influencer on sourcing decisions – highlighting the importance of venues monitoring their digital presence, ensuring they are discoverable, engaged with their customers, and responsive to feedback online.
Activities outside of the meeting venue have become an increasingly important consideration for event planners. Events that incorporate outside activities help generate revenues for outside businesses, such as restaurants, sports arenas, musicians and cultural attractions, boosting the overall economic impact of meetings and events.
- 21 percent of planners cited outside activities as a top influence when selecting a venue
- 43 percent said live music and entertainment are strategies they have leveraged to create a memorable event experience
Despite growing budgets, costs and discounts remain important to planners, but they aren’t everything. Though they may have more resources at their disposal, planners remain sensitive to costs, but the desire to deliver a memorable experience can help override cost restrictions.
- 71 percent said they are extremely or very certain about what they have to spend.
- Only 35 percent of planners said they would move to their second choice venue if they offered a more than 10 percent savings, down nearly 10 percent year over year. This helps to demonstrate the importance of other offerings like additional amenities, service levels, and unique onsite experiences that can provide a standout experience and entice group business.
Technology and digitization are key to creating an enduring experience. While creating space for networking is a top priority for event planners, technology continues to play an important role in attendee engagement. Survey respondents said they have used the following tools to build a compelling experience:
- Social media displays (36 percent)
- Mobile event apps (29 percent)
- Interactive polls (25 percent)
- Virtual/augmented reality (17 percent)
- Mobile gamification (15 percent)
Source: International Meetings Review/Cvent