Event and meeting professionals remain busy as North America and the rest of the world are back to planning in-person events and meetings. Northstar and Cvent surveyed 461 event professionals to learn valuable insights and keep tabs on trending concerns in the industry as we head into the fall season. We’re excited to share some fresh statistics from our latest August Pulse Survey report.
In-Person Events Gain Momentum
Our first key finding shows that planners are focused on sourcing and booking new events and expect even more to come in 2023. We found that 68% of planners are actively booking or sourcing new meetings and events, and 58% said they expect to plan more in-person events in 2023 vs. 2022. Venue sourcing technology like the Cvent Supplier Network will help planners stay on top of their venue sourcing needs so they can find the perfect venue and secure the right event spaces in a timely manner.
We also found that 3 of every 4 planners will execute their next event before year-end. With recent Photorealistic 3D enhancements to Cvent Diagramming and Seating, planners can save ample time by visualizing their event set-up virtually instead of traveling back and forth on-site.
This new and improved 3D technology will allow planners to take a virtual tour of their event space and encourage them to get creative as they stay busy planning. Utilizing event technology will help event stakeholders stay agile and work more strategically as the pace continues to move quickly.
Planners Prepare for the Unexpected
A trending concern from our second key finding is that 50% of planners are worried about the potential chance of a new COVID variant rising again, impacting the progress of current and future planning.
Interestingly, this statistic is higher than what we saw in our last two Pulse Survey reports, making us think planners have been reflecting on the spikes we experienced in 2020 and 2021, when we saw more stability during the summer and fall seasons then were hit with a new variant/spike following closer to the winter season.
If a spike does reoccur, we learned that 55% of planners expect to adhere to the state/local COVID mandates only, and 20% said they were undecided. Anticipating the unexpected, there are features available in Cvent Diagramming and Seating to help ensure safer meeting room layouts can be created. The Cvent Supplier Network will also be helpful for planners to keep tabs on the unique state-by-state regulations and protocols.
Planners Adjust to Changes in Service
There are still some concerns surrounding hotel staffing and efficiency needs. Our third key finding has proven that planners are unsatisfied with the support they’re receiving from hotels – 39% of planners said their hotel contact is completely gone, while 21% said lack of hotel staffing was their reason for delaying, rescheduling, moving, or canceling in-person meeting or events.
Results show that hotels were ranked poorly in August for satisfaction rates, ranking 3.36 on a scale of 1 – 5. Planners are hopeful that hoteliers will continue to hire additional staff to help bridge these gaps.
Top of Mind: Cost Savings and ROI
Planners are balancing the quality of the event experience against cost concerns. In our fourth and final key finding from the August Pulse report, we learned that 82% of planners say that rising costs are having a material impact on meetings and events. In terms of importance, we found that return on experience and cost containment ranked 4.2 out of 5.
All things considered, the industry is trending in a positive direction with events and meetings for the remainder of the calendar year heading into 2023.