March 07, 2023
By Maggie Lancashire

The game of musical chairs is not for the meek! You must be fast on your feet and think ahead about your next move. This is the game that event planners are playing with hotels and venues right now. 

According to the February Northstar/Cvent Meetings Industry PULSE Survey, 45% of planners are having trouble finding space and dates. Luckily, the report also contains valuable insights and fresh data from 457 event professionals about current trends in the events industry and how planners can avoid being the last ones standing.

Stretched Thin, Yet Still Hopeful

Event planners in North America and the rest of the world remain optimistic about their 2023 event programs. They also remain busier than ever. Most notably, we found that 78% of planners are producing events within the next six months while simultaneously planning other events.

That mirrors the data on international meetings, with nearly 80% of planners actively planning those long-awaited pre-pandemic events. Needless to say, event planners are burning the candle at both ends. As one stated, “We are doing more meetings than ever with less lead time and more competition for venue space.”

So, what can be done to help planners simplify their workload while juggling multiple events at once? We suggest looking through the Cvent Supplier Network to find the perfect event space for your next event. You’ll get the important details upfront like destination rates to stay within budget, and you can send one customized RFP to multiple venues to compare bids. Utilizing this technology will help you quickly find available venues that meet your exact needs.

More Events with Fewer Attendees

Even though there seems to be a strong surge of in-person events taking place, conversely, we found that 19% of planners expect a 25-50% decrease in attendance compared to what we saw in 2022. This finding could be due to a variety of factors – from expenses to busy or unpredictable life happenings... sometimes the virtual or hybrid event formats are just the more convenient option.

However, we can all agree that in-person events are more meaningful in our post-pandemic era. Results show that an overwhelming majority of planners say their in-person events have increased in importance.

A great way to attract more in-person attendees to your event is to hype up the location where your event will be held, along with the hotel where your guests will be staying. What fun activities can your attendees check out in the area while they are in town? Is the hotel bar the best meet-up for happy hour after a long day of meetings?

Boost attendee excitement and attendance by promoting the unique offerings in your event’s location and showcase your hotel’s amenities using tools designed to promote your venue!

Budgets Flex to Match Market Costs

We found that most planner budgets are flexing to match current market costs, with 51% saying they are estimating, matching, or increasing their budgets with inflation – while 44% say they are not increasing to match market costs.

When asked what best describes their overall 2023 meeting budgets, the majority of planners responded, “We are increasing our cost budgets to factor in and match what we are seeing in the market as current actual costs.”

Either way, smart spending is crucial, especially during a recession. If you want to reduce money and time spent on site visits, you can view photo-realistic 3D depictions of your event space during or after your venue search.

The intricate details will make you feel like you’re actually there, and you can visualize what your future event will look like. We have also put together 10 ways you can save on event costs so you can approach your events in a cost-efficient way.        

Interestingly enough, despite cost fluctuation, the value of face-to-face meetings surpasses those concerns – especially across the pond. Another finding tells us that 71% of planners say the perceived value of international meetings is greater now than it was pre-pandemic. This solidifies that you cannot put a price on the renewed importance of in-person events.

Planner/Hotel Relationships Improve

Our final key finding tells us that planners are more satisfied with the support they’re receiving from hotels compared to what we’ve seen in the last few months. We found that 52% are more satisfied with staffing levels – which has been up steadily since August.

Another result shows us that planner satisfaction levels with hotels rate 3.51 out of 5, higher than December’s Pulse Survey findings, which ranked at 3.41. Although the planner/hotelier relationship is trending in a much better direction, 45% planners reported that hotels are still rather slow to respond to RFPs. To help with these response times, build better RFPs with all of the details you need and send one customized RFP to multiple venues at one click.


Overall, our survey results show that we’ve kicked off 2023 with a strong and optimistic start.  We hope you find these results useful as you continue to navigate these unique times in our current market and hope you feel Cvent’s support along the way. Stay tuned for our next report which will be released in April. Happy planning!

Maggie Lancashire

Maggie Lancashire joined Cvent through the Social Tables acquisition in 2018. Coming from a hospitality background working in Client Services, Maggie has ample experience working with event planners who utilize Cvent technology to strategically plan their meetings and events. Most recently, Maggie transferred to Product Marketing at Cvent and is thrilled to put her customer/product knowledge to use in her new role. She has a passion for writing and storytelling, and truly understands the significance that event technology brings in our ever-changing environment.

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