Cvent released the results of its fifth annual Cvent Planner Sourcing Report. The report compiled the results of a survey of nearly 3,000 professional event planners worldwide that asked how they source venues and what influences their decision-making.

The 2019 study found that companies are continuing to invest in their meetings and events programs and that planners are managing more events than ever before.

More than 50% of respondents said their event budgets have increased year-over-year, with fundraisers, tradeshows, conferences and conventions topping the list.

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In the report, Cvent found the increase in budgets is predominately associated with revenue-generating events, consistent with the increasing value of meetings and events for the marketing and sales functions within organizations.

With the increases, event professionals face growing expectations in this environment, with pressure to deliver more compelling experiential events for their attendees.

Additional findings from the study include:

Event professionals are planning more events than ever before, according to the Cvent report.

  • 69% of planners said they are organizing more than 11 offsite meetings each year, while 37% are organizing more than 50.
  • More than 50% of respondents said their overall event attendance has increased.

Cvent found that with the increase in event spend comes added pressure for event professionals to plan more impactful, experiential events for their attendees.

  • 55% expected an increase in food and beverage budgets and a further 52% expect an increase in venue budget.
  • More than 40% cited activities available outside a venue as an important influence on sourcing decisions (up from 21% in 2018).
  • 56% of respondents utilized live music and entertainment to enhance the attendee experience while a further 35% used pop-up events and surprises.

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Planners analyze several different factors when sourcing event venues or deciding to submit a RFP. Though planners remain sensitive to costs, other factors including space layout, location and brand reputation are important, according to the Cvent study results.

  • 45% of planners ranked event space and layout as the most influential element in their venue selection. That’s tied with cost and ahead of location (42%) and dates (42%).
  • 50% of planners surveyed highlighted the venue’s brand and reputation as a key consideration for RFP submission. More than 40% said they were influenced by positive reviews of the venues they were sourcing.
  • 72% of planners said they would expect a cost savings of at least 6% before considering a switch to their second-choice venue.

Cvent noted that communication, transparency and attention to detail throughout the RFP process can make a venue stand out.

  • Nearly half (44%) of planners cited communication problems as the reason for choosing to not submit an RFP to a venue.
  • 32% wanted better attention to detail in RFP responses.
  • Just 16% of planners said that trustworthiness is the primary area that needs improvement, down from 30% in 2018.

You can access Cvent’s complete 2019 Planner Sourcing Report on its website (Editor's Note: Some personal information is required to obtain the document).

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