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Budgets failing to keep pace with demands on Event Planners

The pressure is still on event planners to do more with less, as clients’ budgets fail to keep pace, a recent international survey has found.

Organisers have to find ways to handle rising costs from suppliers keen to regain their losses, by cutting down on travel to meetings or outsourcing more.

The survey of members of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) found economic conditions are improving globally, but the recession’s effects still linger.

Patricia F Zollman, senior director of global accounts at Helms-Briscoe and a member of the Arizona Sunbelt chapter, reported that a client was “seeking to spend 50 per cent less than the previous year, but wants the same outcome. They’re also opting for lower-end hotels within a brand they’ve used before”.

To tackle the problem, 13 per cent of members report holding more local or regional meetings to reduce travel, while 22 per cent are compressing more meetings into less time. A tenth of respondents were using more lower-cost suppliers, while a similar amount were outsourcing more, as well as seeking more innovative suppliers.

The findings, published in the summer edition of Meetings Outlook, notes that planners face rising costs for everything from AV to room nights, as suppliers try to recoup losses.

“While budgets have increased somewhat, they generally have not risen to the level where they can support more meetings, larger meetings and increases in costs on all fronts,” read the quarterly report.

Zollman pointed out that association clients are bringing in more sponsorships and trying to boost the number of exhibitors to offset rising costs.

However, in Europe, the outlook was rosy, with 59 per cent of respondents predicting a budget increase. Almost a quarter predicted no change, and just under a fifth expected budgets to fall.

This compared with 52 per cent of planners in the US who predicted budgets would rise, with more than a third expecting no change. The remaining 13 per cent predicted a decrease in budgets.

Source : http://www.meetpie.com

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