A survey conducted by the meetings and events agency Zibrant indicates a bullish attitude from UK corporate buyers, a significant number of whom are planning “to maintain or increase the number and size of their events over the next 12 months”.
The Zibrant survey on buyers’ plans for the year and the Olympics was conducted at the end of 2011 among 500 respondents.
Forty per cent of buyers said that the number of meetings they were planning over the next 12 months would be the same as in 2011, with 19 per cent planning more.
A total of 22 per cent had a more pessimistic outlook, predicting fewer events, with cost cutting constraints cited as a significant contributor to reductions.
Sixty per cent said that the typical size of their meetings would remain the same, with 16 per cent saying that the size would increase, and 11 per cent indicating a reduction.
In terms of budgets, 42 per cent said they would stay remain the same and 35 per cent thought they would come in lower.
Top challenges identified among buyers were: reduced budgets and short lead times, followed by planning around the Olympics. Surprisingly, a shift in priorities of green and sustainable meetings alongside ROI came lowest rated.
Over half (51%) of responodents have yet to get into the Olympic spirit, and were not be planning any meeting or event activity around the Olympics, although among incentive buyers the total reporting active plans was 71 per cent. Typical comments included that for regular business meetings buyers will be “avoiding this period if possible”.
Fay Sharpe, MD Sales and Marketing for Zibrant said the results of the survey indicated many meetings programmes would remain robust over the next 12 months, but with some inevitably affected by budgets.
“It is interesting to note that a considerable number of venue find and event management buyers will be working around, rather than towards, the Olympics, which are being viewed by many as a challenge rather than an opportunity.
Zibrant places over 25,000 events annually in more than 50 countries and employs 230 staff predominantly in the UK, Ireland and France.
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