Cvent report highlights priorities for event sector recovery

As business events return, collaboration with hotels on health and safety and increased reliance on technology will drive industry recovery. That’s the summary of Cvent’s Planner Sourcing Report 2020, which has analysed data and survey responses collected in August from event planners across more than 150 organisations.

This year’s study illustrates that live events – whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid – are still top of mind for organisations across the country, and results show that while virtual events have been helpful during the pandemic, 72 per cent still prefer in-person experiences.

When planning for the future, event organisers have become increasingly reliant on technology and the support of their hotel partners and venues, to make their events safer and more effective.

Nearly 70 per cent of respondents reported an increased reliance on technology, and 67 per cent of planners expect venues to provide for social distancing room configurations. In addition, 42 per cent of respondents are currently sourcing for in-person events, which highlights increased confidence across the region.

As per the report, planners are anticipating a reduced event budget and an increased event cost in the coming year. 46 per cent of the survey respondents foresee a decrease in their 2021 event budget, while 43 per cent think the cost per event might rise next year.

“These research findings confirm what we see every day in the interaction of our event planners and hospitality customers,” said Chris McAndrews, vice president of marketing for Cvent Hospitality Cloud.

“Due to COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality professionals have become even more focused on the health and safety of their guests, and technology is central to this effort. Hotels are using online venue sourcing platforms to showcase their safety policies, offering planners virtual site visits, and leveraging interactive diagramming tools to design floor plans that comply with social distancing requirements.”

Additional findings in the report show that attendee safety and well-being come first, with 89 per cent saying venue health and safety guidelines are the top consideration that will determine their venue choice in 2021.

Planners are also increasingly relying on technology to safely source, plan, and host their events, with 69 per cent reporting increased reliance on technology, especially virtual event software.

Nearly 80 per cent of respondents support a future of hybrid events.

The pandemic has altered the event landscape and associated budgets, with 68 per cent adjusting their events by planning for fewer attendees per event, while booking larger event spaces to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Nearly one in two (46%) of respondents expect a decrease in their 2021 event budgets.