Predictably, the sour economy worldwide is seen by event professionals as their greatest challenge in 2009, according to the annual forecast developed by Special Events Magazine. The magazine has created the survey since 2003.
"An uncertain economy" is listed by 78 percent of in-house event pros and a whopping 88 percent of independent event pros as their greatest challenge. In contrast, only 31 percent of in-house event pros cited an uncertain economy as a big challenge in 2008, while 57 percent of independents worried about it a year ago.
Concern over several hot-button issues of a few years ago--including "working with shorter lead times" and "dealing with the corporate procurement/purchasing department"--has fallen sharply. In the 2005 forecast, 40 percent of in-house pros and 33 percent of independents fretted over short lead times. But for the 2009 forecast, those figures dropped to 19 percent and 20 percent respectively.
HOW MANY EVENTS?
Despite their fears about the economy as a whole, event pros are suprisingly optimistic about their own event projects next year. Twenty percent of in-house pros say they will stage more events in 2009 than they did in 2008. Some 41 percent say they will stage roughly the same number of events in 2009 as they did in 2008, while 26 percent expect to stage fewer events in 2009 than in 2008.
A third of independents--33 percent--say they expect to stage more events in 2009 than in 2008, 25 percent say they will stage roughly the same number, and 17 percent say they will stage fewer events in 2009 than in 2008.
Special Events collected responses from mid-October to mid-November.
The complete article will appear in the January issue of Special Events.
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