The 2018 Event Planner Forecast--a Special Events exclusive--shows that 83 percent of independent event planners expect to stage the same number or more special events in 2018 than they will this year.
That figure rises to 92 percent for in-house event planners, who expect to produce the same number or more special more special events in 2018 than they have this year.
Half of independent event professional respondents (52 percent) expect to stage more events in 2018. Only 3 percent expect to stage fewer events next year.
Just under half (44 percent) of in-house event professional respondents expect to stage more special events in 2018 than they did in 2017. Only 3 percent expect to stage fewer events next year.
The 2018 outlook for business/corporate events is robust, with the majority of independent event professional respondents (62 percent) expecting revenue increases.
The outlook for social/private events is more tempered, with 35 percent of independent event professionals expecting revenue increases, and 39 percent expecting no growth.
The top three challenges facing independent event professionals in 2018 include shorter lead times (50 percent), increased competition (46 percent) and reduced client budgets (44 percent), followed by labor shortage/lack of skilled labor (37 percent).
The primary challenge facing in-house event professionals in 2018 is reduced budgets (50 percent), followed by shorter lead times (39 percent), demonstrating the value/ROI of special events (36 percent), and labor shortage/lack of skilled labor (32 percent).
The most common steps being taken by independent event professionals to improve business in 2018 include forming partnerships with other event professionals (58 percent), broadening the client base (57 percent), marketing more aggressively (54 percent), and focusing on more profitable business (51 percent).
The most common steps being taken by in-house event professionals to improve business in 2018 include creating events for smaller budgets (48 percent), adding new technology capabilities (46 percent), and marketing more aggressively (46 percent).