If we don't know what our readers want, then we can't create the magazine that our readers want. I hope this explains why you may feel that you are always receiving some sort of survey from us via mail, fax or e-mail.
We just got the results from the annual survey we send to all our readers each spring. And it comes as no surprise that the stagnant economy combined with the aftermath of 9/11 is putting new demands on the special event profession.
Last year, our readers told us that corporate events and social events tied (at 33 percent each) as their biggest sources of revenue. But this year's survey gives the slight edge to social events as the No. 1 revenue source. The reason behind this shift isn't hard to understand. In the current climate, many businesses are skittish about spending on anything perceived to be nonessential. At the same time, many people are more appreciative of their personal lives and the importance of friends and family, and so social events come to the fore.
We're already at work addressing the changing event landscape. The education program at The Special Event 2003, Jan. 8-11 in Orlando, Fla., will include a new track specifically for wedding planning. Turn to page 33 for a rundown of the show's educational programming.
It's also important to note that when we asked what type of events you see as your best source for growth, corporate events trail social events by only a narrow margin.
Although your overall outlook isn't as exuberant as it was in last year's survey, when two-thirds of respondents predicted a revenue increase in 2002, solid optimism remains. In this year's survey, half of you expect a better year in 2002 than 2001, and more than a quarter expect their revenues to remain on an even keel.
One of the most gratifying sections of the study told us what actions you have taken in the past 12 months as a result of reading Special Events. More than 60 percent of you clipped or copied an article or ad for future reference. Nearly 60 percent held on to the whole magazine.
You contacted our advertisers, and did so in many ways: via the Web (44 percent of respondents), phone (40 percent), reader service card (29 percent), e-mail (22 percent) and fax (10 percent).
Some 45 percent of you think well enough of Special Events to route the magazine to others to read. That you think enough of what we do to share it with your colleagues means a great deal to us. We will keep working hard to keep your respect.