Although special event professionals aren’t predicting the double-digit growth rates for the industry that they have in the past, an informal survey in November by Special Events Magazine reveals that they still expect a respectable 7 percent growth in revenue in 2002, despite the one-two punch of recession and the Sept. 11 attacks.
While the Sept. 11 attacks were a lightning rod of blame for economic woes, most event professionals felt the squeeze of a souring economy earlier in the year. In a reader survey last summer, 46 percent of respondents told Special Events Magazine that the economic slowdown adversely affected their business in 2001.
The Sept. 11 attacks brought another business stall. In the November survey, respondents said that the aftermath led to a 23 percent dip on average in events slated through the end of 2001. Holiday parties specifically took an 11 percent hit, respondents said.
Behind the averages, though, individual experiences vary widely. For example, planners heavily reliant on events for New York-based corporations saw business slated through year-end 2001 drop as much as 90 percent. On the other hand, Los Angeles venue the California Science Center enjoyed a 30 percent boost in business after Sept. 11. “We offer staffing as part of our package to rent the Science Center--which includes a good deal of security staff,” explains the center’s Christina Sion. “People want security at events, but they hate to pay extra for it. Our prices are inclusive, and it is working in our favor right now.”
For more the full story, see the January issue of Special Events Magazine.