In its annual forecast for the event industry, conducted by Penton Media, Special Events magazine readers predict a better year ahead in 2013.
Half of respondents (49 percent) expect to stage more special events in 2013, relative to 2012. One in three expect event volume to remain the same (33 percent).
The sample is evenly divided among in-house (42 percent) and independent (47 percent) event professionals.
Half of all respondents expect an increase in revenue derived from both business/corporate (50 percent) and social/private events (51 percent). Very few expect revenue decreases (business/corporate, 4 percent; social/private, 3 percent). On average, respondents expect business/corporate event revenue to increase 12 percent, and social/private event revenue to increase 13 percent.
BUDGETS STILL TIGHT
The greatest challenge facing independent event professionals in 2013 is reduced client budgets (61 percent), followed by increased competition (42 percent) and shorter lead times (38 percent). One in four find demonstrating the value/ROI of special events to be a key challenge (26 percent).
Similarly, the biggest challenge facing in-house event professionals in 2013 is reduced budgets (68 percent), followed by uncertain economy (45 percent). A third will struggle with demonstrating the value/ROI of special events (32 percent) and/or shorter lead times (32 percent). One in four are concerned about their own company’s uncertain finances (24 percent).
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
The two most common steps being taken to improve business in 2013 are creating events for smaller budgets (54 percent) and/or broadening the client base (53 percent). Other common steps include more aggressive marketing (43 percent), forming partnerships with other event professionals (41 percent), demonstrating the value of/ROI for events (37 percent) and adding services (36 percent).