Fifth Annual Cvent Planner Sourcing Report Highlights Continued Event Industry Growth and Key Venue Sourcing Pain Points

A convention hall
Cvent Planner Sourcing Report

Results offer actionable insights for hospitality professionals to attract more group business to their venues and destinations

Cvent, a market leader in events and hospitality technology, today released the results of its fifth annual Cvent Planner Sourcing Report, which outlines the results of a survey among nearly 3,000 professional event planners worldwide that explores how meeting planners source venues and what influences their decision-making. The survey offers hospitality professionals the data and insights they need to win more group business and ensures their sales and marketing teams are focusing on the areas that make the most impact to help them drive more profitable business.

This year’s study shows that companies are continuing to invest in their meetings and events programs and that planners are managing more events than ever before. More than 50 percent of respondents say their event budgets have increased year-over-year, with fundraisers, trade shows, and conferences & conventions receiving special attention. The increase in budgets is predominately associated with revenue-generating events, consistent with the increasing value of meetings and events for the marketing and sales functions within organizations. Event professionals face growing expectations in this environment, with pressure to deliver more compelling experiential events for their attendees.

“It’s a well-known fact that event professionals are extremely busy, but this year’s Cvent Planner Sourcing Report offers more in-depth analysis as to why this is the case, and helps us understand exactly what meeting and event planners are looking for when planning and organizing their events,” said Chris McAndrews, vice president of marketing for Cvent Hospitality Cloud. “The venues and destinations that are able to adjust their sales and marketing tactics in order to meet the changing needs of event professionals are the ones that will reap the benefits.”

Additional findings from the study include:

Event Professionals are planning more events than ever before – meaning additional group business opportunities for hoteliers and destinations.

  • 69 percent of planners said they are organizing more than 11 offsite meetings each year, while 37 percent are organizing more than 50.
  • More than 50 percent of respondents said their overall event attendance has increased.

Increasing budgets means higher expectations. With the increase in event spend comes added pressure for event professionals to plan more impactful, experiential events for their attendees.

  • 55 percent expect an increase in food and beverage budgets and a further 52 percent expect an increase in venue budget.
  • More than 40 percent cited activities available outside a venue as an important influence on sourcing decisions (up from 21 percent in 2018), pointing to a growing desire to create a strong event experience.
  • 56 percent of respondents utilize live music and entertainment to enhance the attendee experience while a further 35 percent use pop-up events and surprises.

Planners analyze a number of different factors when sourcing event venues or deciding to submit a request for proposal (RFP). Though planners remain sensitive to costs, other factors including space layout, location, and brand reputation are important.

  • 45 percent of planners rank event space and layout as the most influential element in their venue selection. That’s tied with cost and slightly ahead of location (42%) and dates (42%).
  • 50 percent of planners surveyed highlighted the venue’s brand and reputation as a key consideration for RFP submission. More than 40 percent say they were influenced by positive reviews of the venues they were sourcing.
  • 72 percent of planners said they would expect a cost savings of at least 6 percent before considering a switch to their second-choice venue. This demonstrates again that planners are willing to invest more if they believe a venue can provide their company with a memorable event experience.

Communication, transparency, and attention to detail throughout the RFP process can make a venue stand out. By providing proactive solutions, offering a digital presence that caters to the event professional needs, and delivering a quick, thorough response to RFPs, hoteliers can win more group business.

  • Nearly half (44%) of planners cite communication problems as the reason for choosing to not submit an RFP to a venue.
  • 32 percent want better attention to detail in RFP responses.
  • Just 16 percent say that trustworthiness is the primary area that needs improvement – down from 30 percent in 2018.

To download the global edition of Cvent’s 2019 Planner Sourcing Report, click here.