Events management software company Cvent released the inaugural Asia edition of the Cvent Planner Sourcing Report, in response to growing sourcing volume and MICE activity in the region.
â€śAsia continues to grow in popularity as a leading MICE destination, which is also reflected in the 2019 Cvent Top Meeting Destinations list,â€ť said Chris McAndrews, vice president of marketing for Cvent Hospitality Cloud.
This yearâ€™s study revealed that companies continue to invest in their meeting and event programmes, as well as how meeting planners sourced venues, and what influences their decision-making.
More than 80 per cent of respondents said that their budgets have increased for events, including corporate parties, galas, trade shows, conferences, seminars, and conventions.
Interestingly, 84 per cent said that budgets for non-revenue generating events such as trainings and milestone meetings have also increased â€“ highlighting the important role live events plays in supporting both internal and external corporate goals. This increase in budgets indicates higher executive expectations, and added pressure on event planners to deliver more compelling experiential events for their attendees.
Additional findings from the study include:
- Event Professionals are planning more events than ever before â€“ meaning additional MICE business opportunities for hoteliers and destinations. Ninety-four per cent of planners said that they manage 11 or more events each year, while 75 per cent are organising more than 50.
- More than 80 per cent of respondents said that their overall event attendance has increased.
- Increasing budgets means higher expectations and more internal influencers. With the increase in event spend, planners must work with others in their organisation, such as IT and finance managers, who also have influence over event budget decisions.
- Top four areas of expected budget increase include: ground transportation (92%), venue (88%), F&B (88%), and client entertainment (87%), pointing to a growing desire to create a strong event experience.
- Respondents identified additional budget stakeholders including information technology and finance departments. Venues need to be aware of how these stakeholders can influence final budget approval.
- Planners analyse a number of different factors when sourcing event venues or deciding to submit a request for proposal (RFP). Less than half of respondents (47%) cite venue cost as an influencing factor. Other factors including space layout, location, and brand reputation are increasingly important.
- Top features influencing booking decisions include: Ease of networking activities (44%), availability of preferred dates (35%), and unique atmosphere and existing relationship with the venue (both 33%).
Forty-nine per cent of planners surveyed highlighted the venueâ€™s brand and reputation as a key consideration for RFP submission.
- Meanwhile, 50 per cent said they were influenced by positive reviews of the venues they were sourcing.
- Next, 78 per cent of planners said they would expect a cost savings of at least 6% before considering a switch to their second-choice venue â€“ demonstrating that planners are willing to invest more if they believe a venue can provide 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 plannersâ€™ needs, and delivering a quick, thorough response to RFPs, hoteliers can win more group business.
- Nearly half (46%) of planners cite communication problems as the reason for choosing to not submit an RFP to a venue.
- Also 23% want better attention to detail in RFP responses and 38% said that trustworthiness in a venueâ€™s RFP responses is a primary area of improvement.
The survey was conducted among more than 500 event planners in Asia. The full report can be found here.