DENVER, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Event revenues and attendance grew in 2014 across all types of events – including meetings, conferences and weddings – according to a survey conducted by event software provider Planning Pod (https://www.planningpod.com/). However, event managers continue to battle ever-shorter lead times and a scarcity of job candidates to fill open positions.
The 2014 State of the Event Industry report – which tapped 418 event planners, corporate event managers, venues and non-profits for their feedback – offers a positive outlook for an industry that just recently suffered through one of its worst stretches in decades.
59% of the respondents reported that 2014 event revenues were higher than last year, with another 32% saying that revenues were about the same as 2013. As for event budgets, 43% of event professionals reported that event budgets were larger in 2014 and another 43% said they remained relatively unchanged.
Even event attendance was up in 2014, with 55% of event pros reporting increased attendance at their events and 36% stating that event attendance held steady compared to 2013.
"Although the Great Recession irreversibly changed our industry, these findings are very encouraging," said Jeff Kear, owner of Planning Pod, a Denver-based provider of online event management software. "Event businesses have become leaner and more adaptable since 2010, which has helped boost profits."
Event planners and managers cited higher food & beverage (F&B) costs and higher venue rates as the main factors contributing to higher event costs in 2014, with F&B and decor/floral as the two budget categories most likely to go out-of-scope.
Despite these positive findings, event professionals cited short lead times as an ongoing challenge in delivering quality service. "This year, the average event lead time was 6.7 months, with some event planners reporting lead times as short as 1-2 weeks," said Kear. "With short turn times now the norm, many business are adapting by streamlining RFP processes and getting creative with pre-packaged services."
Staffing was another hot button in 2014, with 54% of respondents reporting that finding qualified candidates was about the same this year as last and 33% stating that hiring competent staff was more difficult in 2014.
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SOURCE Planning Pod