The In-house Corporate Event (ICE) community has outlined a series of growing issues affecting corporate event organisers and some of the solutions they are turning to as planners come under increased pressure on time and budget.
The findings are bought to life in the annual trends report, commissioned by ICE, with the support of Cvent, and have far reaching consequences outside of the corporate event community. The research showed organisers expressing anxiety over budgetary restraints, sustainability, pay and their role within organisations, however it also showed them finding new answers through event technology and resources across the event industry.
The most consistent subject within the research concerned budgets, ranging from the need to stretch event budgets, to the costs of freelancers and remuneration for event professionals. Respondents all reported increasing fiscal pressure with inflation driving the cost of events up, while expectations also continue to rise. At the same time, a notable 52% of professionals expressed dissatisfaction with their current salaries.
In response to these people led challenges, ICE’s report shows that, increasingly, technology is emerging as a crucial ally for event teams. Professionals are looking to take advantage of tech platforms that are now offering end to end services from registration to reporting, enhanced budgeting, engagement technologies and measurement.
At the same time, the report underlines that pressures on corporate event organisers are being compounded from those higher up in their organisations. The research revealed that communication with stakeholders (internal marketing, sales, financial teams) remains an area of concern with confusion about the role, the value and the place of event teams within the corporate structure.
The report commented that the ‘lack of standardisation can create confusion among professionals about their roles and responsibilities, making it challenging to benchmark against peers.’ Equally, it reported that ‘the diversity in job titles also raises questions about role clarity. This ambiguity may lead to difficulties in setting clear expectations for career growth and development.’
One area of optimism however is the growing understanding of where events should sit within a large company structure. ICE have long advocated that the true value of events can be best appreciated by sales and / or marketing functions. The organisation’s research showed that 71% of respondents now find their home within the ‘Marketing’ function of companies, marking a substantial rise from the 55% reported in previous years.
In other areas of the report, unsurprisingly, sustainability remains top of mind for event teams, and is again linked to anxiety, specifically around budget. The research found that approximately 40% of respondents see cost as a major barrier, followed by resource constraints (23%) and knowledge gaps (15%).
Anita Howard, CEO & Founder of ICE comments, “For modern-day in-house event organisers, it is all about expectation about budget. They are being asked to do more with less, being asked to justify what they do, while still fulfilling a massive rise in demand. The report makes for hard reading, but they are well supported by the industry. Tech is playing its part; we have support around sustainability, and we can help solve the knowledge gaps concerning freelancers. If this part of the market gets it right, it will be great news for everyone.”
Felicia Asiedu, Marketing Director Europe, Cvent added: “During a time when there are a wide variety of issues impacting the global economy, it is understandable that an industry such as ours would have its confidence shaken a little by situations beyond our control. However, the detailed report clearly demonstrates the resilience in the market, the positive outlooks held by so many individuals and the desire to seek solutions. The doubling of lead times; the huge diversity in freelance skillsets; average salaries on the increase; events as part of the marketing mix; and event technology now considered a partner rather than a tool – all these can be seen as huge wins for a sector that is firmly on the rebound and looking at significant growth opportunities.”
The report is made up of data taken from over 130 corporate event planners based in the UK (77%), Europe (11%), and North America (13%).