by Andrea Doyle | March 14, 2018
Meeting professionals have some good news to look forward to this year. A new report released today by Convene -- the nation's fastest growing network of full-service meeting and event venues and flexible-term workspaces -- finds that most meeting and event planners expect to see their budgets rise.
Survey respondents were asked, "Compared to 2017, how do you expect your budget for attendee experiences to change this year?" Thirty percent said they plan for it to increase, 57 percent said it will stay the same, and six percent said it will decrease. Based on a total of 280 responses, the survey finds that local expertise is still a big need and price is the most important variable when planning meetings and events, followed by design of space, and then food and beverage.

When it comes to out-of-town events, planners also revealed what tools they wish they had. The respondents asked for resources like "director(ies) and reviews of reputable local vendors; local production partners," "a list of venues and restaurants that have group meeting spaces," and "local assistants who know the area." Fourteen percent of respondents mentioned the need for greater access to information through convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) or destination management companies (DMCs). Planners also expressed the need for better information online about venues, including virtual tours, downloadable floor plans, and accurate photographs.

Ultimately, Convene's annual survey of corporate meeting and event planners found that the most important consideration in venue selection comes down to two things: price and quality and design of event spaces.

"This data backs up trends we've seen in the event and meeting space for years now: planners crave quality venues that offer a better experience for their attendees, and companies are allocating the resources needed to achieve this," said Brian McGuire, chief operating officer at Convene (pictured).