EVENTup, the largest online marketplace for event spaces, conducted a survey exploring the biggest challenges for event planners in their profession during the past year. Completed in November 2014, a total of 162 professionals responded to 14 questions about event planning.
Insights into the meetings and event planning industry revealed that the market for corporate events is booming with nearly 60 percent of respondents having planned more events in 2014 than 2013. Event planners remain busy with nearly 60 percent of respondents have planned more than 11 events in the last year and almost 40 percent have planned more than 20.
While event budgets are increasing overall, not having a realistic budget to work with is the most common event planning mistake. Similarly, clients with unrealistic expectations are the biggest headache for event planners, closely followed by unrealistic timelines.
“Every day, we see quote requests from event planners on exceptionally tight schedules,” said Jayna Cooke, CEO, EVENTup. “Our research confirmed what we had surmised based on years of interacting with event planners – timing is a massive pain point and all too often planners are asked to execute in a matter of weeks and days, not months.”
Survey results also reveal that the best indicator of an event’s success is positive word of mouth/survey responses, followed by executive feedback. Adding to the positivity, customers make the most fun corporate event attendees while holiday parties are the most fun events to plan, according to survey results.
Finally, more than half of corporate events have alcohol consumption policies, which are oftentimes enforced.
The survey questions focused on positive and negative encounters as well as workload for event planners.
Question #1 – What is the biggest mistake you see people making when planning events?
- Not having a realistic budget (122)
- Not giving themselves enough time to plan (88)
- Not using an event planner (73)
- Choosing a boring speaker/event flow (35)
- Choosing a boring venue (27)
- Not inviting enough people (24)
- Inviting too many people (22)
Question #2 – What is the most common event malfunction?
- Too few RSVPs/low attendance (81)
- Vendors arriving late (55)
- Weather/natural disasters (52)
- Speakers who go over or are uninteresting (52)
- Food quality (32)
- Invite has wrong details (18)
Question #3 – Have you ever had a client not show up for their own event?
- Yes (30)
- No (132)
Question #4 – What type of venue do you use most often?
- Restaurant (75)
- Conference center (63)
- Gallery (48)
- Residential (36)
- Warehouse (29)
- Entertainment venue like a go-kart track or amusement park (29)
Question #5 – What type of event is most fun to plan?
- Holiday party (98)
- Personal (76)
- Customer appreciation event (49)
- Sales presentation/new business event (31)
- Trade show (27)
- Internal offsite (25)
Question #6 – What is most frustrating about the event planning process?
- Overly demanding clients (57)
- Unrealistic timelines (47)
- Finding a venue (24)
- Hidden fees in contracts (22)
- Other (12)
Question #7 – Does your business (or your clients) have guidelines for alcohol consumption at corporate events?
- Yes (91)
- No (71)
Question #8 – If yes, are these guidelines enforced?
- Yes (89)
- No (2)
Question #9 – How many events did you plan this year?
- Less than 5 (26)
- 6-10 (41)
- 11-15 (21)
- 16-20 (13)
- More than 20 (61)
Question #10 – Did you plan more events in 2013 or 2014?
- 2013 (38)
- 2014 (93)
Question #11 – Have you seen budgets increase or decrease over the last 12 months?
- Increase (114)
- Decrease (48)
Question #12 – Corporate events are getting more creative and reflective of brand personality. Which of these have you used in an event in 2014?
- Specialty foods (106)
- Musical acts (94)
- Circus or acrobatic acts (33)
- None of the above (19)
Question #13 – What type of guest is most fun at a corporate event?
- Customers (92)
- Members of the company management team (72)
- Investors (29)
- Interns (14)
- None of the above (14)
Question #14 – How do you determine if an event was successful?
- Word of mouth/surveys following event (118)
- Executive feedback (93)
- High attendance (86)
- Cost containment (42)