More than a third of UK corporate buyers say budgets will be lowered in 2012, however they expect to maintain or increase the number and size of their events over the next 12 months, according to a survey by events agency Zibrant.
The survey showed 35 per cent of respondents believed budgets will ‘be lower’ and 42 per cent reported that they will remain ‘the same’. According to the 500 buyers surveyed, 40 per cent said that the number of meetings they are planning over the next 12 months is ‘the same’ as in 2011, with 19 per cent stating that they will be planning ‘more’. A total of 22 per cent indicated that the number will be ‘fewer’ than in 2011, with cost cutting constraints cited as a significant contributor to reductions.
The size of events are likely to remain the same, with 60 per cent of respondents saying they do not expect to see an increase in delegate numbers. However, 16 per cent say the size will increase, and 11 per cent have indicated they expect to see a reduction.
Top challenges among buyers were: reduced budgets and short lead times, followed by planning around the Olympics. Interestingly, more than half (51 per cent) said that they will not be planning any meeting or event activity around the Games, although 71 per cent of incentive buyers are planning activities.
Fay Sharpe, managing director sales and marketing, said: “The results of our survey indicate that many meetings programmes will remain robust over the next 12 months, but with some inevitably affected by budgets.
“It is interesting to note that a considerable number of venue find and event management buyers will be working around, rather than towards, the Olympics which are being viewed by many as a challenge rather than an opportunity.”
Pictured: Fay Sharpe