The Australia Edition of the Cvent Planner Sourcing Report 2020 has revealed that nearly 80% of event planners support a future of hybrid events, with 40% saying they are an ideal transition back to in-person, and 38% saying they are a viable permanent option to increase attendance.
This year’s report compiles data and survey responses that were collected in August 2020 from event planners across more than 150 organisations. The report offers insights into planner perspectives and priorities as business events restart.
This year’s study illustrates that live events, whether online, in-person, or hybrid, are still the priority for organisations across Australia. In-person events are the most popular, with 72% of respondents preferring in-person experiences. When planning for the future, event organisers have become increasingly reliant on technology and the support of their hotel partners and venues, to make their events “safer and more effective”, with nearly 70% of respondents reporting an increased reliance on technology, and 67% of planners expecting venues to provide for social distancing room configurations. In addition, 42% of respondents are currently sourcing for in-person events.
As per the report, planners are anticipating a reduced event budget and an increased event cost in the coming year, with 46% of the survey respondents foreseeing a decrease in their 2021 event budget, and 43% predicting that the cost per event may rise next year. In addition to this, event dynamics have changed, with 68% of respondents adjusting their events by planning for fewer attendees per event, while booking larger event spaces to accommodate social distancing guidelines, and 40% looking for expanded food and beverage options such as pre-packaged foods and open-air dining.
Chris McAndrews, vice-president of marketing for Cvent Hospitality Cloud, said: “These research findings confirm what we see every day in the interaction of our event planners and hospitality customers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitality professionals have become even more focused on the health and safety of their guests, and technology is central to this effort. Hotels are using online venue sourcing platforms to showcase their safety policies, offering planners virtual site visits, and leveraging interactive diagramming tools to design floor plans that comply with social distancing requirements.”
The report also found that attendee safety and well-being was the most important issue facing event planners, with 89% of those surveyed saying that venue health and safety guidelines is the top consideration that will determine their venue choice in 2021, and 69% citing attendees’ safety and wellbeing (Duty of Care) as their “top priority”.
Read the full 2020 Cvent Planner Sourcing Report for Australia here.