Call to action for venues to prepare for increased in-person demand and showcase their hybrid-ready initiatives online to attract today’s planners as hybrid event format continues to grow in popularity
Published Tuesday 8 March, the Cvent 2022 Q1 Planner Sourcing Report: Europe Edition reveals planners across the UK and western Europe are embracing a diversified range of event formats for their programmes in 2022; with more than 70% saying that events with in-person components will make up the majority of their event programmes. Of that 70%, hybrid events are the most popular format (38%). Only 25% of respondents said that virtual events would make up the bulk of their 2022 event programmes. Cvent, a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, commissioned independent research company, Censuswide, to survey over 500 event planners, managers, coordinators and directors across the UK and Europe (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain) in January 2022.
The report offers hotels and venues deep insights into the sourcing requirements of planners across the UK and Europe, helping to identify the opportunities and services they can adopt to attract more MICE business.
The results of the survey show that from a regional perspective, event organisers in Spain (60%), the UK (48%), Germany (37%) and Italy (38%) say a hybrid format is the main choice. Just over half of the planners in the Netherlands (59%) cited in-person gatherings as their top option, while virtual is top in France (45%).
The report also reveals most planners (71%) are currently sourcing venues for events with in-person components, and of those planners, two-thirds (66%) say they will hold events in the first half of 2022 (whilst 70% are planning events in the second half of the year). By region, sourcing for in-person events increases to 96% for planners based in Spain, 92% in the Netherlands, 87% in the UK and 73% in France.
Chris McAndrews, vice president of marketing for Cvent said: “As demand for in-person experiences continues to rise in this new era of events, a venue’s digital assets are just as important as their physical ones. It is vital that venues continue to not only adapt their services and onsite expertise to support hybrid events, but to also put that same level of attention and care into where planners begin their planning and venue sourcing processes – which is online. The hotels and venues that can successfully showcase their properties and hybrid-ready meeting space in the digital environment will bolster their appeal to attract more MICE business in 2022.”
Other report highlights include:
Growing Event Budgets
- Planners have bigger budgets compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic). Among all respondents, 68% say they have more budget for in-person and hybrid events. Only 13% say their budget has been reduced.
- Regionally, in the UK, just over half of planners (57%) have more budget. In Germany (71%) have more spend, which is the same proportion of planners that have increased budgets in other European markets (71%).
Top Venue Considerations
- Interactive event space diagrams (43%) and virtual site tours (42%) are top of mind when planners begin sourcing for their events. Hotels should look to incorporate these digital offerings into their online presence to help streamline and enhance the online sourcing process.
- When it comes to selecting a venue for their events, the most important consideration for planners across the UK and Europe are: on-site production and tech expertise and venue/meeting room rates (both 27%).
- The importance of on-site production and tech expertise is further supported by the report findings which reveal more than half of planners (62%) plan to increase their spend for event management software/technology in 2022.
- Additional venue considerations include: provision of hybrid-ready rooms or studios, health and safety protocols/certifications and brand reputation (all 26%). These were also all top considerations in the 2021 Planner Sourcing Report: Europe Edition.
Of the 500+ companies surveyed, the minimum turnover is £100,000 a year, and the majority have turnover from £1 million – £100 million. Respondents work in a broad range of industry sectors including architecture, engineering & building; arts & culture; education; finance; healthcare; HR; IT & telecoms; legal, retail, catering & leisure; sales, media & marketing and travel & transport.
To view the full report click here.