Impact Publications : MICEBTN-73
Page 30 • MICEBTN - September 2019 Cvent’s first Australia-only planner sourcing report sees a change in buyer emphasis BUSINESS events budgets have not increased for event organisers, but more clients now demand an ‘impactful experience’, according to a new survey by Cvent . The results of the inaugural Aus- tralian edition of the annual Cvent Planner Sourcing Report come from planners representing more than 100 organisations. It explores how meeting planners source venues and what influences their decision-making. This is the first year the company has unveiled a report exclusive to the Australian market. In the report, event planners revealed how they allocate their event budgets: 96 per cent of planners spend a majority of their budgets on sourcing quality venues, while 76 and 68 per cent spend on providing better on-site experiences – including food and beverage and promoting their event through digital marketing campaigns, respectively. Planners also said that while their budgets have not increased significantly year-over-year, event attendance has, meaning planners are under added pressure to create compelling, tightly managed and financially successful event expe- riences. Chris McAndrews, vice president of Marketing for Cvent Hospitality Cloud said: “While event budgets are not increasing for Australian event organisers, expectations are higher than ever for them to deliver eye catching experiences . The hoteliers who are able to take these insights and apply the find- ings to their MICE sales and mar- keting strategies are the ones who will reap the benefits.” Additional report findings include: Event profes- sionals are plan- ning more events than ever before – which means that there are more opportunities for venues and hotels. More than 70 per cent of respond- ents said they organise more than 11 events each year, while 10 per cent organise more than 50. 45 per cent of respondents said attendance has increased at most of their primary meeting types. Venue sourcing continues to go digital. With the right online pres- ence and digital marketing tools, hoteliers have a unique opportu- nity to influence a planner’s venue selection. 50 per cent of respondents said that corporate web sites, search engines and on-line sourcing tools influence their sourcing decisions. 30 per cent of respondents utilise smartphones and tablets to source venues. Hotels need to op- timise their mobile presence and better-integrate technology into their sales, marketing, and event support processes. Event planners frequently seek assistance from external resourc- es, highlighting the importance for hotels and venues to build and maintain strong relationships with business events industry stake- holders. 70 per cent of survey respond- ents said that they work with exter- nal planning or destination-related organisations, including: Professional conference organis- ers (41 per cent). Convention and Visitors Bureaus (23 per cent). Destination Management Com- panies (six per cent). Planners remain sensitive to costs. 71 per cent of planners expect cost savings of at least six per cent before considering a switch to their second-choice venue. Nearly 50 per cent expect a cost-savings of at least 10 per cent before considering a switch to their second-choice venue. Hotel professionalism helps to retain planner loyalty. Planners ranked hotel profes- sionalism (36 per cent) higher than venue cost (33 per cent), booking experience (20 per cent), and avail- able dates (16 per cent). Some 49 per cent of respondents rank size and adequacy of meeting space as the most-important fac- tors when considering whether to return to a venue. Melbourne Zoo Parkville, Melbourne.