Photo Credit: Cvent

Call to action for venues to provide enhanced support including hybrid studios to meet changing planner requirements and attendee expectations.

The Cvent 2021 Planner Sourcing Report: Europe Edition reveals 8 in 10 (80%) event planners across the UK and Europe are currently sourcing in-person events. Of those planners, 81% are sourcing for events to take place in 2021, and 63% are sourcing for events to take place in 2022. Report results suggest strong industry momentum as planners become more confident about hosting in-person events in the region.

Nearly half (46%) of respondents said that they are organising hybrid events (events that offer both in-person and virtual experiences). When asked what venue offerings would most influence their venue sourcing decision for their in-person events, hybrid-ready meeting space and studios (30%) and on-site production and technology expertise (29%), ranked among the highest requested offerings.

The report also reveals that planners tend to be confident about their ability to run a hybrid event. When asked to rate their level of confidence for planning and running a hybrid event on a scale of 1 to 10, 40% rated themselves as extremely confident (from 8-to-10), 58% rated themselves more neutral (between a four and a seven), and only 2% rated themselves under 4.

Cvent, a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, commissioned an independent research company, Censuswide, to survey 500 event planners, managers, coordinators and directors across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK in August 2021. Respondents work in a broad range of industry sectors including education, healthcare, finance, legal, HR, IT & telecoms, travel & transport, and sales, media & marketing. The survey results offer hotels and venues insight into the venue sourcing priorities and requirements of UK and European planners, helping them to adapt their offerings to attract more MICE business.

Photo Credit: Cvent

Chris McAndrews, vice president of marketing for Cvent said: “With the return of leisure travel, hotels and venues have adapted their service offerings to ensure the safety and well-being of their guests. Now, as in-person events return and MICE business picks up, properties must once again adapt their service levels and offerings. It’s critical that hotels are visible to planners online – which is where they are sourcing – and that hoteliers can easily collaborate with planners in real-time in a virtual environment to streamline the sourcing and planning process – for both in-person and hybrid events.”

Top concerns for planning hybrid events:

· When it comes to planning hybrid events, room design and configuration topped the priority list with 44% of planners selecting this as their number one concern, followed closely by venue bandwidth and connectivity (43%) and driving in-person attendance (43%).

· When asked what elements provided by a venue would influence their venue sourcing decisions for their in-person events, 28% said event space layout and 27% said room configuration tools to map safe meeting layouts more easily. These responses suggest that hotels and venues may want to invest in collaborative event diagramming technology so they can work with planners to tailor their space for in-person and hybrid events.

Changes to in-person events:

· When asked what the biggest changes planners will make to their in-person events, compared to pre-pandemic, nearly one half (45%) of planners said enhancing safety precautions such as on-site testing and social distancing protocols. 40% also cited looking for more outdoor space.

Planners sourcing domestically and internationally:

· 71% of planners are sourcing for events in their home market, and 59% are sourcing for events located abroad or both domestic and abroad.

Planners still need virtual site visits

· While planners are sourcing for in-person events, it may not always be possible for them to view the event space in-person, especially if the venue is abroad. In fact, 31% of respondents cited virtual site visits as a top element that would influence their venue sourcing decision for their in-person events. This indicates that planners need a way to view event spaces if they can’t attend physically through tools such as 3D room diagramming technology or virtual video tours.

To download the full Cvent 2021 Planner Sourcing Report: Europe Edition, click here.