Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) recently published their 21st Annual Meetings Market Survey in Convene Magazine. They surveyed 560 planners, of which 60% were PCMA members. Lets review the results of this survey with emphasis on the the type of planner that responded, the trending in the industry, and where they see the biggest cost for a typical meeting.
The respondents fell into the following categories:
- 67% are Meeting Professionals
- 16% are Association or Corporate Executives
- 9% fall into the Other Category and
- 8% are Consultants
The number of meetings they plan per year:
- 33% said 1 to 5
- 31% said more than 20
- 19% said 6 to 10 and
- 17% said 11 to 20
How many people attended your largest meeting?
- 26% had fewer than 500 attendees
- 22% had 1,000 to 2,499
- 18% had 500 to 999
- 12% had 2,500 to 4,999
- 11% had 5,000 to 9,999
- 9% had 10,000 to 24,999
- 2% had 25,000 or more
How was attendance in 2011 versus 2010?
- 41% said it was the same
- 38% saw an increase
- 21% saw a decrease
What are you projecting attendance to be in 2012 versus 2011?
- 53% expect attendance to be the same
- 35% expect it to increase
- 12% expect it to decrease
How many exhibitors did you have at your largest show?
- 33% said fewer than 50 exhibitors
- 26% had 100 to 249
- 17% had 250 to 499
- 16% had 50 to 99
- 8% had 500 or more
What did you outsource?
Event Supply Rentals:
Such as Renting Audio Visual Equipment
|Trade Show Management||12%||11%||23%|
|Marketing and Promotion||5%||15%||20%|
How did your budget breakdown?
- 34% on Food and Beverage
- 15% on Event Audio Visual Rentals
- 8% on Labor
- 8% on Speakers and Entertainment
- 7% on Staff Travel and Accommodations
- 7% on Marketing and Promotion
- 7% on Space Rental
- 6% on Registration and Housing
- 4% on Signage and Office Equipment
- 2% on Destination Management
- 1% on Security and
- 1% on Insurance
At your largest event, your organization made revenue the following ways:
- 49% came from event registration
- 26% came from exhibit sales
- 20% came from sponsorships
- 4% came from advertising sales and
- 1% came from other revenue sources
So, what can we, in the event services industry, take away from all this data?
First, small conferences with a small number of exhibitors are what meeting planners organized last year. Planning large conventions is great, but it looks like it will not be the mainstay of our industry in 2012.
Second, attendance will be flat for most of the conferences. You can view this as good news; with all the virtual options out there, attendees are still opting for face-to-face conferences.
Third, event supply rentals were the biggest item to be outsourced in 2011 and there is no reason that trend will change in the coming year. Event staff is not increasing so it makes sense to continue to outsource more and more.
Fourth, food and beverage, followed by event audio visual rentals, were the largest budget line items, comprising of 49% of the total budget.
Lastly, event organizers made almost half of their money from registration fees last year.
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