Meeting Planners Spill the Facts about the Industry
Mar 26, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

survey

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? 

Outsourced Completely Partially Total
Event Supply Rentals:
Such as Renting Audio Visual Equipment
35% 26% 61%
Housing 28% 18% 46%
Registration 19% 16% 35%
Trade Show Management 12% 11% 23%
Marketing and Promotion 5% 15% 20%
Event Management 5% 12% 17%
Speaker Selection 2% 14% 16%

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. 

AV Event Solutions is a premier supplier of all types of audio visual equipment from iPads to wireless audience response systems! Give them a call today to learn more about their state-of-the-art technology solutions that won't break your budget!

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