Barclays, Schroders, Citroen and Canon event professionals are among corporates reporting a rise in events planned in 2011, while budgets are staying the same or falling.
Research carried out by C&IT at its Corporate Forum 2011 showed that the number of events being planned this year had increased for 55% of respondents, while budgets had stayed the same or decreased in 73% of events teams.
American Express' global commercial card event manager Vicki Haxton said that more virtual meetings were on the agenda as she was charged with "more meetings to reach a wider audience with the same budget".
Barclays UK Retail Banking's head of events Nicola Handley puts an increase in demand for events from her internal clients down to improved confidence. "People are still cautious but quietly confident," she said.
Schroders events manager Viki Stapleton added that finding new ways to produce engaging events was particularly critical, as her budget had stayed the same.
Corporate events planners surveyed reported an average budget of £946,229 in 2011, for an average of 103 events a year. But despite the challenges, corporates felt the industry was more positive.
Commercial insurance firm Cadogan Keelan Westall marketing executive Emma Louise Smith said: "Rewarding staff and clients is high on the agenda with the depression that has followed the recession."