Some 40% of planners surveyed expect budgets to remain the same and 15% anticipate a decrease.
In Europe, planners forecast a 1.6% increase in budgets and a 2.4% growth in attendance.
As budget controls get tighter, many event planners are feeling the pressure to innovate.
European meeting and event professionals also expect to see a 4% improvement in overall business conditions, while US and Canadian meeting professionals forecast a 5% improvement.
The quarterly report, which surveyed more than 5,000 members of Meetings Professional International (MPI), also predicts increasing attention to meeting design, hybrid and virtual meetings, social media, and tech innovations.
Many meeting pros are turning to technology to lower costs, speed up planning and enhance the value of the programmes they plan.
Some 16% do not have a social media strategy, while 25% follow a documented strategy.
Only 3% of planners are using virtual and hybrid events to completely replace face-to-face meetings and 54% are using it to enhance the event experience, rather than replace it.
Some 46% of event professionals said lead times are shorter, 25% said they are longer, while 29% said lead times are not changing.
The recruitment picture is also improving. In Europe, there is a slight decline in full-time employment, yet part-time employment and contract work picked up.
Some 23% are evaluating budgets and estimating ROI, 28% are employing people with relevant knowledge and skills, 25% rely on suppliers for guidance and leadership, while 53% aim to keep educated.
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