C&IT consulted more than 200 UK-based event agencies and corporate planners to gauge the mood of the sector including Colgate-Palmolive, Barclays, Molson Coors, Centrica, DRP, Zibrant, WRG, Smyle and TRO.
While the outlook is positive, with corporate budgets largely expected to be static (38%) or on the increase (34%) in 2015, and 81% of agencies predicting turnover and/or profits to increase, key challenges remain.
More than a third (35%) of corporates said their biggest internal barrier to holding events is budget, and 22% described budget as their biggest overall challenge.
Clare Moses, head of events, Personal and Corporate Banking, Barclays, said: "Doing more with less remains a big challenge as we have smaller budgets and shorter lead times."
She added that technology solutions such as delegate management systems that reduce manual labour can help the team be more creative with budgets.
Meanwhile on the agency side, finding and keeping talent and recruitment issues were named the biggest challenge by a fifth (20%) of respondents. Managing and maintaining growth (17%), winning new business (8%), procurement (8%) and lead times (7%) were also identified as key challenges by event agencies.
Rick Stainton, managing director, Smyle, said: "The top challenge for anyone at the moment is talent. There doesn't seem to be any. It's very difficult to find really good, multi-discipline, multi-sector experience or talent out there.
"It's across the board, not just at a senior level. We don't recruit that many senior people, but we've looked at some recently and it's difficult. And personally I think it's getting a little bit worse. There seems to be a lot of candidates out there with a good looking CVs but then when you scratch the surface they don't match our principles or approach to quality."
Read the full, in-depth summary of the findings here: State of the Industry 2015: Agencies and clients building for boomtime
Shorter lead times biggest challenge - clients got used to easy availability in past 5 yrs; no longer the case! #SOTI2015
Talent recruitment remains a priority as always; being flexible & accommodating to client budgets also. #SOTI2015
Yes and yes! It's an ongoing issue to justify pounds and sustain/retain talent in our industry. #SOTI2015
MORE:Download the full award-winning State of the Industry 2014 Report
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