Our survey says: C&I spend bounces back

The number of events and budgets are up in 2005, according to a C&IT survey of almost 1,800 industry professionals. Of the planners surveyed, 48% claim to have healthier budgets than last year, with 39% quoting an increase in conference budgets and 37% an increase in budgets for incentive travel. As encouraging is the increase in the volume of events this year. Most disciplines anticipate finishing the year with up to 10% more events than in 2004. BI Worldwide chairman David Hackett concurs, saying: "The tide turned in autumn 2004. By the end of our fiscal year in July, events business turnover was up 23% compared with the previous year. Our forward bookings are already up 59%." Results show that planners in professional services, such as law and financial services, have seen the healthiest growth. Within the latter category, 34% reported a budget increase of up to 10%. However, Norwich Union head of event management Andrew Latta is less upbeat. "Business is up, although not significantly, and there is more demand on services and the need to extract value."

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