Agencies face shorter lead times still

Agencies and suppliers are facing increasingly shorter lead times when handling corporate events, according to Summer Eventia delegates. A survey of some 200 delegates who attended the first day of the annual conference found that clients were booking venues and organising events at shorter notice than ever before. The finding was backed by Intercontinental Hotels Group director of meetings (EMEA) Denise Macdonald, who was part of a panel discussion group on the first day of the conference. "We are definitely experiencing shorter lead times, especially in the UK and in some key European countries," said Macdonald. "We have to turn down 30-40% of enquiries because the lead time is too short." Fellow panelist, Maritz sales strategy director Graham Burt agreed that some clients were booking at the last minute but added that some were planning two to three years in advance. "We tell them that it will cost more the later they leave it because they won't have a choice of venue or airline," said Burt.

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