Of the 700 corporate and agency buyers across Europe surveyed for the new European Meetings Industry Report, presented by The Right Solution's managing director Sally Greenhill, 39% of respondents said they expect budgets to decrease in 2009, up from 19% who predicted falls in 2008. Only 20% said they expect budgets to increase, down 15% on last year.
However similar research carried out in the Asia and Middle East markets revealed that buyers are predicting 40% and 33% increases respectively next year, with China and Dubai by far the most popular destinations.
Despite the predicted decrease in budgets, 34% of European buyers predict they will hold more events next year, and 32% are predicting an increase in delegate numbers.
CSR is expected to be a key factor for events next year, with almost half (46%) of European buyers believing that their CSR policies impact on all aspects of event organisation, while 86% said that CSR policies would influence venue selection in particular.