Eventia survey finds business levels down

Recession takes toll as 79% of survey respondents report business down year on year

Izania Downie, chief executive, Eventia
Izania Downie, chief executive, Eventia

The recession is taking its toll on the industry, with more than three-quarters of respondents to an Eventia survey reporting that confirmed business is down year on year.
The survey of 65 Eventia members - a third of which were agencies - found that 79% of respondents confirmed that business was down compared with a year ago. And 72% reported that new business enquiries had fallen compared to the previous year.
The survey also found that lead times are shortening, budgets are being reduced, and that influence from procurement is increasing.
Respondents reported that clients were also scrutinising agencies' financial stability to "ensure they will be around to deliver their events". Some also reported slow payments from clients, and negotiations for "tighter" contracts.
The report found that corporates are increasingly sensitive to public perception, and some have cancelled events due to this rather than financial difficulties.
Respondents also reported that meetings and events are gaining recognition as having the highest return of all marketing tools. A number of those surveyed also flagged up the favourable dollar and euro exchange rates are providing opportunities to win new business for UK destinations, venues and suppliers.
Eventia chief executive Izania Downie said: "It is vital that we keep a finger on the pulse of our industry. Research of this kind is essential."
On the educational front, Eventia is developing its programme under three sub-brands: the established Events in Action and Sales in Action, which were launched last year, and Business in Action, due for launch this year.
Planned academic developments include the provision of course material on the Eventia website, development of a microsite dedicated to work placements and job opportunities and a database of event professionals willing to contribute to university programmes as speakers, advisers and mentors.

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