SPAIN – Events industry in Spain: more events, but less budget.


On March 16 in Madrid and March 22 in Barcelona Grupo eventoplus presented his “2011 Event Industry Study” in front of an audience of 400 industry professionals. This study is based on three quantitative surveys to businesses, agencies and service providers (hotel, catering, audio-video service, etc.) and a full qualitative analysis based on interviews.

The results show an ambivalent market. We organize events with limited budgets, we want to innovate but inertia prevails, we want to create strategic alliances but with difficult relationships.

Spanish companies have decreased by 4% slice of the budget for the event medium. This is in contrast with the optimism of the agencies (+9%) and suppliers (+2%). An explanation for this apparent incoherence may be the failure of some agencies between 2008 and 2009, disappeared from the market, which allowed the strong structures to maintain their “piece of cake” even though the budget has generally decreased. However, the international market is in recovery phase and compensates for the lack of dynamism of local customers.


The crisis has led to less money but more events. This is because the events are more ‘small’: are shorter, more sober and are realized within the country. Firms focus all on the contents and objectives of the event rather than on innovation or other aspects. An interesting aspect to underline is that reducing the number of events or participants to reduce costs is not considered a strategic move. Firms continue to consider important the event as a tools of connection with their customers.

Companies tend to realize by their own events. Half of the events are done without recourse to an agency, a trend which increased with the crisis and the tend to smaller events and, therefore, easier to manage with just the help of outside vendors (catering, services audio/video, set designer, etc.). This trend, which is taking place in other countries, is a symptom of the fact that firms often do not perceive the added value that may result from the commission to the event to a specialist agency.

Generally, the crisis has led to a major selection and less long-lasting relationships between agencies and clients. 63% of events are assigned by races (which implies high costs for the agencies), and to make matters worse, client often selects only those offers lower costs at the expense of quality. The result is that relations between agencies and enterprises are increasingly strained and distrustful.

Another trend that is getting worse is the financial gap between the 30-days payments required from suppliers to agencies and the 90-days payments that agencies receive from companies. This puts the agency in a situation of real economic hardship. Therefore 64% of companies must take into account the financial capacity of the agencies at the time of bargaining.

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Since 2000, Grupo eventoplus is the first publishing company in Spain who offers platforms and solutions for professionals and suppliers of the event industry. For the last decade, Grupo eventoplus has been promoting, inspiring, professionalizing, informing and helping event professionals and the industry.