UK – Agencies say the future’s bright, corporates disagree

M&IT asked 156 corporate event organisers and 164 agency organisers about their trading expectations in 2011, and while 70 per cent of agencies expected to operate more events in the UK this year than last, 53 per cent of corporates predicted they would organise fewer.

The response for overseas events was even more disparate, with 70 per cent of agencies believing they would operate more this year, and 70 per cent of corporates stating they would organiser fewer.

Forty five per cent of agencies reported to having had a ‘good’ first quarter and nearly 65 per cent believed the result for the year would be better than in 2010. They are equally optimistic about 2012, with the vast majority believing they will organise more events than this year– both in the UK (85 per cent) and overseas (71 per cent).

Corporate organisers are more cautious, with 40 per cent predicting business in 2011 will be the same as 2010, and 37 per cent predicting it will be better. However, they too are hopeful for 2012, the year of the London Olympic Games, with 63 per cent stating they will organise more events in the UK (but only 42 per cent more overseas).

Both sides agree that budget sizes and number of participants at events will stay the same. When it comes to staff numbers, 36 per cent of corporates expect to recruit additional employees and 47 per cent of agencies also expect to increase headcount.

Asked what will have the most profound effect on business in the coming year, many answered the continuation of short lead times, pressure on budgets, mergers and acquisitions, greater use of technology, constraints on attendee time and the state of the economy.

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