Planners upbeat on business prospects

Latest Cvent Planner Sourcing Reports reveal positive outlook among majority of conference planners surveyed across Asia, Australia and MENA

A SURVEY of 400 event planners across Asia, Australia, the Middle East and North Africa found most predicting significant increases in the number of in-person meetings their organisations will hold for the rest of the year.

The latest Cvent Planner Souring Report highlights a positive outlook for the business events and meetings hospitality industry segments across key regions.

Researchers commissioned by event and hospitality tech provider Cvent report that 79 per cent of planners in Australia and 67 per cent in Asia anticipate a sizeable rise in conferences and meetings.

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Cvent says the report is aimed at helping hospitality professionals better attract corporate events and engage planners by providing insights into key trends that impact how event organisers source and select hotels/venues and manage events.

The regional editions, based on responses from hundreds of event planners across various sectors, were published for Asia, Australia and the Middle East & Africa regions. Across all regions, report findings highlight positive momentum across the MICE industry despite challenges like rising costs and staffing shortages, emphasising the opportunity for hoteliers to capitalise on the growing demand for in-person experiences. 

According to the survey results, a large percentage of planners in Asia (80%), Middle East and Africa (85%), and Australia (76%) anticipate paying more for similar-sized and complex meetings in 2023 than in 2022.

As a result, the majority of planners also expect an increase in their event budgets with 90 per cent in Asia, 88 per cent in Australia, 79 per cent in the Middle East and Africa, respectively. Cvent says this presents an opportunity for hotels and venues to differentiate themselves by providing premium services and amenities that justify the higher costs. 

About the Study
Cvent commissioned Censuswide, an independent research company, to survey over 400 event planners across Asia (China, Singapore, India, and Thailand), Australia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia) and Middle East & Africa region (United Arab Emirates and South Africa). The survey was conducted from March 23 to April 5, 2023.

“While planners are willing to spend more, hoteliers should also focus on tailoring their offerings to meet the planners’ expectations and requirements, which would ultimately lead to increased revenue,” a spokesman for Cvent said. 

With the rise of digitisation, event planners are increasingly turning to digital resources to aid in their planning process. For example, more than a third of planners across all regions say online sourcing platforms have become an essential resource for site selection. In addition, with rising travel costs, in-person site visits are being replaced with digital online tours. 

Report results show that 54 per cent of planners in Asia, 53 per cent in Australia, and 43 per cent in the Middle East & Africa use digital floor plans and online event diagrams to better understand meeting room capabilities and to determine whether the hotel is the right fit for their event. These results illustrate the growing importance of a hotel’s online presence to attract planners.

Graham Pope, Cvent vice president of international sales, said: “It’s an exciting time for both event organisers and hoteliers as in-person events make a strong comeback around the world, and these findings further prove the opportunity that exists for hospitality professionals to grow their MICE business. 

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“By understanding evolving industry trends, adapting to changing planner preferences and embracing technology, hoteliers can attract the right leads and offer more tailored solutions to meet their clients’ expectations, which ultimately strengthens the partnership and drives more value. With the market in full bloom, hospitality professionals who recognise these opportunities and take action stand to gain the most.”

The report also highlights that existing relationships should be nurtured as event planners value professionalism and partnership in hotel staff with 38 per cent in Australia saying it’s important followed by 35 per cent in Asia and 26 per cent in Middle East and Africa. 

“Leveraging technology solutions that enable more seamless collaboration between planners and hoteliers, or that streamline complex processes like group room block management to reduce workload is another important way hospitality professionals can enhance their relationships with planners and further strengthen their reputation in the industry.

The report’s regional editions: Australia, Asia and Middle East and Africa

Main picture: A triumphant scene at a Meetings and Events Australia conference. According to the findings of a Cvent study, more business is in the way for meeting planners

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