June 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)MEETING PLANNERS KEEP SPENDING DOWN, HOPES UPBudgets Hold SteadyIMAGECorporate wallets might not be as tight as we thought. In a survey of more than 100 meeting planners in early May, M&C found that the majority (40 percent) did not experience budget cuts this year. In fact, 30 percent saw their meetings budgets increase, while an equal number saw budgets decrease.

However, among the 30 percent of respondents who faced budget cuts this year, the hit was significant: The average dip was 19.7 percent. And where more money was needed, it didn’t hurt to ask. Among the three in 10 planners who requested a budget increase in the past six months, more than a third (36 percent) were successful in securing additional dollars.

Nonetheless, to help reduce spending, 64 percent of meeting planners polled say they are holding less expensive meetings, while 39 percent are holding fewer meetings. Holiday parties are the kinds of events most likely to be eliminated (34 percent) due to budget constraints. Relatively few organizations are cutting annual sales meetings (11 percent) or client events (11 percent).

Now, halfway through a difficult year, most respondents say next year looks more promising. While half (50 percent) say their 2004 budgets will remain the same, for every seven meeting planners who say their budgets will decrease, 10 others expect them to increase. Meanwhile, spending on meetings and events continues. More than a quarter of those polled (26 percent) report annual meeting expenditures of $500,000 or more, with the average at $340,650.

IMAGE The greatest average dollar amount is spent annually on food and beverage ($91,160), followed by hotel guest rooms ($76,985) and air transportation ($63,730). These findings suggest that a large number of meetings being held this year do not require extensive travel or multi-night stays.

For off-site meetings, where are attendees staying? Respondents say the bulk of their lodging budget goes to resorts ($83,625). Downtown hotels ($64,885) and conference centers ($50,555) take second and third place.


By Art Pfenning, corporate research director for NORTHSTAR Travel Media, LLC, M&C’s parent company.

What Association Executives Earn The gender gap in earnings grows in relation to size of organization, according to a 2001 compensation survey. Male CEOs Female CEOs Trade association $136,775 $92,125 Individual membership association $139,241 $85,204 Total staff size: 2 or fewer $75,000 $60,000 3 to 5 $95,640 $77,000 6 to 10 $116,550 $108,000 11 to 20 $138,200 $126,000 21 to 50 $201,923 $159,280 51 to 100 $237,900 $145,518 More than 100 $287,600 $249,233 Total annual budget: $300,000 or less $67,600 $54,789 $300,001 to $500,000 $75,600 $68,579 $500,001 to $750,000 $90,000 $72,800 $750,001 to $1 million $102,000 $87,525 $1,000,001 to $2.5 million $118,800 $112,425 $2,500,001 to $5 million $170,000 $137,100 $5,000,001 to $10 million $227,750 $160,585 $10,000,001 to $15 million $225,994 $171,750 More than $15 million $285,000 $256,269 Source: American Society of Association Executives

Back to NewslineM&C Home Page
Current Issue | Events Calendar | Newsline | Incentive News | Meetings Market Report
Editorial Libraries | CVB Links | Reader Survey | Hot Dates | Contact M&C