Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
MEETING PLANNERS KEEP SPENDING DOWN, HOPES
UPBudgets Hold SteadyC
orporate 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
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.
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
What Association Executives
The gender gap in earnings grows in relation to size
of organization, according to a 2001 compensation survey.
Individual membership association
Total staff size:
2 or fewer
3 to 5
6 to 10
11 to 20
21 to 50
51 to 100
More than 100
Total annual budget:
$300,000 or less
$300,001 to $500,000
$500,001 to $750,000
$750,001 to $1 million
$1,000,001 to $2.5 million
$2,500,001 to $5 million
$5,000,001 to $10 million
$10,000,001 to $15 million
More than $15 million
American Society of Association Executives
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