2017 Meeting Spend Survey

M&C's exclusive research on budgets, site selection, negotiations and more

2017 meeting spend survey opener

How much are planners spending on hotels? Which costs do they negotiate? These are among the insights revealed in M&C's second biennial Meeting Spend Survey.

Conducted online in July, the results came from 173 respondents, 37 percent of whom are association meeting planners and 34 percent corporate planners. The rest represent third-party firms (8 percent), independent planners (8 percent), educational institutions (2 percent), government entities (1 percent) and other organizations (10 percent).

Among highlights from this year's research:

 More than one-third (38 percent) of respondents have annual budgets of $1 million or more.

 Food costs are still taking a bite out of budgets, as planners allocate more money for food and beverage than for lodging.

 Planners are very hands-on in determining their annual budgets, as 27 percent establish the figures themselves, and another 47 percent are "very involved" in setting the annual budget.

The following charts offer a broader picture of our respondents' meeting spend.





















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SPENDING

SPENDING TRENDS UPWARD
Over the past two years, meeting planners' average annual budget has increased by 23 percent, from $1,204,795 in 2015 to $1,478,810 this year, reveals a comparison with M&C's 2015 Meeting Spend Survey. The leap comes from planners whose annual budgets range from $1 million to more than $5 million a year. In 2015, 32 percent of our sample had a yearly budget in that upper range; this year, 38 percent reported the same. Meanwhile, the number of planners with annual budgets on the lower end, at less than $100,000 a year, remained consistent at about 20 percent.

Many other results were essentially unchanged from 2015 to 2017, including the number of meetings respondents were involved in planning (an average of 27 a year for both surveys), the average number of attendees at their events (696 in 2015 vs. 703 in 2017) and the average cost per attendee ($1,156 in 2015 vs. $1,117 in 2017).

The average hotel rate planners are willing to contract rose from $220 in 2015 to $232 in 2017.


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SURVEY

WHO WE SURVEYED
Of the 173 people who answered M&C's Meeting Spend Survey, 28 percent hold job titles as directors or department heads, and 27 percent are meeting planners. For nearly three quarters (72 percent), planning meetings and events is their primary responsibility. The majority work for associations (37 percent) or corporations (34 percent), or they are self-employed or affiliated with third-party planning firms (16 percent).

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While the largest group of those surveyed (18 percent) said they spend between $1,500 and $2,000 per participant (including transportation, hotel, registration fee, meals and ancillary spending), the average spent per person is notably lower, at $1,117.


























 




 

 

 




Source: M&C Research



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