A total of 57 percent of event planners say they expect to stage more events in 2007 than they will in 2006. Just under 30 percent say they will likely stage the same number next year as they will this year, and less than 4 percent say they will stage fewer events. The findings come from the annual survey conducted by Special Events Magazine.

Independent planners are especially bullish on business next year. A total of 63 percent of independent planners responding to the Special Events survey, conducted over a four-week period in October and November, say they will stage more events in 2007 than in 2006. This figure compares with the 50 percent of in-house planners who say they will stage more events next year than this year.

SINGING THE BUDGET BLUES

The No. 1 challenge that in-house event pros expect to face in the new year is an airtight budget. "Reduced budgets to work with" was named as the top hurdle by 54 percent of in-house pros. Second on their list of headaches in 2007 is "shorter lead times," named by 43 percent of respondents, and third is "labor shortage/lack of skilled labor," cited by 30 percent of respondents. Although the topic of procurement has grabbed headlines in the last few years, few in-house planners seem troubled by having to contend with tougher rules on purchasing. "Dealing with my company's procurement/purchasing department" ranks only seventh on the list of challenges next year for in-house pros.

Tight budgets are also the clouds on the new year's horizon for independent planners. "Reduced client budgets" was named as the No. 1 challenge they expect to face in 2007, followed by "an uncertain economy" at No. 2 and "increased competition" at No. 3.

For the full story, see the January issue of Special Events.

Photo by iStockphoto.com/© Paul Cowan