A slim majority of event professionals--52 percent--predict that the economy will begin to improve in 2010. Seven percent expect the turnaround to start this year, while 23 percent expect to wait until 2011. Another 7 percent don't expect a better economic outlook until 2012 or later, while 11 percent are unsure when to expect a turnaround. Special Events surveyed more than 800 of its subscribers last week.

The grinding recession has tamped down the traditionally positive outlook of event pros. Fifty-three percent of respondents say they expect to stage fewer events in 2009 than they did in 2008. This represents a sharp spike from the 21 percent who told Special Events in November that they would stage fewer events in 2009 than they did in 2008. Eleven percent now say they expect to stage more events in 2009 than they did in 2008, down from the 28 percent who said so in 2008. Finally, 24 percent now say they expect to stage the same number of events this year as last, compared with 31 percent who said so in November.

RANKING REVENUE

A total of 13 percent of respondents say they expect their revenue from special events in 2009 to remain on par with revenue from 2008. Twenty-five percent expect it to decrease slightly; another 25 percent say it will decrease somewhat. Eighteen percent predict their revenue will decrease substantially this year compared with last.

Eleven percent of respondents say their event revenue will increase slightly this year compared with last. Five percent say it will increase somewhat, and 3 percent say it will increase substantially.

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