Both bookings and budgets are bigger, leading event professionals say.
As noted in a recent news story in Special Events' "Eventline" enewsletter, the outlook for the corporate special event market is looking brighter. And recent interviews with members of the Special Events Advisory Board attest to this optimism.
According to the 10th annual edition of the Special Events "Corporate Event Marketplace" survey, 94 percent of respondents predict they will produce the same amount or more corporate events in 2012 as they did this year. This figure includes a healthy 44 percent who expect their event roster to be busier in 2012.
This is a rosier forecast than was reported even in the boom year of 2007, when 42 percent predicted they would stage more corporate events in the coming year.
Leading event professionals polled by Special Events agree.
"Business since the middle of last year and continuing through the end of this year has been great," notes Deborah Elias, CSEP, CMP, head of Houston's Elias Events. "As I've said before, I don't believe Houston's economy was affected as much as the rest of the country."
LOOKING TO 2013
"Business is fabulous for us," reports Sally Webb, CSEP, founder of The Special Event Co., with offices in London and Research Triangle Park, N.C. "We increased our revenue by 60 percent in 2010 and are on target to exceed this in 2011. Bookings are currently being placed through 2013."
The mood is upbeat in the social arena, too.
"We are ahead of where we were this time last year for the following summer," says wedding planner Ali Phillips, head of Chicago's Engaging Events by Ali. Phillips has just announced her new division, Elevage Events, offering day-of planning.
AT LAST—BIGGER BUDGETS
Phillips sees easing of money pressures. "I also find clients' budgets are increasing," she adds. "Bring on 2012!"
"We are currently seeing a huge difference in our business for all of 2011 and 2012," says Janet Flowers, founder of Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Designs, Rockville, Md. "Clients are signing contracts, making deposits--we did not see this done in a timely manner in '09 and '10--and having generous budgets, which is something we did not see over the last two years."
Business is so good, "So far this year I have closed off seven weekends due to the large volume of business we currently have on the books," Flowers adds.
For the full story, see the July-August issue of Special Events.