It's still August, but in-house corporate event professionals are feeling a definite chill in the air.
With the credit crisis, housing slump and rising costs, statistics from the seventh annual edition of the Special Events Magazine Corporate Event Marketplace survey show that in-house event professionals aren't immune to the sour economic news dominating the headlines.
After six years of growing optimism, only 19 percent of respondents say they will host more events this year than they did last year, a 10 percent dip from the results of the 2007 survey. A total of 11 percent say they will stage fewer events this year than the year before, the worst showing since the 2003 survey, which went out shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
However, in-house professionals expect the current downturn to be short-lived. Nearly a third of respondents predict they will stage more events in 2009 than this year, while two-thirds say they will stage at least the same amount.
Perhaps as a way to shave costs, fewer in-house planners this year than last say they contract with independent planners. This year, only 26 percent said they contract with independents, versus 36 percent last year. A total of 64 percent of respondents say this year they have no plans to contract with independents, nearly a 10 point jump from the 2007 figure.
For the full story, see the August issue of Special Events</ />.