An international survey of more than 1,200 events planners has highlighted concerns over pricing accuracy, transparency and poor response rates from venues – affecting their decision to book.

Cvent, the event software giant, conducted the worldwide survey which included 300 event planners based in the UK.

The study entitled the 2017 Global Planner Sourcing Report, was conducted between April and June 2017, and surveyed event planners in the UK working for corporations, associations and other organisations.

“Not surprisingly, location and cost continue to be the key factors that planners look for when selecting a venue,” said Stacey Fontenot, VP of Marketing for Cvent. “Event planners have made it clear there are certain frustrations, including accuracy in pricing and response time to RFPs [request for proposal[, they have during the RFP process, that venues can work to address to generate more events and business.”

Four in ten planners revealed that venues could improve chances of getting business by providing answers to all of their questions to RFPs, nearly a quarter (24%) stated accurate pricing quotes would improve chances of winning the RFP, whilst nearly a fifth (19%) said more should meet the response deadlines to win more business.

  • Location, venue cost, and availability of preferred dates are the top features that influence a planner’s decision to book a specific venue.  Event planners also said the comparing different price structures, negotiating with the venue and researching venues caused the most challenges during the sourcing process
  • 6% of planners surveyed are not certain about the destination or their budget in the early stages of planning their event, while in contrast only a fifth were extremely or very certain about the event venue.
  • 30% of overall respondents use a standard chain hotel for events, whilst nearly the same (29%) opt for cultural venues such as museums, 21% prefer hotels with unique meeting spaces. 16% prefer independent or boutique hotels.
  • Event planners still rely heavily on word of mouth, citing peer recommendations as the top influence for sourcing venues (28%) followed by the venue’s corporate website (20%) and Google search engines (19%).

More than half of those (54%) who responded were Millennials (18-34) with nearly four in ten (38%) aged between 35-52.