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September 12, 2010

Lead time between booking and event shrinks further

Many event organisers are waiting until the last minute to book events, with cost considered as the deciding factor in the final venue choice by more than half of event organisers, according to new research.

The study, carried out by IET Venues, revealed that more than one third (37%) of respondents claimed that they are now looking to book events only one to three months in advance, with a further 27% choosing to book events up to just six months away. Only 6% of respondents claim they are looking to book events more than 12 months in advance.

The survey also found that 10% of event organisers were looking to book events less than a month ahead, with 3% looking to do so just two weeks before their confirmed date.

IET Venues’ research also revealed that 51% of respondents consider cost to be the deciding factor when booking an event. Only 18% of respondents stated that location is the most important factor, while price transparency and customer service were each identified as the key factor for making bookings by 9% of respondents.

This suggests that the recession has led to a shift in priority from location to cost and that event organisers are increasingly booking events with shorter lead times in an effort to get better deals. Despite this developing trend for more last-minute booking, the research also shows that 58% of event organisers are increasing the number of events they plan to hold in 2010 from 2009 as they grow out of the recession.

“Our research shows a clear shift in focus of events organisers to ensuring events represent good value for money before considering location, which is one of the key aspects of the service we provide,” said Anna Clover, manager at IET Venues and Facilities. “This further demonstrates the impact the recession has had on the events industry, and despite organisers planning on holding more events this year, they are seeking to get the best deal possible by booking them at the last minute.”

The IET Venues research surveyed 78 event organisers during June and July 2010.

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