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April 16, 2008

Survey reveals organisers top 10 concerns

Event organisers worry more about their event being useful and enjoyable to attendees than anything else, according to a new survey, while environmental and social factors have yet to rise in importance above commercial concerns.

The report, carried out by event insurance specialist Insurex Expo-Sure, found that 87% of respondents rated making their event useful and enjoyable to delegates their major preoccupation, yet only 49% said the environmental impact of their events was a priority, which ranked 10th in organisers’ concerns.

Other worries high up on the list were logistical issues, which ranked second, problems with the venue, third, while in fourth place was attendance figures, which was rated as a more important concern than safety and security.
Surprisingly, after a summer of extreme weather and disruption from terrorism and foot and mouth disease, only 60% (eighth in the survey) felt that external factors over which event organisers have no control were either a concern or a major concern.
Although considerations for the environment came out poorly, it is encouraging to see, however, that while green issues do not rank highly as a concern, awareness of this issue is improving with more than half (55%) saying they considered the carbon footprint of their event.
“Despite a year of extraordinary disruption from factors relating to weather, terrorist incidents, and foot and mouth disease, ensuring visitors find an event useful and enjoyable is still, not surprisingly, the overriding concern of organisers,” said Insurex Expo-Sure managing director Mark Trevor. “External disruption outside an organiser’s control ranked a lowly eighth in the top 10 concerns perhaps suggesting organisers either genuinely aren’t worried about the impact that external factors can have, or, more likely, consider that there is little they can do to mitigate the effects of extreme weather or a terrorist incident.

“The findings on the environment also make interesting reading indicating that organisers are aware of the growing issues of their carbon footprint, but have not yet promoted this awareness above the commercial and practical pressures of running an event,” Trevor continued. “In addition, more than 60% of organisers are unaware of, or say their company does not have a formal approach to corporate and social responsibility (CSR), which is worrying given the growing profile of CSR issues.”

Event organisers top 10 concerns (source: Insurex Expo-sure)
1. People not enjoying the event or finding it useful
2. Logistical problems (suppliers letting you down, equipment not turning up)
3. Problems with the venue
4. Attendance figures
5. Safety/security
6. Problems with technology
7. Being innovative and original in the staging of the event
8. External factors over which you have no control, such as extreme weather, transport problem
9. Negative publicity associated with the event
10. The environmental impact of the event

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