Pulse of the Meeting Planner: Comparing Venue Sourcing in 2022-2023

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Pulse of the Meeting Planner: Comparing Venue Sourcing in 2022-2023

By Cvent | Oct 1, 2022

Comparing venue sourcing in 2022/2023 to “The Hunger Games” might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s fair to say that the industry has transitioned into a new era. With budgets on everyone’s minds, venue availability somewhat scarce, and hospitality staffing still running a bit behind pre-pandemic levels, event planners are asking to do a lot more, with a lot less.

So, this means that organizations continue to evolve, strategize, and rebuild their total event programs to be more dynamic than ever before. As if being a planner wasn’t hard enough, the current event landscape has brought to light new event considerations which have made it necessary to explore every option to produce successful events. 

Signs of industry recovery are all around us and gaining momentum—- from companies returning to the office to employee travel being re-introduced, organizations are now ready and willing to bring back their in-person event programs

From simple meetings to large trade shows, the majority are choosing to meet in-person when it makes sense. Now, meeting and event planners have the monumental task of deciding what event format they should choose to satisfy their unique event goals, and we’re seeing more and more opt for an in-person format. 

Sourcing in a New World

Cvent commissioned a new survey of 806 event professionals who represent a broad cross-section of the industry regarding years of experience, organization type, job category and age group to get their take on where the industry is heading regarding venue sourcing.

The high-level takeaways? You’re not alone. For planners who are responsible for venue sourcing, bringing back in-person events is no easy feat. They face a slew of challenges including navigating site selection criteria in a post-pandemic world to find new venues that match their event requirements.

Meetings now have a higher cost and larger budgets are necessary. That means you could be planning the same event that took place in 2019, at a different venue and for a smaller number of people, with a much higher cost.

Finding the right venue can also be complicated by limited space at your preferred properties and new or unknown hotel contacts. Event Professionals are looking for solutions to make the venue sourcing process easier so they can ultimately create successful in-person events that impresses attendees and internal stakeholders alike.

Cvent’s Annual Venue Sourcing Survey asked planners hard hitting questions about their event program and venue sourcing process. The goal was to provide the industry key insights to help maintain momentum with in-person events. The results are in, and we’re excited to share these findings on what’s top of mind for planners.

The New In-person Strategy

Planners are moving ahead with in-person meetings in 2022, full stop. Simple meetings may be happening most often, but large, marquee events are also filling event venues this year. There’s a clear, industry-wide commitment to in-person gatherings along with potential pent-up demand for such experiences. As a starting point, planners should focus on going the extra mile to bring attendees back post-pandemic by focusing on their venue sourcing strategy for all event types.

With less-than-ideal market conditions, event costs continue to be a concern. The right technology can help you discover new venues and vendors that fit your budget while centralizing data to be smarter and more prepared. Negotiating and contracting are challenges right now; you can combat this by setting your goals, budgets, and contract terms upfront during the RFP process.

This will help you communicate effectively as you decide on your venue partner. Event requirements may have changed over the past few years, but you’re finding creative ways to incorporate new vendors into your in-person playbook to accommodate both in-person and virtual audiences. 

What’s Facing Your Peers, and What Does the Future Hold?

The top takeaways from Cvent’s report?

  • Planners expect in-person meetings to return quickly
  • Planners top challenge lies in negotiation
  • Event budgets will increase this year
  • Simple meetings require a simpler venue sourcing process
  • Planners need to find new service providers to execute events

Throughout the rest of 2022 and into 2023, optimism is rampant. There’s a strong belief that more and more attendees will travel to events. There’s no denying the power of face-to-face experiences. The disruption the pandemic caused has made the industry more resilient and events continue to prove their value more than ever. While this is not “your mother’s meeting and event industry”, the future looks exciting.

Check out Cvent’s Planner Sourcing Report 2022 for more detailed findings and data from the survey.



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Cvent is a leading meetings, events and hospitality technology provider. Our comprehensive suite of solutions automates and simplifies the entire event management process to maximize the impact of events.