Spending on events and brand experiences within the corporate sector is expected to rise by as much as 83% according to the Annual ICE Report, launched at Cvent Connect Europe last week.
However, the report warns that this is not just a sign of growing confidence in events, but a reflection of the ‘spiralling’ cost of running events as inflation and the cost of materials, people and fuel all begin to impact the sector.
The report also uncovered the key challenges that brands, and their event departments, face as we enter 2023 with ‘Sustainability’ (59%), remaining a key challenge.
This ranked ahead of ‘measurement of event performance’ (51%), and ‘ensuring the brand is represented consistently across events’ (41%). Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (37%) is also a key issue and has now risen into the top five challenges.
In addition, the report revealed that many event organisers still struggle to capitalise on attendee and engagement data from their in-person events. 41 per cent of respondents said that in-person experiences don’t provide the insights they need, even though 59% look to use in-person data for ‘making a business case for future budgets’, 53% for ‘improving overall event strategy’ and 51% for ‘developing future content’.
The report is produced annually by ICE (In-house Corporate Events) supported by Cvent and reflects the sentiments of those event professionals that work solely within brands.
Anita Howard, CEO & founder, ICE, commented: “After a tough few years for the industry, the report shows a return to form with investments in events going up and the continued, although gradual, move of the event professional up the ladder in terms of marketing mix.”
In other areas of the report, lead times continue to be a challenge for in house event organisers with just 6% given more than 12 months’ notice on event programmes. However, for the first time in a year, the report says that average team sizes are increasing, up from an average of 16-17 to 19-20.
Since the first edition of the report in 2019, there has also been an upward trend in the number of event planners reporting to the marketing function. However, a notable proportion of respondents still report to a variety of business functions, which ICE sees as an issue for the industry as events look to show their value within large corporate organisations.