Travel budget cuts cause increase in virtual events

Over half of event organisers have suffered severe travel budget cuts in the past two years, increasing the use of virtual events, according to a new report.

IET Venues and facilities manager Anna Clover
IET Venues and facilities manager Anna Clover
The data has been taken from the Business Travel Trends Survey, carried out by IET Venues, from 107 event organisers in September 2010.

"While budget cuts and cost are a key concern when organising events, companies need to remember the value of face-to-face meetings in securing fresh and repeat business," said IET Venues and facilities manager Anna Clover.  

"Virtual events are an excellent option, but need to run in parallel with face-to-face events to increase coverage rather than replace them. What we need to see is the industry working together to deal with these cuts to travel and events budgets without sacrificing the practices that are important to the growth of any business."

Other results show that 28% are expecting an increase in travel budgets in the next year, 76% strongly agree that cost is now the key factor when organising or attending events, and 38% believe event budgets would rise in 2011.

Although only 50% would consider running virtual events, 62% of organisers have seen an increase in virtual events in the market in the past two years, with 19% saying they have seen more than double taking place.

Virtual Edge and George P Johnson found in March 2010 that 39% of respondants expected virtual events budgets to increase this year.

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