Eventful News: Cvent Acquires Wedding Spot, New Salary Report, & More

Convene’s Planner Salary Report was released earlier this week. Inside, it reported that 8 out of 10 planners love their jobs and industry. Yes, 80%! That’s a pretty high satisfaction rate for a role that can bring long hours and lots of stress. It’s a number that speaks volumes about event planners and the work you do every day. Now onto this week’s news…

5 Event news updates you need to catch this week

1. Cvent Acquires Wedding Spot (Cvent)

TLDR

Cvent, the market-leading technology provider for meetings & events, has acquired the venue sourcing platform Wedding Spot. With the acquisition, Cvent adds to the already more than 260,000 hotels & venues listed in its supplier network.

Including it’s acquisitions of Social Tables, Quick Mobile, and Kapow last year, the company’s recent moves have added around 5,000 customers and 1,000 employees in total.

“With Wedding Spot, we can offer new ways for our hospitality customers to tap into the $100 billion wedding industry while also expanding our venue sourcing options with thousands of unique special event venues across the United States. We continue to broaden our platform and offerings to support our customers’ needs, and we are excited to welcome the Wedding Spot team to the Cvent family,” said Reggie Aggarwal, CEO and founder of Cvent.

What does it mean for planners?

While Cvent has long been a strong sourcing tool, the recent move brings more options to the table for social planners. Event planners will enjoy a more robust Cvent Supplier Network with even more venue sourcing opportunities in one spot.

With only 16% of planners saying that they’re extremely certain of their venue at the beginning of the sourcing process, these types of sourcing engines are a powerful resource — especially given the fact that planners today are increasingly pressed for time.

What’s next?

As sourcing platforms become more sophisticated, tech providers will continue to close the gap between the in-person site inspection experience and online venue profiles. Video, 3D diagrams, interactive floor plans, and even AI are all on the table, all of which will decrease search times and uncertainty for planners.

In addition, the sourcing platform of the future is well-poised to implement sophisticated algorithms that match events up with viable venues based on purpose.

Further Reading: Cvent Global Planner Sourcing Report

2. PCMA Releases 2019 Planner Salary Survey Results (PCMA)

TLDR

Convene’s annual salary survey was released this week, shedding light on both the state of pay and overall satisfaction in the event planning industry. The results? Nearly three quarters of respondents reported a raise over the past year (avg 7%), but only half stated they were happy with their pay.  Meanwhile, 8 out of 10 reported happiness with their roles and industry, but cited stress and time as the biggest obstacles.

Seven out of 10 respondents to Convene’s annual Salary Survey said they are satisfied with their jobs and half reported being satisfied with their annual compensation. And although eight in 10 are happy with the business events industry as a whole, respondents cited high levels of stress, competing demands, and the long hours that come with the role as significant drawbacks.

What does it mean for planners?

Event planners are no stranger to stress and long hours, especially in recent years where attendee expectations have heightened alongside event complexity. However, the average 7% increase is nearly double that of the rest of the U.S. workforce, perhaps due to a growing dedication to event marketing by businesses.

These salary increases, while only satisfactory in the eyes of half of planners, are consistent year-over-year. With events being more important for businesses than ever before, it could be a sign that stakeholders are giving at least some credit where credit’s due.

What’s next?

As events continue to grow in size, scope, and importance, planners may be able to leverage the importance of their roles to secure gains beyond the 7%. But with an average 46-hour work week already, planners will also have to fight hard to keep that number from growing. Part of that effort will be finding creative time-saving solutions that increase efficiency.

The question becomes whether technology can keep up with the demands of the job. We might be a little biased, but we truly believe it can.

Further Reading: Will You Be Living Large on an Event Salary? The Numbers Say…

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3. Hotel CEOs Say They Can Do Homeshare Better (Skift)

TLDR

Once upon a time, hotels dismissed homeshare companies as a source of potential competition. Now with the realities of lost business crystal clear, large chains like Marriott are throwing their hats in the homeshare ring. And at this year’s NYU Hospitality Conference, some top hotel executives even went so far as to say they could create a better model for the industry.

It used to be that hotel CEOs outright dismissed homesharing. But now that more hospitality companies are taking the plunge, the top brass is making the case for why the hotel giants can do it better. — Danni Santana

What does it mean for planners?

Traditionally, event attendees who chose a homeshare booking for their event stay were on their own. However, with hotels launching models where homeshare hosts are treated more like franchisees, this could all change.Planners, in turn, may be able to diversify and improve the guest stay experience for attendees by offering more options.

The more hands-on approach of hotel chains could ultimately create more consistency in homeshare experiences than the more hands-off marketplace models of current leaders.

What’s next?

Hotels are just starting to take steps into the homeshare space. However as their efforts scale and grow more sophisticated, so will options for planners. In time, planners may also be able to secure a handful of homeshare options alongside room blocks, letting attendees choose their own experience.  

With personalization now a key expectation of attendees, the potential model may give planners a viable tool in their personalization toolkits.

4. Portland Makes a Big Play for Major Events (Meetings Net)

TLDR

Portland has attracted more and more event business by the year, establishing itself as an attractive midsize destination for planners. However, with only 1,100 hotel rooms within walking distance of the Oregon Convention Center, it has traditionally been limited in the size of conventions and exhibitions it could attract. However, thanks to a new Hyatt Regency and other properties, the city’s room count is poised to grow 42% by the year 2020.

The largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest is getting an update, while a new headquarters hotel and other properties will boost the city’s guest-room count 42 percent by next year.

What does it mean for planners?

With 255,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, two ballrooms, and 52 breakout rooms, the Oregon Convention Center is by no means small. Pair that with the unique, authentic culture of the compact, walkable city, and it’s a potential event paradise for both planners and guests.

Not only will there now be enough sleeping rooms to accommodate the capacity of the center, non-stop flights to Portland have also continued to increase in frequency. With these improvements to travel and capacity, Portland is sure to give first-tier cities an even bigger run for their money.

What’s next?

Many midsize cities, including Nashville, Portland, and Denver, have made big moves to attract more event business. These cities also have a number of the things that modern attendees want: walkability, interesting culture, and a chance for authentic interaction with the city.

Look to these types of midsize cities to continue to grow in appeal and infrastructure, stealing even larger slices of the meetings pie from bigger cities that have long held the throne.

Further Reading: Where You Meet Matters: How to Choose Purposeful Destinations

5. The Robin Hood Benefit Finds the “Equation” for Event Design (BizBash)

The Robin Hood Benefit raises millions of dollars annually to support its poverty elimination mission in New York. As part of these efforts, it hosts a yearly Gala which ditches many traditional event conventions. It’s 2019 event, which happened this week, came together with the theme “Robin Hood to the Power of You.”

Riffing on the math theme, David Stark Design & Production drew from the classroom to create some incredible decor. Some of this decor included a tunnel of 7,000 backpacks in colorful rows, a digital blackboard flashing messages, and giant math symbols hanging as LED decor. The backpacks were even filled with school supplies after the event and donated.

“We challenge ourselves to tell the Robin Hood story in a new and fresh way,” Lindsay Carroll, the foundation’s managing director for events and production, explained.

What does it mean for planners?

The Robin Hood gala capitalized on their event theme, tying it holistically into the event’s purpose and the legacy they wanted to leave within the community. A backpack tunnel wasn’t just used as a grand entrance, it was a tangible symbol of both the theme and what the event stood for. Ultimately, these backpacks even became a tool for making an impact on the community.

Modern attendees are craving these types of connections. They’re looking to events to create them — not just to other attendees and the content, but also to wellbeing, communities, and the world at large. The Robin Hood Gala is an amazing example of using a theme to create these connections in creative and compelling ways.

What’s next?

Major events are setting the bar higher and higher, creating meaningful, interactive experiences that might not have been a possibility just five years ago. As event planners take the ideas of purposeful meetings and meaningful connections increasingly to heart, there’s no telling how far the industry will push the limits in even just the next couple of years.

Further Reading: 19 Event Trends That Will Shake Up Meetings in 2019

Come back to our blog next Thursday for another roundup of the most important event news of the week!

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Published June 6, 2019