When it comes to special events, companies aren't skimping, according to a recent survey by our sister magazine Special Events (www.specialevents.com). Half of the respondents say that they are scheduling the same size events in 2002 as in 2001, and 30 percent are staging larger events. Forty percent say that they have held more events so far in 2002 than in 2001; 40 percent say the count is the same this year as last.

Special event budgets per guest are higher in 2002 than 2001, say half of respondents. Thirty percent are spending more per guest in 2002. When asked about their average annual expenditure for corporate events, the largest percentage of respondents (28.5) said they spend $99,999 or less; 16.7 percent spend between $100,000 and $249,999; 17.1 percent spend between $250,000 and $499,999; and 11.4 percent spend between $500,000 and $1 million.

Eight in 10 respondents say they try to measure return on investment for their events. Most rely on a combination of surveys, media hits, and sales results. Also, the desire to market product to customers is having the biggest impact on special events, followed by (in order): the desire to educate employees, the individual company's financial situation and post-9/11 sentiments (tie); the desire to boost employee morale and the desire to thank customers (tie); and the sluggish economy.

The survey went to 1,183 of the magazine's corporate planner readers, with 228 responding (a 22.1 response rate).