In a recent survey by CMI's sister magazine Special Events, 80 percent of in-house corporate event pros predicted that their companies' spending on events in 2004 would be on par with or better than 2003 spending. One-third of respondents said that spending would be up next year.

When asked how many events (including galas, recognition dinners, company picnics, etc.) their organizations stage annually, 39 percent said six to 19 events — a healthy number. The second-highest percentage, 28 percent, plan between one and five events a year. Almost 18 percent plan between 20 and 49 events annually.

A surprising 24 percent of respondents said they would stage more events next year than this year, while 68 percent said the number would remain the same. When asked if their company's spending on corporate special events in 2003 increased, decreased, or stayed constant with last year's levels, 28 percent said it had remained the same. But the majority (32 percent) said it had increased, in most cases by 1 percent to 5 percent.

How will the number of events you stage in 2004 compare with 2003?
More 24%
The Same 68%
Fewer 8%

When asked what their organizations' approximate expenditures on corporate special events will be in 2003 (including catering, AV, staging, entertainment, DMCs, planner's fees, venue costs, etc.), 26 percent came in under $100,000; 22 percent between $101,000 and $250,000; 12 percent between $251,000 and half a million; and 12 percent between half a million and a million dollars.

A total of 1,235 Special Events subscribers categorized as “in-house event planners” participated in the survey, which had a response rate of 14.1 percent.