CONCORD, MA—About 96% of event planners have rescheduled an event originally planned for the spring or summer of 2020, according to a survey by Tripleseat.
“The most impactful finding from the survey was that three-fourths of event planners surveyed are postponing their events to sometime later this year, where only one-fourth of respondents are planning to postpone to January 2021 and beyond,” said Whitney Edwards, account manager, Tripleseat. “What I gather from this is that people are still pushing to host events this year and think that business will come back as fast as it is safe. Another notable finding is that 96% of planners are rescheduling, not canceling.”
Most planners are moving events to late summer or beyond, with the top three timeframes being September (29%); January 2021 or after (24%); and August (16%).
The majority of these events are corporate events, with 76% of respondents reporting that they are planning conferences, meetings, networking parties and other activities for businesses. Thirty-three percent of planners said they are working on social events, such as reunions, birthday parties, graduation parties or baby showers. Holiday parties were the third-largest category, at 21%. Weddings are next, at 18%, with planners saying they’re involved with rehearsal dinners, receptions or bridal showers. The rest of the events—17%—include fundraisers, art festivals, music festivals, educational workshops and other types of events.
As planners start to work on their future events, they’re looking for specific information and practices from restaurants and venues:
- Booking and cancellation policies (74.7%)
- Cleaning and safety protocols (53.7%)
- Specials and incentives for booking events (36.8%)
- Video conferencing capabilities (36.8%)
- Venue availability (41.1%)
- Deadlines for event setups, equipment needs, meal counts, etc. (15.8%)
“Lastly, the finding that planners are concerned about booking procedures and cancellations proves that event professionals want to know that venues will work with them to postpone and need to know your cancellation policy upfront,” she said. “At Tripleseat, our recommendation is to be extremely clear with this, and for restaurants and venues to think about adding clauses now for if this happens again in the future.”