Are planners everywhere looking for the same things in a destination or venue, or are we all just easing our own unique concerns? According to the 2023 International Planner Sentiment Report recently released by The Business of Events, an independent think tank serving the events sector, one major shared concern being felt across the globe is getting the most for your money, while quality, sustainability and DEI rank highly as priorities.

The International Planner Sentiment Report illustrates the current thinking of event buyers from a range of disciplines across the UK, Europe and North America in terms of their priorities when selecting a destination or venue. An audience comprising corporate, association and agency planners were surveyed over a two-week period during May 2023. The questions were focused on those areas planners considered to be important when selecting a destination or major venue in the current environment.

Tracking the data from 2022, the report indicates a relatively stable level of sentiment from planners. However, the importance of skills, equity and sustainability have all tracked higher this year, reflecting the increasing importance of those areas within the events sector, and the focus that has been on them during the past 12 months. North America is an outlier in that it ranks safety and security as more important than its peers across the globe.

Other key highlights of the 2023 data include:

  • Cost and value for money remain high across all buyer markets.
  • Venue quality and quality of welcome are both seen as highly important and, as with 2022, are of significant importance to the North American market.
  • Sustainability is tracking on average 1.5 points higher across all regions, although it remains lower within the North American market.
  • Both skills and talent, and equity and diversity are tracking 1 point higher across all markets.
  • Destination brand and market support remain high in importance, but are stable compared to 2022.
  • Accessibility and ease of travel continue to be tracking at the top in terms of sentiment.
  • North American planners again regard safety and security the highest importance of all three regions compared to 2022, ranking it 10, although the UK is tracking higher than usual, perhaps due to the debate surrounding the forthcoming Protect Duty legislation in the UK.

Martin Fullard, the director of news and content, The Business of Events, summarizes, “As you would expect to see, cost and value for money remain a key factor in decision-making when it comes to selecting a destination or venue, although more so among UK planners than in Europe and North America. Predictably, accessibility and ease of travel also tracks highly, so destinations with better air and rail links will find themselves at an advantage. Sustainability is tracking 1.5 points higher in all regions than in 2022, although North America is lagging behind the UK and Europe, although safety and security is ranked far higher among U.S. planners.”

Download the 2023 International Planner Sentiment Report at