How event planners are coping with short lead times

Lara Owen Reporter, C&IT
How event planners are coping with short lead times

Event planners are struggling with short lead times. In the current climate of our uncertain economy, suppliers are unable to book incentives off the cuff far in advance. This leaves both parties in a catch 22…

In S4 Ep 8 of the RSVP podcast, Ami Dorkings, Senior Project Manager at Penguin Events, discussed the anxieties around being given incredibly short lead times. “People are still a bit nervous about booking things, and especially with incentives it’s a perception thing - they can’t be seen to be spending loads of money if we’re going into a recession, or the company hasn’t performed as well.” Dorkings says.

“Then all of a sudden they realise they’ve got the budget and they’re like ‘oh we should probably do something but we still want to do it in September’ leaving four weeks for us to plan an incentive, as opposed to the usual 18 months timeline.”

C&IT’s recent survey asked event planners what they were doing to survive the short lead times. 91% said they were managing client expectations from the offset, starting all projects with a frank discussion of what's possible. 11% told C&IT compromise was key - accepting that most ideas are unachievable with most lead times given.

“Incentives have changed from what we once knew them as - you’re no longer dangling the carrot” Dorkings says, “companies are rewarding workers after they’ve done the work. It’s recognition as opposed to incentivisation.” 

What are your thoughts on short lead times - are they here for good? Or are they a sign of the times? Let us know at

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