Eventia survey estimates UK conference and business events worth £18.8bn

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A new survey by industry association Eventia estimates the economic impact of the UK conference and business events market to be worth £18.8bn. The 2010 ‘UK Events Market Trends Survey’ (UKEMTS) comes from a supply-side perspective, and is based on data supplied by a sample of 403 venues from across the UK. The £18.8bn includes spend at venues and in the wider destination by delegates and organisers and is further confirmation of the vital importance and scope of the events sector to the national economy. Other key findings include:  There were an estimated 94m attendances at events in 2009 (an estimated 1.32m events with an average attendance of 71 people) There was an average of 379 events per venue in 2009, down slightly on 2008 (391 events per venue). Hotels and conference/training centres typically hosted more events than other types of venue, with hotels accounting for 61 per cent of all business events A further tightening of budgets and a highly price-sensitive market manifested in: more negotiation on rates; shopping around by event organisers seeking better value for money; reduced spend on catering; organisers opting for room-only rather than day delegate packages; and increased use of in-house facilities Shorter lead times for bookings. Events are most commonly booked two to eight weeks in advance (36 per cent) The average duration of events (1.6 days) remained similar to previous years, although two in three events lasted for only one day or less Venues are more optimistic about business prospects than a year ago. 65 per cent of respondents are planning to invest in their property in 2010, nine per cent spending in excess of £1m. Even so, 35 per cent of venues are not planning any investment in 2010 Eventia CEO, Izania Downie, described the survey as “a crucial barometer of what’s happening in the events sector. Eventia has now been able to provide a robust estimate for the value of our sector, something the industry has long needed. We shall be using this figure and the other market intelligence revealed in this survey for education, marketing and advocacy purposes.” The 2010 UKEMTS survey was carried out on behalf of Eventia by Tony Rogers (of Tony Rogers Conference and Event Services) and Richard Smith (of TEAM Tourism Consulting). Copies of the survey, priced at £175, may be ordered from Eventia (www.eventia.org.uk)   
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