New research reveals buoyant but competitive MICE market

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Meeting-room-stock-image.jpg

New research into the UK’s conference and meetings sector has revealed that, in 2016, the highest numbers of face-to-face meetings were held at UK venues since 2008.

 

This is despite, or possibly because of, the uncertainty and instability created by Brexit. The research, entitled the ‘UK Conference and Meeting Survey 2017’ (UKCAMS), estimates that the sector was worth an estimated £19.4bn in venue and destination direct spend in 2016, a rise in line with inflation compared with the estimated value of £19.2bn in 2015.

 

The ‘UK Conference and Meeting Survey’, now in its 24th year, has a specific focus on the value and volume of the market and the performance of meeting venues. It also highlights key market trends identified by venues. The results provide a definitive insight into the conference and meetings sector and are widely used to inform investment, advocacy and marketing activities.

 

The research findings show that the overall number of conferences and meetings in 2016 (an estimated 1.45m) rose by 110,000 (or eight per cent) compared with the 2015 figure of 1.34m. However, a slight decrease in the average size of events (67 delegates per event as against 70 in 2015) combined with a small reduction in the proportion of residential events meant that the overall value of the sector has remained constant rather than increased in line with the increase in meetings activity.

 

The meetings industry remains extremely competitive, and venues are constantly seeking ways to obtain an edge on their competitors. Clients are negotiating hard and research shows that price and value for money factors are key criteria for event organisers when selecting their next venues.

 

Other indicators of market buoyancy revealed by the new UKCAMS research include optimism on the part of UK venues about the prospects for future business performance, with some 59 per cent of venues predicting that business will increase further in 2017. At the same time, product investment levels are at their highest level since 2011, with over four-fifths of the survey respondents indicating that they had undertaken some capital investment in 2016.

 

Other key findings from the research include:

 

· There was an average of 419 conferences and meetings per venue in 2016 (compared with an average of 383 in 2015), the highest level in the past ten years. The majority of events were held in hotels, followed by unusual/multi-purpose venues

· Conference and training centre (536 events) and hotels (459 events) hosted higher than average numbers of events

· In 2016, there were an estimated 97.5m delegates accounting for approximately 151.2 million delegate days (compared with 94.1m delegates and 144m delegate days in 2015)

· Other important influencing factors for event organisers, as noted by venues, were the provision of free Wi-Fi, venue location and accessibility, and the availability of flexible event spaces.

 

"We believe that the ‘UK Conference and Meeting Survey 2017’ provides further confirmation of the energy and vitality of the conference and meetings sector," commented Tony Rogers, who has been involved with this research since its inception in 1993. "It also offers an invaluable insight into the sector’s scale and characteristics, and into current and emerging trends. It is essential reading for all who want to keep abreast of the sector’s changing dynamics and growth potential."

 

The 2017 UKCAMS research was sponsored by: IMEX Group, venuedirectory.com, Visit Guildford for Business, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, and Hiscox Event Insurance.

 

The research was carried out by Tony Rogers of Tony Rogers Conference & Event Services and Richard Smith of RJS Associates.

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Ripping up the rule book

Automechanika is a well-known global brand, so what happened when it launched in the UK?

Ireland’s leading Exhibition Organiser is looking for a new leader

SDL Exhibitions Ltd has been organising highly successful exhibitions in Europe’s fast growing economy for over 40 years and the proprietors wish to step back from the day to day running of the business.

Comexsposium to acquire organiser MFV

Comexposium Group has announced its entry into an agreement to acquire the group MFV, organiser of The Franchise Show in London.

Elsewhere on EN

UFI and Explori sign three-year partnership

UFI and Explori sign three-year partnership

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has signed a three-year research partnership deal with London based insight specialists, Explori.
Media 10 summer party gives back to the community

Media 10 summer party gives back to the community

On 30 June, local pensioners were invited to a morning of live entertainment and high tea put on by Media10, with a fundraising initiative supporting charity War Child and a rare Spitfire performance.
Major new event campus coming to Newcastle Gateshead

Major new event campus coming to Newcastle Gateshead

A new multi million pound, state-of-the-art entertainment arena, and conference and exhibition centre is set for the North East, as plans by Gateshead Council push forward.

Poken by GES

Most read Stories

And the #ENAwards finalists are…

And the #ENAwards finalists are…

The countdown timer has run out. After weeks of companies submitting award entries and sweating over it, there is just one thing left to do before the big night: Announce the shortlist.
RDS launches RDS Venue brand

RDS launches RDS Venue brand

Philanthropic organisation the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) has announced that RDS Venue will be launched as a separate visual identity from the main RDS brand.
EN Awards People Finalists revealed

EN Awards People Finalists revealed

The first group of the highly anticipated shortlist for the EN Awards has been announced, including Best Newcomer and Best Event Director categories.

Latest Features

Ripping up the rule book

Ripping up the rule book

Automechanika is a well-known global brand, so what happened when it launched in the UK?
On the road

On the road

Ed Vickery head of drpexhibition, discusses driveable, portable, and innovative exhibitions.
Standing out from the crowd

Standing out from the crowd

EN meets the industry’s stand designers, who are helping change the face of exhibitions around the globe.

Latest Galleries

East of England Arena and Events Centre open day

East of England Arena and Events Centre open day

Following a refurbishment, rebrand and £4.4m investment, the East of England Arena and Events centre opened to event professionals on 21 June to explains developments at the venue and provide an insight into future plans. Guests were also treated to a once in a lifetime experience in various classic cars and more unusual vehicles.
London Dungeon Lates

London Dungeon Lates

The London Dungeons has launched a unique nighttime experience with the theme of the seven deadly sins. The adults only tour includes seven themed food offerings and a range of themed drinks.
This Morning Live

This Morning Live

Tens of thousands of fans descended on the NEC on 18-21 May for This Morning Live, to see talent from ITVs award-winning daytime programme arrive in style.

Latest Opinions

Going all out

Going all out

Lee Moulson, regional head of sales at Cheltenham Racecourse and the South West region of The Jockey Club, says seeing a client’s beaming smile cannot be bettered.
In any event...

In any event...

In his regular column, David Chalmers, Cvent ’s senior marketing director – Europe, speculates on the fate of the large trade show.
Ticking all the boxes

Ticking all the boxes

Paul Edwards, operations director at deckle edge, examines the minefield that is health and safety.