The British Meetings and Events Industry Survey 2011

This year’s British Meetings and Events Industry Survey was launched 23rd September.

The report outlines the changes in the corporate and association markets in the last twelve months and predictions for the year ahead.

The results this year reflect the volatile economic situation in the UK with an increase in smaller, shorter, events that are increasingly non-residential in nature at a wider spread of destinations for the not-for profit-sector. The corporate sector shows a 14% reduction in volume of events, with fewer attendees and fewer residential events, yet also held at a wider spread of destinations than the previous year. Around 70% of each sector do not predict more events to be held in the year ahead and the majority of respondents from each sector do not predict an increase in the volume of events they organise for the next three years.

The mean number of delegates attending associations’ main annual conference was 380, down from 418 last year. The mean number attending other events was 92, also down from 119 last year. Corporate events also experienced lower attendance figures with a mean number of 330 delegates at their main event, down from 345 last year, and 87 for other events, down from 129 last year. Interestingly up to 20% of each sector are using virtual meetings to compensate for lower actual attendance figures and extend audience reach.

The overriding issue affecting decisions of all aspects of meeting and event organisation is budget and costs, with lower budgeted daily delegate rates reported by both sectors and added value items expected in those rates. 57% of both sectors now look for discounts on multiple bookings compared to 46% last year.

 Quality of service and quality of conference facilities were both ranked more highly in importance this year, perhaps due to the lower priced venues being considered.

Some of the most dramatic results for this year’s survey relate to technologies used, with over 50% of each sector using social media to communicate with delegates before, during and after meetings. 20% of corporates and 17% of associations have used virtual meetings in addition to face to face meetings and up to 13% of both sectors have used virtual meetings instead of face to face meetings. QR codes, apps, and location aware software are already showing usage by meetings organisers taking advantage of all forms of communication to help their organisation process. Although LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter are now popular with event organisers from both sectors, they are not yet reaching the levels of attention of the traditional magazines (although readership of these may now be digital).

If you are a supplier for meetings and conference services you need to see all the results.  The survey report is available to purchase from www.meetpie.com

Get in touch if you would like more information by emailing sallygreenhill@rightsolution.co.uk or call 01442 450422.

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