The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) has surveyed its 84 agency members to gauge the impact of the European economy on the meetings and events sector.
Research shows that after the 2009-2010 economic crises, agency members experienced a dip in overseas venue finding enquiries, but have seen an upsurge of 60% in the number of international briefs in the last two years.
However, the increase is characterised by shortened lead-in times, smaller events and an overall reduction in spend.
HBAA vice chairman and Zibrant managing director Chris Parnham said: "We are seeing fewer large meetings, and an increased number of smaller meetings, which are being booked with shorter lead times. About 75% of small meetings are now being booked within two weeks of the delivery date."
Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands continue as key destinations, however, Greece and Portugal have seen notable declines. Grass Roots HBI managing director Des McLaughlin explained: "Clients are nervous of Greece and their defaulting - and of the on-going strikes which disrupt events."
Trinity Conferences managing director Jacqui Kavanagh said she had seen fewer bookings in countries that are "economically unsettled", while "even the hint of civil unrest or disruption can mean that a destination will be entirely dismissed by bookers".
Meanwhile, Paragon Europe managing director Jacqui Loftus added that "although budget and lead-times have been cut, the client’s expectation of quality remains high".