Agencies optimistic about UK economic growth figures

Event agencies have reacted positively to the latest figures revealing that the UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014.

Agencies optimistic about UK economic growth figures
Agencies optimistic about UK economic growth figures

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) follows April’s IPA Bellwether Report, which revealed that event budgets had risen by 6.2% during the same period.

Rick Stainton, managing director at Smyle, said: "We are noticing better conversations with clients as briefs are more speculative and are supported by bigger budgets.

"Last year companies started to budget for an economic recovery and now the money is beginning to cascade down, with events seeing the positive effects of this. We have had a pharmaceutical client double its activity with us and the automotive sector is at a record high in the UK."

The figures mark the longest positive run of GDP growth since the financial crisis.

Jane Baker, commercial director, CWT Meetings & Events, said: "We are definitely seeing both an uplift in the number of events enquiries and the budget size. For March 2014, our venue-finding team have seen an increase in budgets of around 34% versus March 2013.

"We are expecting similar trends across our live events team where we are seeing a particular boost in the number of incentive event requests. Consumer confidence is definitely back and business confidence is following suit."

Head of project management at DRP Group, Nick Ruffles, said that as the economy picks up so too will costs: "Event budgets are going to have to increase because the cost of everything is going up.

"All sectors have realised that they have to take a different perspective than they had five years ago, but we are forecasting for a continued rise in budgets."

However, in the wake of an election and with interest rates likely to increase by 2015, issues on the horizon could dent future growth. Stainton added: "Confidence and nervousness is usually very mixed during an election as businesses are unsure how the Government’s economic strategy will fair.

"The ongoing situation in Ukraine could also dent confidence."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Speakers announced for C&IT Northern Forum

Speakers announced for C&IT Northern Forum

New event takes place between 25-26 April at ACC Liverpool, with inspiring sessions from industry leaders.

Is ROE the new ROI for event managers?

Is ROE the new ROI for event managers?

Mike Leeson, general manager Europe, ETM, explains how personalisation of events can lead to better measurements of impact on customers.

Oman to welcome IGRC in 2020

Oman to welcome IGRC in 2020

Sultanate to host the International Gas Union's 16th International Gas Research Conference at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Events company faces legal action from makers of video game Fortnite

Events company faces legal action from makers of video game Fortnite

Epic Games issues claim against Exciting Events after widely criticised event in Norwich.

Diary of a delegate: Beautiful Bergen

Diary of a delegate: Beautiful Bergen

A three-day account of the C&IT A-List FAM trip, in partnership with Visit Norway.

Case study: Space to Breathe wellness event

Case study: Space to Breathe wellness event

Center Parcs hosted a wellness event for clients including MIA, Experian and the University of Nottingham.

The future of event feedback

The future of event feedback

A look at how new technology is changing the nature of feedback for event planners.

SevenEvents hires new project manager

SevenEvents hires new project manager

Jade Davies joins from Touch Associates and her new role will include developing client relationships.

Cievents VP talks US market trends, challenges and opportunities

Cievents VP talks US market trends, challenges and opportunities

Alison Howlett, vice president of live events, talks about creating business opportunities, US trends and popular destinations.

Case study: PPA Festival at Tobacco Dock

Case study: PPA Festival at Tobacco Dock

The Professional Publishers Association held an education festival in May 2018 with guest speakers including politicians and actors.

LATEST JOBS