Events down but delegate numbers up in 2013, says EVCOM research

Delegate numbers increased in 2013, but the overall volume of events was down slightly, according to new research from industry association EVCOM.

Dale Parmenter, chairman of EVCOM
Dale Parmenter, chairman of EVCOM

The 2014 ‘UK Events Market Trends Survey’ (UKEMTS) research revealed there was an estimated 1.25 million business events in the UK, compared with 1.3 million in 2012.  

However, there were an estimated 91 million delegates (85.5 million in 2012) accounting for approximately 148 million business event days (140 million in 2012).  

Other key findings from the survey of 413 venues include:  

  • Average daily achieved rates by venues were on a par with 2012 (£42 including VAT) but residential rates rose to an average of £136 including VAT compared with £129 in 2012. 
  • 64% of reporting venues expect business to be up in 2014 and 30% project that it will be at a similar level to 2013 – only 6% foresee a decline in business.
  • About four-fifths of venues (79%) had undertaken some investment in 2013. While this proportion was the same as 2012, the levels of investment were slightly up in 2013, with a higher proportion (28%) investing more than £100k than in 2012 (23%). 
  • Key demands from buyers were for meeting packages customised and tailored to their specific needs (as opposed to standard, off-the-shelf day delegate and residential packages), together with a requirement for spaces within venues conducive to different meeting objectives (e.g. one-to-one conversations, informal gatherings, presentations, etc.).  

"It is very clear that, while the market is showing real signs of recovery, there is absolutely no scope for complacency among business event venues," commented Dale Parmenter, EVCOM chairman and managing director of DRP Group. "The intensity of competition and dynamic nature of event organisation, combined with new and evolving demands from buyers require venue managers to be thinking innovatively and reacting creatively in order to gain a vital edge in a fiercely competitive market."  

413 venues took part in the 2014 study, 11.8 per cent of the universe of 3,500 primary venues used as the basis for the research. The number of reporting venues was significantly higher than in 2013 when 224 venues participated.

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