UK event budgets to decrease in 2015

Overall meeting spend and attendee rates in the UK will decrease next year, according to the American Express Meetings & Events 2015 Global Meetings Forecast.

UK event budgets to decrease in 2015
UK event budgets to decrease in 2015

The annual forecast, which was revealed this morning at EIBTM, predicts that overall meeting spend will decrease by 1.1%. This is despite budgets being predicted to increase by 4.8% in 2014.

Attendee rates are also predicted to fall in 2015, with sales and marketing meetings, conferences and internal team meetings expecting to see declines of 1.6%, 1.2% and 0.6% respectively.

Furthermore, the UK is expected to only see small increases across event types in 2015. Advisory board meetings are expected to grow by 3.3%, while conferences and trade shows will only see an increase of 1.1%.

Lisa Thompson, director, UK, American Express Meetings & Events, said: "Meeting planners in the UK will have to make the most of squeezed budgets next year. While the UK economy is improving, meetings activity is set to be more subdued in 2015, with only a small increase over the number predicted for 2014.

"Reductions in individual budget and overall spend in the UK are predicted, so meeting owners are feeling the pressure to get creative and extract maximum value from their meeting budgets."

The forecast also found that companies in the UK are organising more meetings in the European Union as a way of increasing delegates from Central Europe without pushing travel costs too high. 

A trend towards holding more meetings at airport locations has also emerged as a way of making them more accessible and increasing face to face interaction in a shorter time frame.

EIBTM kicked off today (18 November) in Barcelona, with more than 78,000 pre-scheduled appointments already confirmed between hosted buyers and exhibitors, a 20% rise on last year's show.

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