Research from Meetings Industry Association found that average Daily Delegate Rates (DDR) rose 3% from January to July, compared to the same period in 2018, according to the Meetings Industry Association (mia).
But many in the events industry have expressed fears of a slowdown as we approach the Brexit deadline of 31 October.
The latest research found enquiry levels, the number of meetings, average daily and 24-hour residential rates of mia members as well as the average number of meetings held in the first six months of 2019 fell by 15% compared to the same period in 2018.
Mia chief executive Jane Longhurst said: "We have seen a positive start to 2019, which reflects a reasonable level of confidence among our members.
"However, as we approach the Brexit deadline of 31 October, it is likely that many organisations will be holding back on major events until we know the outcome, so venues are advised to look at innovative ways to convert enquiries and help them continue to ride the storm."
In 2018, mia said UK MICE sector had a strong start to the year, with meeting bookings up 10%.
Top sectors for turnover
As part of the Soti: Agency report 2019, the top 50 agencies were asked what types of events planners have organised in the last year.
The IT sector brought in the most business for UK event agencies this year, with 46% of agencies saying it was among their top three sectors for business in the last 12 months, up from 35.7% last year.
Some 37% (down from 60%) of agencies say financial services was one of their top three sectors for turnover.
This was followed by automotive, which fell from 35.7% to 16% in the last 12 months, while pharmaceutical was 28% compared with 34.2% previously.
Among the ‘other’ sectors chosen, were print, aviation, gaming, security, insurance, utilities, energy, education and HR.
At the other end of the scale, charity was reported by only 0.3% and industrial by just 0.6%.
Most popular event types
Conferences were the most popular type of event among agencies, with 67% involved in employee conferences, 66% in client conferences, 27% in industry, and 10% in association conferences, as one of their top five most common event-types.
Meetings fell in priority compared to last year, with both incentives and exhibitions reported by 45% of agencies.
Next up was meetings, followed by product launches, incentives and exhibitions.
Corporate hospitality, team building and training were less popular but business in product launches and roadshows was reported by 30% and 36% of agencies respectively.
This article is part of C&IT’s State of the Industry Agency Report.
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