Event buyers slash venue spending, says survey

More than two-thirds of in-house event managers have cut back on venue-bookings in favour of internal meetings, according to a survey by Conferences-UK.

Conferences-UK
Conferences-UK

As a result of the credit crunch, 69% of respondents said they were hosting more internal meetings while 61% confessed that web conferencing and telephone calls had reduced their demand for physical space.

More than a third had also reduced their spend-per-delegate since last year.

Venue-booking agency Conferences-UK surveyed 350 event planners and venue managers.

Three-quarters of venue managers said cost was now the most important factor affecting the decisions of bookers, replacing previous priorities such as location, outside space and accessibility.

Asked about the future outlook for the conference industry, 40% of all respondents thought recovery would be a gradual process of up to three years, while a third predict a full recovery by 2011.

Conferences-UK managing director Simon Thompson said: "There is a general consensus that the hospitality industry is riding the storm and will be even better as the recession passes over."

He added that venues were more adaptable than ever before and 68% of survey respondents had taken advantage of money-saving offers such as free accommodation, lower minimum numbers and repeat booking discounts.

"Venues have broadened their appeal and come up with some good alternatives to help them compete against new technology and crunched budgets," said Thompson.

 

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