While the number of events staged, approximately 1.3m, was similar, the level of expenditure they generated reduced from £18.8bn to £16.3bn. This expenditure includes spend at venues (on delegate rates and accommodation) and spend in the wider destination by organisers and delegates.
Residential events are a vital component of the business mix for many venues, as well as being key drivers of economic benefit for the destinations in which these events are held. In 2010 only 21 per cent of events were residential, compared with 26 per cent in 2009. And, although average event duration stayed the same at 1.5 days, most events (68 per cent) lasted one day or less (64 per cent in 2009).
However, venue managers do reveal greater optimism about prospects for 2011, with 42 per cent expecting that business will increase and 36 per cent anticipating that it will remain the same.
UKEMTS is an annual survey commissioned by event association Eventia, providing a vital insight into the current state of the business events industry from a supply-side perspective. The 2011 report is compiled from data supplied by a representative sample of 360 venues from across the UK, 10.3 per cent of the universe of 3,500 venues used as the basis for research analysis. It is supported by major event industry organisations, including VisitEngland, drpgroup, Conference News, Accor Hotels, Conference Centres of Excellence and Event Assured.
The 2011 survey was carried out on behalf of Eventia by Tony Rogers (of Tony Rogers Conference & Event Services) and Richard Smith (of TEAM Tourism Consulting).
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