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Event numbers down but future looks brighter

Eventia, the official trade body of the events and live marketing industry, has just revealed research that indicates the impact of the recession on the UK business events sector.

In its survey entitled ‘UK Events Market Trends Survey 2011′ (UKEMTS11), Eventia shows that the overall value of the UK business events market fell by 13 per cent in 2010 compared with 2009. Although the number of events staged – some 1.3 million – was similar, the level of expenditure generated fell from £18.8 to £16.3 billion. This includes spend at venues and expenditure in the wider destination by organisers and delegates.

Whereas 26 per cent of events were residential in 2009, only 21 per cent were in 2010. The average event duration stayed the same at 1.5 days, but 68 per cent of events in 2010 lasted one day or less, compared to 64 per cent in 2009.

On a brighter note, the research shows that venue managers are optimistic about prospects for 2011, with 42 per cent anticipating that business will increase and 36 per cent expecting that it will remain the same. Interestingly, the figures also reveal a resurgence in corporate sector events, which accounted for 51 per cent of all events staged – compared to just 47 per cent in 2009.

The UKEMTS11 report is compiled from data supplied by a representative sample of 360 venues across the UK and is supported by major events industry organisations including VisitEngland, drpgroup, Conference News, Accor Hotels, Conference Centres of Excellence and Event Assured. Eventia Chairman, Rob Allen, commented, “UKEMTS is a crucial barometer of what’s happening in the business events sector and should be required reading for anyone who needs an informed view of the trends and changes in our sector. We shall be using the trends and other market intelligence revealed in this survey for education, marketing and advocacy purposes.”

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