Eventia trends survey notes 10% drop in venue business

Eventia’s 2009 UK Events Market Trends Survey (UKEMTS), previously known as the British Conference Venues Survey, shows the UK events market suffered a 10 per cent downturn in venue revenues over the period 2006-08.

The survey is based on data supplied by 512 UK venues (compared with 446 in 2008), which Eventia claims represents almost 15 per cent of the UK’s business events venue market.

The UKEMTS 2009 values the business done at UK venues over 2006-08 at £7.2 billion, compared with £8 billion in the three-year period 2005-7.

Events per venue fell, on average, to 375 in 2006-8 (compared with 396 in 2005-7) the new survey found, and there were fewer residential events.

Other key findings include:

  • An estimated 67m attendances at events in 2008 (each with an average attendance of 51 people)
  • A general tightening of budgets with more negotiation on rates and reduced spend on catering
  • A further shortening of lead times for events, a longer wait for confirmations and increased cancellations
  • Forty-four per cent of venues have postponed product investments and refurbishments originally planned for 2009. A third were still planning to invest in excess of £100k and nine per cent will be spending over £1m. University and academic venues, in particular, anticipate substantial product investment in 2009
  • The investments in infrastructure and facilities enjoyed by most city destinations over the past couple of decades are reaping benefits. These venues hosted on average 447 events a year, well above the overall average.

Izania Downie, Eventia CEO, says the UKEMTS is a crucial barometer of what’s happening in the events sector and adds that Eventia will complement this supply-side research “with leading edge buyer research later this year”.

Copies of the survey, priced at £175, may be ordered from Eventia: www.eventia.org.uk

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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