UKEMTS 2012 shows optimism returning at venues

Trade association Eventia has identified greater optimism among venue managers in its latest, 2012 UK Events Market Trends Survey (UKEMTS) research, published 15 June.

The survey, undertaken in various forms annually since 1993, offers volume and key trends data for the UK conference and business events market from a supply-side or venue perspective.

Eighty-nine per cent of venue managers expect business in 2012 to be better than 2011, while one in five venues are planning capital investment projects worth upwards of £100,000 in 2012.

UKEMTS 2012 is compiled from data supplied by a representative sample of 302 UK venues, which Eventia estimates is 8.6 per cent of a total UK conference venue universe of 3,500.

Key findings from the latest report include:

  • There were an estimated 103m delegate attendances at events in 2011 (an estimated 1.3m events with an average attendance of 80 people, slightly higher than the average of 76 delegates in 2010)
  • There was an average of 369 events per venue in 2011, on a par with 2010 (an average of 371 events per venue). Conference and training centres, university venues and hotels typically hosted more events than other types of venue. However, in terms of market share, hotels accounted for 61 per cent of all business events
  • A resurgence in corporate sector events, which accounted for 57 percent of all events staged (51 per cent in 2010 and just 47 per cent in 2009), stability in association events (21 per cent, the same as 2010) and a substantial fall in public sector events, down from 37 per cent in 2009 and 28 per cent in 2010 to 23 per cent in 2011
  • Venues perceive ‘price’ and ‘value for money’ as the single most important influence for buyers (scoring 93 per cent). Other key factors on venue selection include shorter lead times (76 per cent), increased competition from cheaper venues and in-house facilities (69 per cent), and lower catering spend or events being organised to avoid meal times (56 per cent).

UKEMTS 2012 was sponsored by drpgroup, Accor Hotels, Conference Centres of Excellence, Event Assured, and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and forms the first part of a major investment in research in 2012 by the business events sector in the UK.

Part two, to commence shortly, will comprise the first-ever UK Economic Impact Survey (UKEIS), a collaboration powered by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation and using the United Nations standard methodology for measuring the economic significance and characteristics of the meetings and business events sector.

Rob Allen, Eventia Chairman and Executive Chairman of agency TRO, said: “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.”

Copies of the full report are available from Eventia priced £175. Visit

Do you have news for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.nest

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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