On the show floor of International Confex 2013 yesterday (20 March), the first results of the UK Economic Impact Study (UKEIS) were announced by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation.
The results aim to provide a detailed profile of the UK meetings and events industry. The project is led by the MPI Foundation, while the research has been undertaken by researchers at the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) at Leeds Metropolitan University on behalf of the UK meetings industry.
Key findings include:
- Over 1,301,600 meetings took place in the UK and attracted 116.1m attendees who accounted for spending just under £40bn in 2011
- Meetings took place in 10,127 meeting venues across the UK
- Venue occupied 60m square metres or the equivalent of over 6,000 football pitches
- Over 81 per cent of meetings were held for the corporate sector
- 64 per cent of meetings were classed as small meetings with fewer than 100 attendees; nearly 30 per cent were for between 100-500 attendees and six per cent attracted more than 500 attendees
- The most prominent income for meeting organisations was from delegate registration fees (38.1%) followed by exhibitor fees (31.6%) and sponsorship (19.5%)
- The largest expense for meeting organisations in the UK was venue hire (17.4%)
In the UK there were an estimated 1,301,600 meetings with 86 per cent taking place in England, 6.6 per cent in Scotland, 5.8 per cent in Wales and 1.6 per cent in Northern Ireland. Within England, the Greater London region hosted the most meetings (362,500) followed by the South East (163,349) and the West Midlands (143,210).
The findings were introduced by MPI Foundation International Board member and MCI Group Vice President of Industry Relations, Patrick Delaney. “The level of detail provided by this research is truly fantastic, particularly the regional and city specific information, which allows us to develop a clear picture of the sector within this country,” he said. “Ours is a growing industry, these figures show its current scale and set the benchmark for the future.”
International Confex Event Director and MPI UK & Ireland President Elect, James Samuel, said: “The UKEIS is the most important research ever undertaken by this sector and this profile data provides a clearer picture of the industry than we have ever previously had. As the figures are broken down and further information becomes available we will gain a true insight into not just the size of our sector but also its impact and position in the world around us.”
ICRETH representative Glenn Bowdin announced the details of the profile information. He said: “These profile findings are just the start of establishing the full economic picture, which will be announced at The Meetings Show UK in July 2013.”
The research team from the ICRETH has reviewed published reports and other secondary data from 2011 and analysed over 3,460 survey responses from venues, meeting organisations and destination management organisations across the UK as well as from attendees and exhibitors in the UK, France, USA, Ireland and Germany.
A in-depth look at the study will feature in the May edition of Conference News.
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