Association boom, corporate dip on £823m Manchester conference market

Conferences and business events generated £823m for Greater Manchester’s economy during 2013 according to the new Conference Value and Volume 2014 study commissioned by Marketing Manchester.
The figure, broadly stable with the £822m reported for 2011, represents the income to businesses in the Greater Manchester area due to conference and business events hosted during 2013.
There was a massive 76 per cent increase in economic impact from the association market, up from £185m in 2011 (when the last study was undertaken) to £325m in 2013. This exponential growth was mirrored by an increase in the number of overseas delegates attending a conference or business event in Greater Manchester, which grew by 64 per cent from 171,000 to 281,000 over the period.
Overall Greater Manchester welcomed 4.9m delegates and serviced 7.9m delegate days throughout 2013. These figures were down slightly on 2011 figures and boom in association business was offset by a fall in the number of overall conference and business events from 65,600 in 2011 to 59,200 in 2013. The decrease was largely due to fewer public, government and corporate events hosted during the period.
Commenting on the results of the study, Andrew Stokes, Chief Executive at Marketing Manchester, said: “The value of conference and business events to Greater Manchester remains significant at £823m. We are now attracting higher spending delegates, increasingly from overseas markets and this has made up the shortfall where fewer events have been held.
“The steady growth of the association market is particularly significant because in recent years the ‘Team Manchester’ partnership has increasingly targetted the sector as a central part of Greater Manchester’s overall economic development strategy. Not only do association meetings have a higher economic value, but they are also intrinsically linked to our academic and industry strengths, creating invaluable opportunities for the transfer of knowledge and allowing Greater Manchester to truly stand out on the global stage.”
Stokes added that solid foundations had been laid to grow this target market and that Marketing Manchester would continue to focus on association opportunities.
The Conference Value & Volume 2014 study was commissioned by Marketing Manchester and carried out by TEAM Tourism Consulting who also undertook the 2010 and 2012 studies.

Thirty Manchester venues were in London’s Banking Hall for meetings and networking with buyers last night (9 September), as part of the annual Manchester Live event.
Do you have news for CN? Email: Paul Colston

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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