New mia Touchstone report shows 10% rise in number of meetings

Total numbers of meetings and events rose 10% in June and July, compared to April/May this year, according to the first quarterly results from the Meeting Industry Association (mia)’s Edition 1 Quarterly Summary Touchstone report, CN can reveal.

Over 100 mia members submitted returns, and the analysis of the figures now offer a flavour of average meetings numbers and rates, both regionally and nationally in the UK. The full results include a breakdown for types of venue, provide thought-provoking insights into DDR and how our industry is performing.

Headline statistics include a peak in meetings in July’s figures, with an average of 64 meetings and 22 events per venue reported by contributors to the report.

If these numbers reflect a recovery in the wider economy since the May election, the downside, at least for venues, would appear to be average rates for day delegates falling back to around £36 in July from just over £40 in April, while 24-hour residential rates have also fallen marginally by 2% over the same period, to £142.

Hotels and academic venues achieved similar levels of 24-hour rates over the last quarter, but are typically at least 15% higher than residential conference centres.

The results already in for August, which will form part of the Quarter 3 research report, appear to indicate a trend for residential rates to fall further, with DDRs lying flat.

Each participant in the survey logged an average of 148 enquiries per month.

The Touchstone report tool is free of charge to mia members who contribute to the data, while non-mia members have the opportunity to try Touchstone free of charge for the first three months.

Ellie Jones, business development manager at Alton Towers Resort, says: “It is going to be great to see some clear trends emerging as the months go by. It will be interesting to see to what extent the figures reflect industry trends, as well as peaks and troughs that occur throughout the calendar year.

“The report can help us to plan our rate, sales and marketing strategies in relation to corporate events and has been useful for me to forward onto my colleagues within the business.”

Jane Longhurst, mia’s chief executive believes Touchstone will provide a real benchmark for the industry going forward: “An enormous amount of data is generated by the meetings industry on a daily basis that, with regular analysis, can provide valuable insight and information about your business and that of your competitors both regionally and nationally.

“This online resource is already an invaluable tool to businesses and individuals and we intend to continue to develop the Touchstone research and reports to deliver valuable business information to support our members and the wider industry.”

On a monthly basis, subscribers access the system and answer five questions covering rates achieved, demand, and meetings and events held. The Touchstone analytical tool does the rest, says the mia.

For full information and to register to Touchstone, visit: www.mia-uk.org/research-library.

Touchstone research is produced by the mia in partnership with the Confex Group.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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