Spending on meetings and delegate numbers are both growing strongly year on year in 2017, according the new HBAA Meetings Barometer.
The first HBAA Meetings Barometer, developed in partnership with The MeetingsBenchmark Ltd, shows that average spend per meeting in the UK has risen from £1,624 in the first six months of 2016 to £2,133 in the same period this year, an increase of 31%.
Total spending on meetings with HBAA members in that period was £70.6m compared with £64.8m last year, an increase of 9 per cent. In the same period, average spend per delegate increased by 29%, from £72.87 to £93.83.
Another factor that is driving up the average spend per meeting is the growing number of delegates. The average meeting size this year to the end of June is up 12% to 55 compared with 49 a year ago. Yet the average Daily Delegate Rate has decreased very slightly, from £33.29 to £32.94.
It is also interesting to see that the average lead-time for meetings is increasing, often an indication of growing confidence in planning. It has increased from an average of 66 days last year to 79 days this year while average conversion time has increased from 16.8 days in early 2016 to 17.5 days in the first half of this year.
Where the meetings business was placed around the country in the first half of this year is fascinating. While London, not surprisingly, was the most popular place capturing £24.6m of meetings business, Birmingham was not far behind with £23.6m. Glasgow was third with £7.7m closely followed by Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.
Louise Goalen, HBAA chair said; “Our first Meetings Barometer has certainly produced some fascinating and often encouraging revelations. This gives a real-time snapshot of trends, and is so valuable to all in the industry when forecasting, budgeting or responding to RFPs.”