The UK meetings and events industry has experienced a rise in the
price per head by 14.7%, according to the Event Economy Tracker by the
Business of Events. The Q1 2O23 results by Venue Performance reveal that
this figure marginally exceeds inflation. This increase shows that the
industry has been able to maintain its value proposition for attendees.
Statistics at a glance:
· January and February were slower months, with Q1 ‘saved’ by a strong March
· In Q1 2023, the average lead time was 64 days (Q1 2022 was 54 days)
· Delegate sizes have dropped to 74 pax on average
· Meetings are more prevalent than conferences in the industry.
March 2023 saw a boost due to a combination of end-of-year budgets
and greater optimism in the economy after it avoided recession, although
Q2 of 2023 is forecast to be a tricky period for the industry. The
impact of Easter and three bank holidays in May is expected to lower the
number of bookings for events. This highlights the continued
uncertainty in the industry and the need for event planners to remain
flexible and adaptive to changes in the market.
Meetings are generally being considered one-day events in which the
group engages with themselves, while a conference is defined as an event
with staging and speakers addressing an audience. This suggests that
attendees are more comfortable with smaller, more intimate events rather
than larger-scale conferences.
Short lead times remain a trend in the industry. However, Q4 2022 saw
a higher average lead time of 87 days, although this figure will be
somewhat skewed by Christmas parties and other seasonal events.
Martin Fullard, director, News & Content, The Business of Events,
said there broadly remains a strong appetite for conferences and
meetings in the UK, and the market is returning to more sustainable
levels after the heights seen in 2022.
He added that the cost of living continues to bite, forcing the
supply chain to pass costs on to event planners, and the upcoming months
will prove another big test for the industry’s resilience.
Venue Performance provides benchmarking, market analysis and performance insights for the meetings and events industry.