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April 16, 2008
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BACD to use Confex database for future research




Following widespread criticism of its UK venue survey carried out earlier in the year, the British Association of Conference Destinations will be using the Confex Group database for future research.

The findings suggested that spending on events had gone down compared with 2006, yet all venues said business was on the up, which was somewhat surprising, as EVENTS:review pointed out at the time. It turns out that the reason for the seemingly contrasting feedback was that only 12% of those surveyed were based in London and Birmingham, with 15% of replies coming from Scotland and 27% from Yorkshire, where costs are much lower, hence the anomaly with regards to event spending.

“The BACD will now be able to draw on the database accumulated by exhibitions International Confex and the National Venue Show, and events directory Conference Blue and Green,” explained Duncan Reid (job title). “We will also actively encourage the industry to contribute to future BACD surveys through face-to-face contact at our shows and via email, to further help improve the sample size and make up.

“The industry is crying out for decent research that can help us win marketers’ mindshare and convince companies of the effectiveness of events,” Reid continued.

With the Confex Group and the BACD having worked in partnership for several years, it does seem unusual that the destination organisation hasn’t exploited the access it has had to this database before. The events industry will certainly be watching the BACD’s next survey with interest to see if, with the Confex Group’s assistance, a far more robust and representative set of statistics can be achieved. After all, more than any form of advertising, good research is a guaranteed way of generating column inches in the press and a much more effective way of engaging with marketers.


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