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April 16, 2008
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Corporates hungry for events and CSR




The UK conference market has seen an increase of 27% in the volume of its corporate event business upon last year, making this the most significant increase in the industry since 1999, according to the results from this year’s UK Conference Market Survey (UKCMS), which was published recently.

Also notable is the increase in the association sectors average spend per meeting, which has risen by 22% upon last year, up from £39 per day delegate rate to £47.40 per day delegate rate in 2007.

“Confidence in the City over the past year has been reflected in the rise in meeting and event bookings within the corporate and association sector across the whole of the UK,” commented Jane Evans, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Alliance (MIA), which commissioned the report from The Right Solution. “It is encouraging to see associations investing more in their meetings and events and contributing towards our ever expanding industry.”

The report also reveals that UK businesses have predicted more emphasis will be placed on corporate social responsibility (CSR) when booking meetings and events over the next 10 years.

For the first time this year, respondents to UKCMS were asked about the influence of CSR when booking meetings and events. All corporate event organisers surveyed suggested that CSR already greatly influenced some aspects of their event bookings, and 77% predicted that it will become even more of an influence over the next 10 years.

“It is encouraging to see that corporate event buyers are now considering the CSR impact of their chosen venue as a decisive factor when booking meetings, conferences or events,” commented Evans. “Green policies such as recycling of brown waste, use of recycled delegate materials and accessibility by public transport all influence corporate event bookers’ choice. This ‘green’ shift is bringing us in line with other CSR-conscious industries.”

The UKCMS provides an insight into the UK meetings and events market, including information on the value of the UK market, duration, size, lead times and seasonality of events and typical delegate profiles. The report contains results of interviews with 300 not-for-profit associations and 300 corporate buyers of conference and meetings facilities and services. It highlights what's happening in the UK conference and meetings market and where it's heading.

Copies of the UKCMS, which are free to MIA members, are available at www.mia-uk.org


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