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October 27, 2015

UK: Half of Delegates Cancel Off-site Attendance

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business personMore than 80 percent of delegates receive requests for actions during off-site training, with 15 percent of them saying the emails they receive are from the manager who sent them on the training.

And 51 percent of delegates have cancelled their attendance at a training session in the last three years, with almost one-quarter (24 percent) of them saying this was due to having too much work on.

These are some of the findings in a new study commissioned by Warwick Conferences and Events, carried out by independent body Dynamic Markets, called The Value of Expertise. It is the second installment, following on from its 2013 study, Value of Satisfaction Report.

Rachael Bartlett, head of sales and marketing at Warwick Conferences, said: “This time around, we’re taking another look into what matters when it comes to meetings, where the most common problems arise and crucially, how – by working in partnership – we can solve them. This study shows that misaligned expectations can occur through the event process, and highlights the need to champion collaboration and co-operation in events.”

The study investigated the motivations behind booker, manager and delegate behaviour, and looked at common problems such as distractions and connectivity, as well as attitudes to off-site training. A sample of more than 300 delegates, managers and internal event bookers, all working for organisations with at least 250 employers, were questioned in the research.

The findings also revealed price still remains a priority for bookers, with 98 percent enquiring for the total cost when booking a venue. However hidden costs are still prevalent: the frequency of inflated invoices has gone up from 45 percent in 2013, to 58 percent. The amount the invoices rose was as much as 29 percent.

Bartlett added: “Hidden costs are still a very real problem for the industry – in fact, the research shows they’re increasingly common. Invoices that amount to more than the original quote pose a threat to event ROI and muddy waters when it comes to finding venues that offer real value for money.”

When it comes to connectivity, almost all respondents (94 per cent) said it is essential that Wi-Fi is both free and fast at an external meeting venue. However, just one in 10 said this was the case for the last venue they attended.

Jacqui Kavanagh, chair of Hotel Bookings Agents Association (HBAA), said: “We work in an industry where relationships and communication are key. Cooperation and shared learning create a joined-up approach which is vital when we consider the channels that need to be navigated, from bookers, venues, managers and delegates.”



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