The average spend per meeting and average spend per delegate in the UK both grew significantly year on year in 2017, despite a slight decline in the average daily delegate rate (DDR), latest data from the events and hospitality association HBAA.
Its HBAA Meetings Barometer for 2017, developed in partnership with MeetingsBenchmark, a live application that aggregates and analyses data from hundreds of thousands of meetings at all types of venue across Europe and internationally, indicates that that average spend per meeting increased to GBP1,954 in 2017 from GBP1,613 in 2016, an increase of +21.2%, while the average spend per delegate rose by +21.0% to GBP88.35 from GBP73.04 in the previous year.
With the average DDR falling slightly to GBP32.88 from GBP33.06 in 2016, the key driving force behind this growth has been an increase in the average meeting size. The average number of delegates increased from 50 to 53. With the average size of meetings booked to date currently at 74, prospects for 2018 are encouraging so far, says HBAA.
While there was no change in the average conversion time year on year, which stayed at 19 days, the average lead time for events was shorter, down from 83 days to 77, suggesting an increasing element of caution about forward planning for events.
Looking at the regional pattern of where meetings business was placed around the UK last year, at the top the London and Birmingham areas were close. London led the way by attracting GBP33.0 million of business but by capturing GBP28.3 million of meetings spend, the Birmingham area challenged well in second place thanks to its strong conference facilities, accessibility and promotion.
Much smaller rates of meeting business, but still notable in scale, went to the Glasgow/ Edinburgh area of central Scotland (GBP9.1 million) Newcastle and the surrounding area (GBP7.1 million) and around Leeds (GBP5.9 million).
READ MORE: Download the HBAA Meetings Barometer 2017 findings.