Business event budgets rise

The demand for conference centres could rise this year as event budgets across financial and business sectors are increased, according to a new report.

The Grass Roots Meetings Industry Report found that the budget for non-residential training and meeting venues was up 32 per cent on figures from 2009.

Only 27 per cent of businesses will continue to hold training and meetings in residential training venues, Cite Magazine reports.

Des McLaughlin, Grass Roots’ managing director and venue procurement officer said that there is “a steady rise in the use of unusual venues, which for many is seen as a consequence of hotels failing to create innovative new products.”

The incentive to travel is also rising in 2011 generally as clients are expecting ‘destination experiences’ as opposed to the mundane, according to the report.

Mr McLaughlin said that during the recession, Grass Roots have seen the demand for venues that show “something different” double. One in ten venues now categorises itself as an unusual venue and he sees no less demand for these venues during the year.

“This being said, business for hotel groups and conference centres has also increased,” Mr McLaughlin continued, “which is likely to be as a result of companies reinstating their meeting budgets.”

Despite lesser interests in standard spaces, independent hotels still accommodated for the greatest share of increased business and travel budgets. The report expects a 37 per cent rise here.

According to, the industry report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of key issues and trends in meetings and event procurement. The report is based on both a European and global perspective.