London venues witness explosion in conference business over Olympics

A study from BDRC Continental shows conference centres and event planners in London welcomed an influx of business during the 2012 Olympic Games.

Statistics from the market research firm reveal that 23 unnamed London venues managed to record £10 million worth of conference business while the Games were taking place. This was thought to be £8.8 million more than the recorded amount during the same 16-day period last year.

Meetpie.com also claims the businesses that posted consistent growth throughout this year witnessed a 597 per cent increase in conference revenue over the course of 2012.

Meanwhile hotels included in the study reported an occupancy increase of 76 per cent during 2012 – compared with a more modest rise of 22 per cent in 2011. This came despite a report from TravelClick – cited by caterersearch.com – claiming room prices were up 70 per cent during August 2012 from the same period last year.  

James Parsons, managing director of The Conference Bench – a bench marketing tool that also collects data from event venues – said his own company saw businesses “smash through the roof” during the Games. He said this was driven by venues having consistent business in the lead up to the Olympics.

When commenting on what 2013 could bring, Mr Parsons said: “Forecasting for conference business has become a very difficult thing to do because lead times are a lot shorter.

“Venues really need to take advantage of the peak months and this year we are expecting conference revenue in November to be high.”