Conference attendees on the rise, event numbers falling

The total number of UK business conferences and events dropped during 2013, but the number of delegates increased.

According to new figures from trade association EVCOM, the unsettled economy still prompted concern among some organisers, with the total number of events decreasing somewhat. Despite this, businesses were still happy to send their employees to these events, as this figure actually posted an increase.

Year-on-year, the volume of events laid on fell by around four per cent. That said, total delegate volumes rose by 6.4 per cent, whilst delegate days also went up – this time by 5.7 per cent. Elsewhere, average rates for residential events increased by 5.4 per cent, notes.

In real terms, this meant there were a total of 1.25 million events held in the UK during 2013. These were attended by some 91 million delegates, with their visits accounting for 148 million business days. Daily achieved rates by venue, meanwhile, reached £42.

Commenting on the findings, EVCOM chairman Dale Parmenter told how the industry could take heart, but should still not be complacent.

He said: “It is very clear that, while the market is showing real signs of recovery, there is absolutely no scope for complacency among business event venues.

“The intensity of competition, the dynamic nature of event organisation combined with new and evolving demands from buyers requires venue managers to be thinking innovatively and reacting creatively in order to gain a vital edge in a fiercely competitive market.”