The number of events being held in the UK is falling, while continued scrutiny on meeting spend and return on investment (ROI) is driving a shift towards a more strategic meeting management approach.

Following an in-depth analysis of 11 industry reports, Warwick Conferences has found that, while the UK conferencing and events market is growing as a whole, the conference and meetings segment has suffered decline for a third consecutive year.

While indications that the decline is set to recover and achieve a growth of 3.6% by 2022, the increased importance on ROI means the average number of events being organised is down. However, despite the industry seeing these lower numbers, Warwick Conferences has announced that it has seen a strong start to its financial year, as Paul Bartlett at Warwick Conferences explains:

“As event organisers attempt to stretch their budgets and deliver the greatest ROI, it’s no real surprise that we are subject to more scrutiny than ever before. However, at Warwick Conferences, we have seen increased numbers of our 24-hour rates, as well as our bigger event spaces continuing to perform well.”

Other findings from Warwick Conferences’ analysis include how venues must take on the role as a strategic consultant to deliver truly memorable meeting experiences, with catering to play an ever-important role.

Paul continues: “It’s important for us to continue responding to the evolving needs of bookers, who are seeking new and interesting meeting spaces. Working with clients to help them meet objectives, such as the ever-increasing importance of experience creation, has long been a part of the Warwick Conferences offering. Our role as a conference venue is not simply as a host, but as a strategic meeting consultant, who works closely with the client to produce the desired event outcomes.”

According to the analysis, the quality of the Wi-Fi will play an important factor for successful meetings, while mobile app use is expected to grow, too, showing how technology is going to play an increasing role in the event experience.

Another expected trend is the wellness of delegates, as Paul concludes: “We have already announced positive changes to our wellness offering, thanks to the upcoming opening of the University of Warwick’s Sport and Wellness Hub, while our creative spaces ensure that truly memorable events can be easily and affordably organised. Our analysis ensures that we are best placed to support event planners maximise their ROI in 2019 and beyond.”

Warwick Conferences analysed the key themes and trends identified in the following industry reports:

  • Mintel – Conferencing and Events – UK – September 2018
  • American Express – 2018 Global Meetings & Events Forecast
  • Grass Roots – Meetings Industry Report 2018
  • IACC – Meeting Room of the Future Report 2018
  • Inntel – Industry Report – 2018
  • MCB – The Future of Business Meetings Industry Report 2017
  • PWC – UK Hotels Forecast Report
  • C&IT State of the Industry Association Report 2018
  • Eventbrite – Pulse Event Industry Report 2018
  • British Meetings & Events Industry Survey 2019
  • Hotel Britain, the guide to performance of hotels in the UK 2018
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Areas of interest
Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.