Average spend up in ‘good year’ for industry, reveals HBAA

Average spend both per meeting and per delegate grew significantly year on year in the UK in 2017, according to the HBAA Meetings Barometer.

The research, developed in partnership with The MeetingsBenchmark Ltd, also revealed that average daily delegate rate (DDR) fell slightly in the same period.

Louise Goalen, HBAA chair, said: “The growth revealed by these results confirms that 2017 was a good year for UK meetings industry sales – and 2018 is on course to be even better. Like the HBAA, the industry is building on success this year.”

The HBAA Meetings Barometer indicates that average spend per meeting increased to £1,954 in 2017 from £1,613 in 2016, an increase of 21.2 per cent, while the average spend per delegate rose by 21 per cent to £88.35 from £73.04 in the previous year.

With the average DDR falling slightly to £32.88 from £33.06 in 2016, the key driving force behind this growth is the 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.

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, London led the way with £33 million of business, closely followed by Birmingham with £28.3m of meetings spend. Glasgow and Edinburgh took £9.1m of meetings business, £7.1m was placed in the North East and £5.9m around Leeds.

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