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Buoyancy in industry set to continue, finds HBAA Meetings Barometer

A good first half of the year for UK meetings business is set to continue for the rest of 2019, according to the latest edition of the HBAA Meetings Barometer.

Angie Mason, chair of the HBAA, sees plenty of good news for the industry in the figures reported in the HBAA Meetings Barometer for the first six months of 2019.

“It’s been a good first half of the year for the UK meetings industry and bookings for the rest of the year indicate that this buoyancy will continue until at least the end of the year,”  she said.

The report, developed in partnership with The MeetingsBenchmark Ltd, reveals that the average spend per meeting rose by 8.8 per cent to £2,144 from £1,971, the average spend throughout 2018. The average spend per delegate has also increased by 6.7 per cent, from £85.71 in 2018 to £91.46.

The average day delegate rate (DDR) has also risen slightly from £32.89 last year to £33.17 while the average number of delegates has remained the same at 54.

Increasing confidence among event planners is reflected by the reduction of lead and conversion times. The average lead time for forward booking of events has gone down from 79.7 days to 78.3 while the average conversion time went down slightly from 18.5 days last year to 17.9 days so far in 2019.

Looking at forward bookings for July to December, currently the average spend per delegate is up substantially to £116.54 and the average DDR up to £33.90.

Mason added: “The HBAA Meetings Barometer data highlights positive trends in the market and plenty of strong reasons to be optimistic and confident about business in the imminent future.”

These figures cover the period from 1 Jan 2019 to 30 June 2019. They are derived from real time data supplied to The Meetings Benchmark Ltd by a wide cross section of HBAA members.

Formerly the Hotel Booking Agents Association, the HBAA is the trade association for the hotel booking agency, apartment and venue community and has more than 300 member organisations including more than 80 agency and 225 venue members who work collaboratively in the accommodation, meetings and events sector.