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Conference Care sees 9 per cent fall in profit in ‘year of change’

Conference Care saw a 9 per cent drop in pre-tax profit to £800k in 2018 in “a year of change” for the venue finding and event management agency.

Turnover was up 6 per cent to £3.1 million in the year ended 31 March 2018, according to accounts filed at Companies House, compared to £2.9m last year.

Director Chris Peacock told M&IT: “We were pleased with the eventual 6 per cent increase in turnover, in what was a year of change for us. While it’s not a huge headline growth there’s actually a lot of change in the makeup of the business, in that over 20 per cent of it can be attributed to new business wins. Our cost of sales increased mostly in payroll and as the result of moving to our larger HQ offices in Hinckley.”

“While the number of events we managed increased, we saw a decrease in the average size of meeting and also an overall reduction in spend per event, which had the effect of countering our gains. The small meetings market is under particular pressure, with many of our larger corporate customers having substantial high quality internal meeting space.”

And Peacock added that office expansions and new website developments are in the offing at the agency.

“We’ve just completed expansion of our office in Scotland and added to the event consultant team there, increasing our expertise locally,” he said. “Similarly in London, we have a much increased presence which we’re looking to build on soon. We’re also close to launching new developments in our client portal with some really interesting functionality for event planners.

“I think the future lies in refining our specialisms rather than diversifying into other areas – with the consolidation of much of the agency market, we’re becoming unique in terms of offering a highly skilled, independent, bespoke service, but with the scale to take on major contracts.”

Conference Care expanded to its current premises at Watling House last year after significant account wins and
investment in new technology.