Wednesday, August 23, 2023
The UK’s meetings and events sector has experienced a significant 22% surge in Revenue Per Delegate during Q2 2023, according to The Business of Events’ Event Economy Tracker Q2 2023. The average revenue per delegate climbed from £112.95 in the previous quarter to an impressive £137.85. This surge in revenue per delegate has driven the average for the first half of the year to £125.40, surpassing the annual averages of both 2021 (£108.96) and 2022 (£104.78).
Strong Performance across Q2 Months
The report reveals that April, May, and June all demonstrated robust performance in the UK’s events sector. This positive trend is reflected in the increasing Revenue Per Delegate, indicative of the sector’s resilience and ability to adapt to evolving circumstances. The continuous strength exhibited across these months underscores the demand for in-person meetings and events, a trend fueled by the gradual relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions.
Lead Times and Delegate Sizes: Key Trends
The average lead time for conferences and meetings increased to 80 days in Q2 2023, up from the previous quarter’s 64 days. This shift indicates a departure from the pre-pandemic trend observed in 2019 and reflects the sector’s ongoing adjustment to changing dynamics. Despite this shift, the new average lead time remains relatively close to Q2 2022’s 77 days.
Simultaneously, the average delegate size per event experienced a significant reduction. With Q2 2023 registering an average of 65 delegates per event, this marks a substantial 25% decrease from the 2022 average of 93 delegates. This trend toward smaller delegate sizes, even as event frequency increases, signifies a shift in the events landscape. Venues are adapting to accommodate more frequent but intimate gatherings, a response to evolving attendee preferences and the need for safer and more personalized interactions.
Navigating Challenges and Looking Ahead
While the UK’s events sector demonstrates resilience and growth, it also grapples with challenges. Inflationary pressures have led to a notable increase in Revenue Per Delegate, driven by rising costs. High demand for in-person interactions has intensified the strain on resources, prompting businesses to adapt to changing dynamics while ensuring quality and profitability.
The future of the events industry hinges on its ability to strike a balance between providing exceptional experiences and managing increased costs and smaller delegate sizes. As the landscape continues to evolve, businesses in the sector must remain agile and innovative to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
The UK’s meetings and events sector’s Q2 2023 performance reflects a combination of robust growth and evolving challenges. The surge in Revenue Per Delegate showcases the sector’s ability to thrive amid changing circumstances. While lead times have increased and delegate sizes have decreased, these shifts underline the industry’s adaptability and resilience. As the sector continues to navigate challenges, businesses must prioritize providing valuable and engaging experiences while navigating the economic realities of increased costs.