Mixed outlook for meetings and events market

Meetings and event costs across the UK could fall by up to 4% in 2018 – but London and other key cities will buck the trend.

Rates at venues in London are predicted to rise 2.42% and the MEETalytics report also forecasts rising rates in Edinburgh and Birmingham.

Outside key city centre locations, DDR rates will either remain static or decrease.

“Early indications show 2018 UK DDR average rates 1.5% down on 2017,” says Paul Hussey of MeetingsBenchmark.com.

“Demand in the UK is naturally higher for city centre locations, so they can charge higher rates. Outside the cities there's a much softer market and it's a buyer's market in locations where there is more supply than demand. There are plenty of those."

MeetingsBenchmark.com figures contradict the predictions of some major TMCs, which vary from no change to a 5% across the board rise in rates in 2018.

"We believe the rise in bedroom rates during the latter half of 2017 is probably behind these predictions” says Paul Hussey.

The average lead time for meetings bookings is expected to continue rising as planners realise the benefits of advance planning. The average lead-time in 2017 was 83.74 days – up 9.28% on 2016.