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UK's draw for events steady since Brexit vote, finds Hotel Insights Forum

The event at Banking Hall, London, was celebrating its 10th anniversary

Pictured: the Hotel Insights Forum

Perceptions of the UK as an events destination have remained steady since the EU referendum, it was revealed at this year's Hotel Insights Forum. Hosted by BVA BDRC, the forum celebrated its 10th anniversary at this year's event at Banking Hall, London.

The day kicked off with a talk from Jon Young, research director, travel and tourism (BVA BDRC) on 'Brand Britain,' which discussed the British Council Research on perceptions of Britain since the referendum. The findings demonstrated that the attractiveness of Britain as a location for meetings/events and tourism is steady, staying the same pre and post referendum.

The afternoon session saw James Bland, director of BVA BDRC, discuss the meetings revolution, focusing on research by the HBAA and the new research into the UK Conference and Meeting Survey 2018 (UKCAMS)

The research revealed an estimated £18.1 billion of direct expenditure is generated by conference and meeting delegates in venues and in wider destinations in 2017. The research also showed that the overall number of conferences and meetings held in 2017 was lower than in 2016, yet the the average size of events was up slightly on 2016.

Bland went on to discuss the research findings on rising delegate numbers, which showed a rise in 2017. Bland questioned whether an increase in delegate numbers in the UK was all good news, with many choosing to book other, 'quirkier' locations for meetings rather than hotels.

Ciaran Delaney from Meetings Booker joined Bland to discuss meetings in 2018, highlighting that 95 per cent of meetings booked online are for less than 20 people.

The forum wrapped up with a panel of leaders from the travel and tourism sector sharing their thoughts on how to recruit and retain the best talent in the industry.

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