Average Daily Delegate Rates (DDR) in the UK rose 3 per cent from January to July compared to the same period in 2018 despite Brexit uncertainty, but the country could be heading for a slowdown, according to the Meetings Industry Association (mia).
While the results of the latest miaTouchstone quarterly report reveal a positive start to the year, the association said there are fears of a downshift as the Brexit deadline of 31 October approaches.
According to the latest report, which studies the enquiry levels, number of meetings, average daily and 24-hour residential rates of mia members, the average number of meetings held in the first six months of 2019 fell by 15 per cent compared to the same time last year.
While enquiry levels have grown 5 per cent, the mia said there is a decline in the number of meetings actually taking place. The association is advising venues to “be more innovative” to gain better conversion rates, especially against a challenging economy.
Jane Longhurst, CEO of the mia, commented: “We have seen a positive start to 2019, which reflects a reasonable level of confidence among our members. However, as we approach the Brexit deadline of 31 October, it is likely that many organisations will be holding back on major events until we know the outcome, so venues are advised to look at innovative ways to convert enquiries and help them continue to ride the storm.”
The prediction comes after research by the HBAA found venues and events agents are not prepared for Brexit.