UK Conferencing and Events Market Report 2024
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Following a strong 2022, the market saw a more mixed performance in 2023 The conferencing and events market demonstrated a strong COVID-19 bounce-back in 2022, but saw a more mixed…

UK Conferencing and Events Market Report 2024

£ 1,495 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Stay ahead of the curve and future-proof your business with Mintel’s UK Conferencing and Events Market Report 2024. Our full report is packed with consumer-led market intelligence, the latest UK events industry trends and consumer behaviours affecting your business. Get a 360° view of the UK events market, including events market size, share and forecasted growth to help you align your business strategy with the needs of your audience.

Below, we’ve handpicked the key insights analysed in the full report and summarised the core topics.

Topics Discussed in Full Length Report

  • How the UK events market has bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic and its more recent performance.
  • Analysis of the business, leisure and mixed events segments.
  • Key market drivers and challenges.
  • How key trends, including technology, sustainability and evolving client expectations, are shaping the conference and events industry.
  • The projected five-year performance of the conferencing and events industry to 2028.
  • Market definition: UK conferencing and events industry can be broken down into eight core segments: conferences and meetings; exhibitions and trade fairs; sporting events; music events; incentive travel and performance improvement; corporate hospitality and corporate events; outdoor events; and festivals and cultural events.

UK Events Market Outlook

The conferencing and events market demonstrated a strong COVID-19 bounce-back in 2022, but saw a more mixed performance in 2023. While some sectors continued to perform well and appetite for in-person events remained strong, market performance was impacted by a challenging economic climate and rail strikes.

  • Events market size: The market size value reached £34.3bn in 2023, which was below pre-pandemic levels (2019: £38.9bn).

UK Events Market Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Sector continues to grapple with a number of challenges

The UK events market continues to grapple with a number of challenges, including staffing shortages, short lead times, an uncertain economic climate and escalating costs, although inflationary pressures are now starting to ease. Operators need to demonstrate flexibility in planning, improve efficiency across business operations and focus on creating value for clients.

Technology adoption and focus on sustainability provide opportunities

The adoption of cutting edge technology will improve efficiencies, provide data-driven insights, increase accessibility as well as enhance and personalise attendee experiences across the events industry. The growing importance of sustainability and DEI factors also provide opportunities for operators that excel in these areas to set themselves apart from competition.

Readers of this report may also be interested in our UK Major Sporting Events 2024, or our range of Business Market Research.

Meet the Expert

Claudia joined Mintel in October 2013. She writes UK industrial and B2B reports. Claudia has over nine years’ experience researching B2B markets, identifying market trends, analysing the impact of the regulatory, economic and political environment and providing market forecasts. Claudia holds a Master’s degree in Marketing Management.

The future of the UK events market is being shaped by a blend of technological innovation, sustainability initiatives, and evolving client expectations. From these factors, companies can gain opportunities and address challenges.

Claudia Preedy

Claudia Preedy
Senior B2B Analyst

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Overview
    • Opportunities for the conferencing and events market
    • Embracing digital and data tools to enhance client experience and deliver better insights
    • Excelling in sustainability and DEI can provide a competitive advantage
    • Personalisation for better event experience
    • Market dynamics and outlook
    • Market size & forecast
    • Market predictions
    • Market size and forecast
    • Graph 1: market size and forecast for conferencing and events, 2019-28
    • Market slowed in 2023, but sustained growth anticipated to 2028
    • Business events market
    • Graph 2: market size for business events, 2019-23
    • Demand for exhibitions and trade fairs continued to increase in 2023
    • Leisure events market
    • Graph 3: market size for leisure events, 2019-23
    • Strong consumer demand for live events
    • Mixed events market
    • Graph 4: market size for mixed events, 2019-23
    • Budget constraints curtail spending in corporate events and hospitality sector
  2. Market Dynamics

    • Market size
    • Market shows strong post-COVID-19 recovery…
    • …but is not yet back to pre-pandemic levels
    • Rail strikes impacted more than half of organisations within the business meetings and events sector
    • Rising costs present a key challenge, although inflationary pressures are now easing
    • Staffing challenges and short lead times persist as a broader industry trend
    • Organisations are adopting different approaches to overcome staff shortages
    • Client expectations are evolving…
    • …encouraging organisers to adopt digital tools
    • Market forecast
    • Market expected to show sustained growth
    • Indicators for future growth
    • Market segmentation
    • Business events market
    • Graph 5: market size for business events, 2019-23
    • Conferencing & meetings sector witnesses more challenging market conditions in 2023, but in-person appetite remains strong
    • Two-thirds of conferences and meetings comprise 50 delegates or fewer
    • Exhibitions and trade fairs sector sees strong bounceback from the pandemic
    • Leisure events market reaches an estimated £7.7 billion in 2023
    • Leisure events market
    • Graph 6: market size for leisure events, 2019-23
    • Strong consumer demand for live events
    • Consumer appetite for live music remains strong, but operators feel the squeeze from rising costs
    • Sport events attendance spending dominated by football
    • Sport events attendance spending expected to slow in 2024
    • Mixed events market
    • Graph 7: market size for mixed events, 2019-23
    • Incentive travel and performance improvement market
    • Geopolitical uncertainty and environmental considerations drive destination choice
    • Corporate hospitality budgets remain squeezed
    • Market trends
    • Sector embraces technology…
    • …but is yet to explore the full potential of AI
    • Data analytics expected to be increasingly used to measure and improve events
    • Hybrid and virtual events maintain relevance
    • Personalisation provides better event experience
    • Growing focus on sustainability…
    • …and diversity, equality and inclusivity (DEI)
    • Launch of accreditation schemes to drive sustainability standards
    • How the industry is incorporating DEI and sustainability solutions
    • How the industry is incorporating DEI and sustainability solutions (cont.)
    • Macroeconomic factors
    • Economic output has stagnated since the cost of living crisis began
    • Graph 8: GDP, 2021-23
    • Falling inflation has reduced pressure on household finances
    • Graph 9: CPI inflation rate, 2021-24
    • Interest rates expected to fall in 2024, but borrowing pressures will remain
    • Consumer sentiment: wellbeing is up but the recovery has slowed
    • Graph 10: the financial wellbeing index, 2016-24
    • Consumer sentiment: wellbeing is up but the recovery has slowed
    • Graph 11: the financial wellbeing index, 2016-24
    • Consumer confidence continued to trend upwards
    • Graph 12: the financial confidence index, 2016-24
    • Business confidence on the rise
    • Graph 13: ICAEW business confidence index, 2018-24
    • Market drivers
    • Overseas business visitor numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels
    • Graph 14: annual number of overseas business visitors, 2013-23
    • Spending by overseas business visitors shows stronger recovery than number of visits
    • Graph 15: spending by overseas business visitors, 2013-23
    • Attendance of live events
    • Graph 16: live events – recent attendance and intention to attend, 2019-24
    • UK maintains major sport event hosting ambitions
    • UK conferencing venues are increasing investment in their facilities
    • Government policy
    • Business Events Growth Programme
  3. Competitive landscape

    • Industry structure
    • Changes in structure of the industry
    • 2023 marks a return to growth in the number of firms engaged in the industry
    • Changes in structure by employment
    • Changes in structure by turnover
    • Launch activity
    • Hyve launches largest one-on-one meeting programmes and tech-enabled products
    • HeadBox 3D Studio – a new AI-powered M&E sales tool helps reduce sales cycle and eliminate travel emissions
    • RX creates “smart events”
    • EXPO360 platform enables creating digital twins of eventsEXPo350 claims
    • Cvent launches AI Writing Assistant
    • Company profiles
    • Clarion Events
    • Strategy
    • Financial performance
    • DMG Events
    • Financial performance
    • DMG Events (UK) generates most of its revenue outside of the UK
    • Graph 17: turnover analysis of DMG Events (UK) , by geographic segment, 2023
    • Hyve Group
    • Acquisition by private equity firms Providence and Searchlight
    • Financial performance
    • Informa plc
    • Informa’s four businesses
    • Strategy
    • Financial performance
    • UK accounts for less than a fifth of Informa’s turnover
    • Graph 18: turnover analysis of Informa, by geographic segment, 2023
    • Reed Exhibitions (trading as RX)
    • Business model and distribution channels
    • Recent acquisitions and launches
    • RX UK
    • Corporate strategy
    • Financial performance
  4. Appendix

    • Report scope and definitions
    • Market definition
    • Market definition (cont.)
    • Abbreviations and Terms
    • Methodology
    • B2B report methodology
    • Further sources and contacts
    • Trade associations
    • Trade associations (cont.)
    • Trade magazines

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