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UK Conferencing and Events market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Conferencing and Events market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Conferences and meetings: formal meetings in which people gather to talk about particular topics.

Exhibitions and trade fairs: Exhibitions are public displays of objects, art, fashion, ideas etc., while trade fairs are organised so that companies in a specific industry can showcase their latest goods and encourage trade.

Sporting events: any audience-attended sports games and matches, from single events such as football matches to extended tournaments such as Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Music events: live music displays come in several formats, from gigs and concerts to multi-day festivals.

Incentive travel and performance improvement: business-related travel intended to acknowledge achievements, provide motivation, and help drive productivity and overall success.

Corporate hospitality: the entertaining of clients by companies to promote business, especially at sporting or other public events.

Outdoor events: outside gatherings, ranging from flower shows, agricultural shows and charity events, to small village fairs and craft events.

Festivals and cultural events: often large-scale activities surrounding special events, such as Christmas, bonfire night or Edinburgh Fringe, or cultural events such as Diwali, Chinese New Year and Notting Hill carnival.

What you need to know

The conferencing and events market weathered uncertain conditions in 2017. The market maintained strong growth despite an unpredictable political and economic climate, whilst overcoming a further decline in the value-dominant conferences and meeting sector.

This resilient growth was seen in both the business and consumer markets. In the former, demand was maintained by GDP growth and continued acknowledgement of the networking, client and staff retention value upheld by the industry, and as a means of boosting profitability. Meanwhile, consumerorientated sectors were driven by strong demand across the leisure industry, much of which is tied to the emerging experience economy.

Looking forward, the industry is expected to continue its positive trajectory, though the rate of growth could be weathered by the outcome of Brexit negotiations. Nonetheless, market value is expected to grow further, distributed healthily along the marketplace, which contains a wealth of booming SMEs alongside major players.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Marco Amasanti, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The conferencing and events market maintained growth in 2017 despite difficult trading conditions. Whilst the value of the industry is expected to continue along a positive trajectory, the market is likely to face increased pressure over the coming years as operators await the outcome of Brexit negotiations. Marco Amasanti
B2B Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Market value continues resilient growth in 2017
              • Figure 1: UK Conferencing and events market value and forecast, £ billion, 2013-22
            • Market segmentation
              • Companies and brands
                • Series of new acquisitions
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Ongoing uncertainty pressures around Brexit
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Increasing implementation of technology
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • Market maintains growth alongside stubborn GDP
                                  • Growth well-distributed across market, though conferences and meetings lose further ground
                                    • Market forecast to maintain stubborn growth despite uncertainty
                                    • Market Size

                                      • Market value continues consecutive growth
                                        • Figure 2: UK conferencing and events market value, £ billion, 2013-17
                                      • GDP maintains stubborn growth
                                        • Figure 3: Gross Domestic Product, £ million, Q1 2015-Q1 2018
                                    • Market Segmentation

                                      • Conferences and meetings sector retains dominance despite losing market share
                                          • Figure 4: Conferencing and events market segmentation, £ billion, 2017
                                        • Conferences and meetings continue to decline, though this slowed in 2017
                                          • Figure 5: Conferences and meetings, £ billion, 2013-17
                                        • Exhibitions and trade fairs continue strong growth
                                          • Figure 6: Exhibitions and trade fairs, £ billion, 2013-17
                                        • Sporting events enjoys another increase in demand
                                          • Figure 7: Sporting events, £ billion, 2013-17
                                        • Music events rose in popularity over the past year
                                          • Figure 8: Music events, £ billion, 2013-17
                                          • Figure 9: UK music concerts and festivals market value, £ million, 2014-18
                                        • Incentive travel and performance improvement
                                          • Figure 10: Incentive travel and performance improvement, £ billion, 2013-17
                                        • Corporate hospitality and corporate events
                                          • Figure 11: Corporate hospitality and corporate events, £ billion, 2013-17
                                        • Outdoor events
                                          • Figure 12: Outdoor events, £ billion, 2013-17
                                        • Festivals and cultural events
                                          • Figure 13: Festivals and cultural events, £ billion, 2013-17
                                      • Market Forecast

                                        • Growth forecast to continue, though subdued by uncertainty
                                            • Figure 14: UK conferencing and events market forecast, £ billion, 2018-22
                                          • Conferences and meetings set to recover growth
                                              • Figure 15: Conferencing and events market segmentation forecast, £ billion, 2018-22
                                            • Music events to remain at forefront of industry growth
                                              • Figure 16: UK music concerts and festivals market forecast, £ million, 2018-22
                                          • Market Trends

                                            • The UK business landscape
                                                • Figure 17: UK business investment, £ million, Q1 2015-Q1 2018
                                              • Consumer confidence continues to fluctuate
                                                • Figure 18: UK Business confidence index, Q3 2012-Q3 2018
                                              • Growth in leisure
                                                • Figure 19: UK Leisure industry market value, £ million, 2013-17
                                              • Consumer confidence picks up but remains uncertain
                                                  • Figure 20: Mintel financial confidence tracker, % of respondents, January 2016-April 2018
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • The experience economy
                                                  • New technologies
                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Wave of acquisitions
                                                      • Well distributed marketplace
                                                        • Increased investment in technology
                                                        • Industry Structure

                                                            • Changes in the structure of the industry
                                                              • Figure 21: Analysis of the changes in the structure of the conferencing and events industry, number of outlets and businesses, 2013-17
                                                            • Structure by employment
                                                              • Figure 22: Analysis of the employment structure of the conferencing and events industry, 2016 and 2017
                                                            • Structure by turnover
                                                              • Figure 23: Analysis of the financial structure of the conferencing and events industry, £'000 and number of businesses, 2016 and 2017
                                                          • Company Profiles

                                                            • Chillisauce Ltd
                                                              • Recent company activity
                                                                • Financial information
                                                                  • Figure 24: Financial analysis of Chillisauce, £'000, 2013-17
                                                                • DMG Events (UK)
                                                                  • Recent company activity
                                                                    • Financial information
                                                                      • Figure 25: Financial analysis of DMG Events (UK), £'000, 2013-17
                                                                    • I.I.R Ltd
                                                                      • Recent company activity
                                                                        • Financial information
                                                                          • Figure 26: Financial analysis of I.I.R Ltd, £'000, 2012-16
                                                                        • ITE Group Plc
                                                                          • ITE Events
                                                                            • Recent company activity
                                                                              • Financial information
                                                                                • Figure 27: Financial analysis of ITE Group, £ million, 2013-17
                                                                              • Reed Exhibitions Ltd
                                                                                • Recent company activity
                                                                                  • Financial information
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Financial analysis of Reed Exhibitions, £'000, 2012-16
                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                                      • Further Sources and Contacts

                                                                                        • Trade associations
                                                                                          • Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO)
                                                                                            • Association of Events Organisers (AEO)
                                                                                              • The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO)
                                                                                                • Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP)
                                                                                                  • Meetings Industry Association
                                                                                                    • National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA)
                                                                                                      • Trade magazines
                                                                                                        • Meetpie