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Delegates ‘demand more’ as UK day rates surge

Strong demand for meetings and events has led UK day-delegate rates surging – but customers are also seeking more value for their money, according to a new study.

Our top story this week highlights BVA BDRC’s latest report, which delivers key insights on changing trends in the hospitality and venues landscape. Read more about it below.

Here are the full headlines of this week’s event news:

Selecting a great event venue is just half the job done. Learn how you can elevate the delegate experience with a hosted buyer program – download the guide now

Read on for your full Week in Events roundup ⤵️

UK day-delegates rates surge amid strong meetings demand

UK day-delegate rates showed a sharp uptick in 2023 as demand remained strong for meetings and events, according to new research.

Findings from BVA BDRC’s VenueVerdict CX reveal DDR in Q4 2023 rose nearly £5 yearly to £87.7 in Q4  – and up 38% from Q4 2019.

The report also reveals a recovery in on-site experience as customers suffering high costs seek more value.

Louise Tawadrous, client services director, said: “Venues are able to command record prices, which is critical to driving profit in this time of high costs, but they must also be aware that customers are suffering under high costs and will be searching for value.”

Other key takeaways from the report are:

  • UK venue proposal response time has improved but remains below 2019 levels
  • Strong sales process scores with better enquiry handling, pre-event communication and understanding priorities of customers
  • Quality of customer services like flexibility and responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness score high and on par with 2019 levels
  • Feedback for F&B quality and delivery remains middling to low – indicating an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction

Louise added: “Perception of value for money has remained fairly low throughout the past 24 months, but given the increase in DDR rates, it is now more important than ever to make packages more appealing and add value, to see a positive impact on the value-for-money perception.”

Innovation in services key to customer satisfaction: UFI report

Demand for innovation is strong among industry partners to meet higher expectations of organisers and venues, according to a new UFI report.

UFI’s latest edition of the Industry Partners Benchmark Survey revealed this key finding and other highlights ⤵️

  • Demand for services remains high and has slightly increased from previous years
  • Booth construction, staff and security are the most relied-upon services
  • Communication and marketing are considered the most important elements for event success
  • Demand for digital services has decreased as focus shifts back to live events
  • Satisfaction with innovation from service providers has decreased since the last survey

Sebastian Witt, chair of UFI’s Industry Partners Working Group, said: “This third survey provides a critical snapshot of expectations of industry partners as exhibitions return in full force globally.

“While overall satisfaction remains high, the feedback shows that we need to continuously innovate and communicate to ensure relevance and to add value to our customers.”

The report assesses relationships industry partners/suppliers and exhibition organisers/venues and involves around 190 companies primarily from Europe and Asia-Pacific.

UFI president Geoff Dickinson added: “This survey, in its third edition, is a crucial output from UFI’s Industry Partners Working Group, which has been set up for and run by our members – a group of motivated exhibition professionals offering a diverse range of expertise.

“It highlights the importance of collaboration among exhibition organisers, venue operators and industry partners as part of the larger exhibition ecosystem to deliver innovation and drive success of our industry.”

Clarion Events North America names new chairman 

Clarion Events has named its CEO of North American division as its new chairman.

Greg Topalian will now oversee acquisitions and business development, provide strategic planning for Clarion worldwide as well as support the group’s North America’s presidents Liz Irving and Kelly Comboni in managing day-to-day operations.

greg topalian

Lisa Hannant, Clarion’s Group CEO, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to Greg.

“His visionary leadership has been instrumental in guiding Clarion’s remarkable growth and has helped establish Clarion as a major player in the US market.

“His focus on organic growth, significant acquisitions, a commitment to a customer-first mentality and a strong focus on our people has allowed us to build a world-class business in North America.

“This new role not only renews Greg’s commitment to driving the future of Clarion but also grants him the freedom to personally explore additional non-competitive business ventures.”

Grep added: “I am so proud of what we have accomplished as a team since 2017 and I’m excited to be able to continue to help shape the growth and evolution of Clarion in my new role.

“I look forward to supporting Liz and Kelly in their growth as leaders which will undoubtedly drive our company to new heights.

“Joining Clarion in 2016 through the acquisition of LeftField Media was a life-changing decision.”

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