Grass Roots predicts 2010 rates to remain static

1st February, 2010 – The Meetings, Events and Communications division of Grass Roots launch the fourth edition of its Meetings Industry Report this month. The Report offers insights into the current and future picture of the UK meetings industry with highlights from a European and Global perspective.

The Report includes in depth case studies and contributions from 20+ clients, plus pulls together data from over 140 industry associations, trade bodies & commercial companies as well Grass Roots’ own client survey.

Grass Roots, which placed £150+ million of meetings spend on behalf of its corporate clients last year, does not see rates dropping in 2010, but believes they will remain static with some markets experiencing a marginal price fall.

Findings from the report show there are signs of growth in the meetings market, forecasting an upturn in events particularly in the last quarter of 2010. However, this figure will be 25% down on the industry peak of 2008.

Nick Bender, Head of Global Events, Grass Roots comments “The consensus amongst clients is that budgets, whilst unlikely to rise greatly in 2010, will not be cut any further and a number of the events that were cancelled in 2009 will now take place in 2010.”

The report sees evidence that the recession has driven an increase in teleconferencing as companies cancel meetings to save money, but that in 2010 corporates will start to look at the impact on sales of not holding meetings. The report findings firmly suggests face-to-face is still the proven means of building business and remains the preferred choice of communication.

Bender noted “Agents and venues will have to target their clients carefully in 2010. In 2009 they turned to government business but given the stark warnings about reigning in public spending this sector may not prove as reliable this year.”

Des Mclaughlin, Managing Director Venue Procurement, Grass Roots reports: “Globalisation and regionalisation of meetings programmes will continue to gather pace, the evidence shows increasing numbers of global RFPs being issued for full event outsourcing. The most popular solutions currently are ‘glocal’ – global in strategy and local in delivery. Traditional agencies will have to adapt if they are going to survive this decade.”

McLaughlin says: “Budgets are being scrutinised and everyone is looking to make savings. Grass Roots will be working closely with our clients to ensure we continue to deliver quality services with a focus on making savings where we can.”

Grass Roots reveals the North West offered meeting planners best value in 2009 with three-star venues in the region charging an average DDR of £26.09.

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