By Daniel Hunter
The UK's events sector contributed £21 billion to the UK economy in 2014, according to research by Tony Rogers Conference & Event Services and Richard Smith of RJS Associates.
The UK Conference and Meeting Survey (UKCAMS) showed that an estimated 1.28 million business events took place last year, roughly the same as in 2013.
However, the study suggested that the size of the events helped the sector's overall value to jump by £2bn. Events grew from 91 million delegates over 148 events day in 2013 to 104 million delegates over 162 event days.
Tony Rogers, managing director of Tony Rogers Conference & Event Services, said: "Obviously the general upturn in national economy is a major factor, but I think it's also an appreciation of the importance of live events by companies and organisations to deliver their strategic plans," he said.
"While we understand the importance of virtual and hybrid, which is clearly the major growing trend over the future years, live events still have a crucial role to play in motivating employees, in employee engagement, in networking, and in particular sharing the latest in education and information."
According to the survey, there were an average of 366 events per venue in 2014, 61% of which were held in hotels.
The average event lasts 1.6 days, but the majority (64%) lasted a day or less.
Simon Gidman, head of business visits and events for VisitEngland and principal sponsor of UKCAMS 2015, said: "England’s events industry has a lot to look forward to over the next few years. In addition to major global sporting events such as the England Rugby World Cup in the autumn of 2015, England plays host to a series of significant scientific and business events including the prestigious European Science Open Forum in Manchester (2016) and the International Festival of Business in Liverpool (2016).
"The ‘UK Conference and Meeting Survey 2015’ provides important confirmation of the energy and vitality of the sector, and really positive indicators for its future growth."