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New Research into University and Academic Conference Market Trends

New research into the university and academic conference market is published today. The new report, entitled ‘University and Academic Conference Market Trends’, represents the first in a series of reports examining the developments, changes and trends in different types of conference and meeting venue over the past decade. It is based on the huge volumes of data that have been collected in this period via the annual ‘UK Conference and Meetings Survey’ (UKCAMS) research. It is designed to complement the national UKCAMS data by providing an in-depth analysis of different venue types on a sector by sector basis.

This report examines the Academic venue sector and, in particular, provides a more detailed focus on Universities. It looks at the supply of such venues and their different characteristics; the size and value of the Academic venue sector; the performance of Academic venues – by different sub-categories of venue. It also provides a trend analysis, since 2009, of the relative performance of Academic venues.

The report also contains a number of contemporary insights from the ‘coalface’, written by university conference sales representatives, summarising their current market experiences but also reflecting on changes experienced over recent years.

Key findings from the research include:

• Conferences and meetings held in Academic venues in 2017 generated an estimated 15 million delegate days and £1.9 billion of in-destination spend
• The annual average number of conferences has fluctuated since 2009. Academic venues experienced an increase in 2010 and 2011 but fell back in 2013 and 2014. They have witnessed some growth in the last couple of years.
• This trend appears to have been driven by business from the corporate sector which has also fluctuated since 2009 but has shown an increase from 2013.
• Levels of overnight conference business have also increased from 2013 – reaching a peak in 2017.

Tony Rogers, one of the report authors, comments: “Academic venues, principally universities, have a long history of staging meetings and training events but it is really only in the past two to three decades that serious investment has taken place to provide facilities for, and the marketing of, dedicated meeting and conference spaces for hire by external organisations. Such activity, of course, has grown to become an important revenue stream for Academic venues and is key to maximising the use of the extensive facilities that they have available. We hope that our report will offer valuable intelligence and new insights into the development of this important conference market sector.”

The research was carried out by Richard Smith of RJS Associates and Tony Rogers of Tony Rogers Conference & Event Services. They also undertake the annual UKCAMS research.

Copies of the report are available priced £250 + VAT. Visit http://www.ukcams.org.uk to order.

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For further information: contact Tony Rogers tel: +44 7887 596727) or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.