A leading meetings industry trade association has published a report showing a rise in spend on meetings for the first half of 2019.

The HBAA, which represents over 300 hotel booking agencies, apartments and venues, has released data showing average spend per meeting had risen by 8.8 per cent to £2,144 in the first six months of 2019, compared to £1,971 throughout last year.

The average spend per delegate had also increased by 6.7 per cent, from £85.71 in 2018 to £91.46, according to ‘HBAA Meetings Barometer’ data obtained from association members.

“It’s been a good first half of the year for the UK meetings industry and bookings for the rest of the year indicate that this buoyancy will continue until at least the end of the year,” said Angie Mason, Chair of the HBAA.

The average day delegate rate (DDR) had also risen slightly from £32.89 last year to £33.17 while the average number of delegates has remained the same at 54.

Increasing confidence among event planners is reflected by the reduction of lead and conversion times. The average lead time for forward booking of events has gone down from 79.7 days to 78.3 while the average conversion time went down slightly from 18.5 days last year to 17.9 days so far in 2019. 

Looking at forward bookings for July to December, currently the average spend per delegate is up substantially to £116.54 and the average DDR up to £33.90.

Mason added: “The HBAA Meetings Barometer data highlights positive trends in the market and plenty of strong reasons to be optimistic and confident about business in the imminent future.”