Grass Roots Meetings Industry Report Predicts Positive Outlook for 2011

By Grass Roots, PRNE
Sunday, April 3, 2011

LONDON, April 4, 2011 - The meetings, events and communications division of Grass Roots launches
the fifth edition of its Meetings Industry Report this month.

The Report offers insights into the UK meetings industry with highlights
from a European and Global perspective. It includes in depth case studies and
contributions from 16 clients, draws on data from over 60 industry
associations, trade bodies and commercial companies, as well revealing the
findings of Grass Roots' own client survey.

Grass Roots, which placed more than GBP200 million of meetings spend on
behalf of its corporate clients last year, reports that 40% of respondents to
its client survey anticipate an increase in the number of meetings being held
in 2011 compared to 2010, with the number of overseas events staying the same
year-on-year. This trend is reflected in clients revealing that their budgets
are being held firm in a number of sectors. The report points to a number of
positive market signs, including a doubling in the size of the banks'
graduate and training programmes globally. Grass Roots sourced more than
28,000 room nights last year in London alone for recruiters of graduate

Nick Bender, Grass Roots' global head of events, comments, "The outlook
for 2011 is upbeat with more meetings and, in spite of the widespread
pessimism we saw across the industry last year, the true picture is that
business actually increased across all venue types in 2010. In the early part
of this year we have seen budgets increasing in a number of sectors, such as
financial services, professional services and automotive."

Des McLaughlin, Grass Roots' managing director, venue procurement, noted,
"Other emerging trends include companies increasingly looking to better
utilise their internal space for meetings, as well as a steady rise in the
use of unusual venues which for many is seen as a result of hotels failing to
create innovative new products. At Grass Roots we have seen enquiries for
venues that offer something different double since pre-recession levels and
have noticed that one in ten new venues selling to the meetings market is
categorising itself as an unusual venue, with no signs of their appeal waning
in 2011. This being said, business for hotel groups and training / conference
centres has also increased, which is likely to be as a result of companies
reinstating their meeting budgets."

Further predictions for 2011 include continuing growth in the incentive
travel and events market, as the demand for information on 'exclusive to the
destination experiences' continues to grow. The Report contains a note of
caution that we are far from a return to pre-recession 'good old days',
noting that lavish client events are yet to come back and companies remain
rate sensitive.

After large rate falls in 2009 and a fairly static 2010, Grass Roots
anticipates that rates will start to rise in 2011, with much of this increase
driven by venues in key cities, however levels will still be 10-12% down on

McLaughlin said: "2010 proved to be a better year than many people in the
meetings industry hoped for. Clients continued to invest in training after
the freeze of early 2009 and we saw an upturn in external venues being used
to accommodate these. In addition to training, client meetings and events
came back strongly too with companies increasingly believing in the value of
face-to-face networking. Exhibition attendance numbers were markedly improved
too with many seeing levels in line with 2008."

The report also reveals that:

- The three sectors to benefit most from bookings in 2010 were
independent hotels (up 37% on 2009), non-residential training venues (up 32%)
and residential training centres (up 27%).

- Nearly a fifth (17.94%) of respondents' companies do not calculate ROI
on meetings spend, although Grass Roots believes this figure to be at least
double this number

- Cost reduction is top of the agenda for nearly 80% (79.49%) of
procurement professionals in the meetings and events arena.

- Experiential marketing will see an uplift of at least 100% year-on-year
for the next three years, owing to the deep-seated desire by procurement
departments to be able to accurately measure ROI.

To receive a complimentary copy of the Grass Roots Meetings Industry
Report visit

The Meetings, Events and Communications division of Grass Roots

- An international meetings, events and communications agency passionate
about inspiring people - employees, channel partners and customers

- Our expertise: Venue Procurement, Event Management, Delegate Management
Services, Event Production, Communications, Strategy and Insight

- UK offices in: Marlow, Fleet, Worcester, London

- Turnover GBP45.4m - 2010

- Place over GBP200 million in meetings spend per annum. Over the last 5
years we have achieved average savings for clients of more than 30%.

- Part of the Grass Roots Group founded in 1980 by David Evans and
headquartered in Tring, Hertfordshire

- For further information visit

    For further information please contact our Press Office:

    Daisy Halliday
    Account Manager
    Westgate Communications
    Tel. +44-1732-779087

Daisy Halliday, Account Manager, Westgate Communications, daisy at Tel. +44-1732-779087

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