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SURVEYJune 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 29 the meetings industry. While these events further enhance London's reputation as a leading meetings destination, and will undoubtedly generate business in the mid to long term; in the short-term we are seeing companies avoiding holding meetings in the capital while these events are taking place."Sales Director David Taylor added that LOCOG had "messed up" the hotel If I were a weatherman I would say it would be a mixed meetings outlook with some sunny spellsrass Roots HBI's annual Meetings Industry Report (MIR) is delivered in an app format for 2012. The sixth MIR 2012 indicates the outlook for the meetings industry in the UK remains positive for the second half of 2012, with like-for-like meeting spend in 2012 up four per cent in the fi rst quarter compared to last year. The new report also highlights that much of the meetings growth is expected to come from training, with the average UK 24-hour rate expected to reach £230 + VAT by the end of 2012.The Grass Roots client survey, contained in the report, reveals the biggest challenge facing over 100 companies surveyed is cost reduction. Securing delegate attendance was ranked second and securing internal meeting space third.The new app means the MIR can be updated regularly to provide quarterly summaries of industry research combined with GRG's own data on hotel Mixed outlookThe sixth annual Grass Roots Meetings Industry Report (MIR) has been unveiled as an app. Content shows like-for-like meetings industry spend to date in 2012 is rising four per cent over 2011. Paul Colston reportsroom rates and venue launches.The move from print to app also saves Grass Roots £80,000 in print costs, according to MD Des McLaughlin.While the UK has an established events industry marketplace, McLaughlin's team predicts the US is hot on its heels and that it is likely to see key trends fi ltering across the Atlantic. Asia has been slow to adopt a strategic approach to managing meetings but is now beginning to examine event spend, according to the report.McLaughlin said 2011 proved to be a much stronger year for the meetings and event sector than many predicted. "The fi rst half of 2012 has been solid," he said, "if not as spectacular as 2011 and we would hope for similar patterns to continue in the second half of the year. Given the fragile global economy, however, a further downtown would undoubtedly have a negative impact on the meetings industry."He added: "The Jubilee and Olympics are very much double edged swords for G

30 . www.conference-news.co.uk . June 2012June SURVEY2012 as a result of London 2012.Grass Roots Global Supply Chain Director Alan Newton said statistics on rising day delegate rates (DDRs) in the UK fi ve­star market in the South East showed a 12 per cent increase in 2011. This Newton contrasted with a 13 per cent drop in DDR in the four­star market in the North West of England. "If I were a weatherman I would say it would be a mixed meetings outlook with some sunny spells," said Newton.He also pointed to dynamic Asian markets. In Shanghai MIR identifi ed a 21 per cent rise in room rates, with Singapore and Sydney recording double digit rate growth in the mid­ market hotels. However, rates in Greece were dropping, Newton noted, "by as much as 19 per cent in the fi ve­star hotel rate category".In the Americas, Montreal led the way in terms of percentage rise in room rates, up 34 per cent in 2011."The meetings market has been written off several times, yet the core business for Grass Roots HBI remains strong with investment banks and accountancy fi rms," McLaughlin noted."Quarter one 2012 has been above target, although Q2 has seen a dip. We expect a dip in Q3 with a strong fi nish for Q4."Last year Grass Roots HBI grew its revenue by around 30 per cent and Taylor said the division was looking to expand further into European markets. inventory stock placed with it according to the London Visitor Charter. What had been given back was not necessarily enough for the meetings market, Taylor believed."The Government encouraging people to work from home if possible during the Olympics had not been good for giving confi dence to those keen to stage events in the capital," McLaughlin added.Summary fi gures from MIR 2012 also included total Grass Roots client meetings spend increasing by 14 per cent in 2011 compared to the previous year, despite research in late 2010 indicating that companies thought spend levels would remain static at best. The number of international meetings booked increased by fi ve per cent in 2011 suggesting the 'green agenda' has yet to really fi lter through and infl uence the meetings industry, the report noted.Consolidation of meetings spend remains a strong theme, with clients continuing to focus their spending with fewer suppliers in 2011 than in 2010. Training centres continue to be a popular choice, MIR 2012 noted, with bookings increasing by almost a third (27%). The training centre product offering, coupled with highly competitive pricing, seems to meet with the current corporate sentiment.Graduate training programmes are one of the few areas to have bucked recent trends with the average programme value falling 18 per cent in 2011 and it is projected to fall a further 10 per cent in 2012. The fall, according to Grass Roots, can be explained by a number of factors, including lower recruitment levels, shorter programmes and more internal training.One investment bank client, GRG said, had moved a large graduate training programme from London to New York for Worldwide venue directory for meeting and event planners. 100% commission-free Search venues and events Free venue finding service UK and International No registration requiredTel. 01460 259056 Email. info@chooseyourvenue.comA free copy of the 2012 MIR app is available in formats for iPad and Android devices from the Grass Roots website.MIR 2012 contains many expert insights, including from Ben Atherton , Cisco London 2012 Programme Manager, Customer Hosting:"The Olympics will leave a long tail for the events industry. The Paralympic Games, in particular, will showcase Britain at its best. Corporates will use the core values of the Paralympics within their event activity during 2012 and beyond. "Venues need to step up their offer and invest in enhanced connectivity if they wish to remain competitive. A change in attitude towards ubiquitous broadband at many of the larger venues will fi lter down through hotels and smaller meetings venues. As a corporate, I expect my chosen hotel to recognise the investment I'm making in staging my event there. In return, I expect them to take their technology infrastructure seriously and charge a sensible price. I don't expect to have to pay one price, only for my delegates to then be charged an additional cost for logging on in their bedrooms. "Show­stopping conference content will become the norm. Holographic presenters and theatrical production techniques will increase. Corporates will rely on social media to set the event agenda and maintain the correct tone throughout the event. The number of event apps will grow quickly and digital audience engagement will become an integrated part of event planning." To show stopping content... and beyond