Academics from Leeds Met have undertaken the first ever UK Economic Impact Study on behalf of the UK meetings and events industry.

 

The International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality at Leeds Met were commissioned by Meetings Professional International (MPI), the professional community for the global meetings industry to undertake the study which received 3,350 responses in total.

Senior Lecturer and Director of the research, Dr ShiNa Li, said: "The number of surveys received compares very favourably to the previous studies conducted in the US, Canada and Mexico. We are delighted about the level of engagement, which will enable the research team to capture the profile of the industry and evaluate the economic contribution from both the supply and demand side to the UK economy. We are certain that the results of the wide range of surveys will reveal the critical role the meetings industry plays in the UK economy."

The 3,350 responses are broken down as follows:

. 548 meeting organisers

. 457 venues

. 695 exhibitors from UK, US, Germany, Irish Republic and France

. 1617 attendees from UK, US, Germany, Irish Republic and France

. 33 destinations management organisations

The project is being led by the MPI Foundation. MPI UK & Ireland chapter president and Barbican sales manager, Samme Allen, who commented: "The industry has thrown its full support behind this initiative and it is fantastic to see such a range of responses. For this research to benefit the industry we need maximum engagement as we promote the results and our importance as a sector to the wider commercial landscape, government and captains of industry."

The results will be released in two waves:

. Industry Profile - to be released at International Confex, on 20th March, 2013 at Excel, London.

. Economic Impact - to be released at The Meetings Show UK from 9 to 11 July, 2013 at Olympia, London,

IMEX, Chairman, Ray Bloom, said: "We are very pleased to be supporting the UK Economic Impact Study. It is vital for our industry to measure the wider impact of our events at a local and national level and to highlight the benefit that our industry brings to the economy. This is the first step in being able to adequately communicate the importance of meetings and events at the political level and will inevitably help to garner understanding and greater support. Without such figures we cannot argue forcefully enough and cannot display our strength as an industry. Of course, figures on their own are not enough; but together with a strong and coordinated message about the value of events and the benefits they bring both socially and to the knowledge economy we can build a truly powerful voice."

Barbican Business Events, General Manager, Anthony Hyde, added: "This study is vital to the future of the UK meetings industry. The results will allow our sector to compete on a level never previously seen. We will finally have the figures to back up what we already know - that events are a force to be reckoned with, they are powerful education, networking, marketing and sales tools - and we are an industry with both a genuine and substantial impact on the UK economy. The response to the surveys has clearly demonstrated the industry's desire to support this research and we look forward to the results."

Visit Wales, Head of Tourism Marketing, Gill Berntsen, commented: "Visit Wales is fully committed to the UK Economic Impact Study and welcomes the opportunity to obtain some meaningful insights into the contribution of the meetings and events industry to the economies of Wales and the UK; something which in the past has been difficult to establish. I hope it will provide a strong evidence base that will help inform our policy making and shape our future direction."

The UKEIS final report is scheduled to be released in July 2013 at The Meetings Show UK at London Olympia.

Further information on the UK Economic impact study will be available via www.mpiweb.org/UKEIS or keep track on Twitter using #UKEIS