Mia November Insights

November 20, 2023 by Catriona Anderson

In October Mia invited the MICE sector to provide more vital intelligence on a range of pertinent topics, which will help to inform the sector and UK government. Last week they published their most recent Insights report, which explores costs, investments, Martyn’s Law, staffing and recruitment, enquiries, lead times, sustainability and more. Insights Report

Longer lead times, higher value enquiries, greater conversion rates and the growing confidence to invest are all positive signs for business meetings and events, while also encouraging to see positive movements with the sectors’ well-documented staffing issues.

While these findings present a more positive outlook for the sector compared to some of their previous research, not every organisation will align with these findings and there is still room for improvement when it comes to easing pressures the sector continues to face.

“Our latest survey, conducted in October 2023, reflects the response of 160 professionals representing organisations within the business meetings and events sector, with almost two-thirds (64%) representing an event venue and 36% an event supplier. With our previous Insights highlighting the easing of supply chain issues, the same, much-welcome trend is emerging with staffing issues, as today’s organisations report less staff shortages, skills shortages and a subsequent reduction in vacancies. Longer lead times, higher value enquiries and greater conversion rates also present further positives for the sector, reinforcing returning demand levels, investment in events and its role supporting the UK economy.” Kerrin MacPhie, Chief Executive, The Mia

The average event enquiry is taking place 15.2 weeks in advance, up from May 2023

  • The average value of an event enquiry is £30,927 – an increase on 12 months ago for almost half (49%) of respondents.
  • The average event conversion rate is 42%, up from May 2023
  • 80% of organisations are currently investing in their development.
  • Almost half (48%) of organisations have had to raise their prices since the Energy Relief Scheme ended in March 2023
  • Increased prices have impacted the conversion rate for every 3 out of 5 (60%) organisations.
  • Almost 9 in 10 (89%) are seeing increased demand for more sustainable practices.
  • 60% of organisations currently have vacancies, down from May 2023

In January, organisations reported an average 13% increase in costs amidst the cost of living crisis, with three quarters (76%) increasing their prices to mitigate this. Since the Energy Relief Bill Scheme ended in March 2023, almost half (48%) of organisations have since increased their prices also. With many feeling they are unable to keep raising their prices, as 6 in 10 (60%) report an impact on their conversation rate, many are simply absorbing costs and reducing their profit margins. Those maintaining their prices are mitigating the increased costs by:

  • Making cuts internally
  • Reducing promotional discounts
  • Increasing remote working
  • Closing off unoccupied event spaces
  • Adding utilities surcharges
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