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29 August 2012 | Anna Reynolds
Experts do not expect to see a big fall in business in the UK meetings and events sector post-Olympics, partly due to the implementation of efficient procurement processes during the recession.
A report by Booking Services International (BSI) examined the immediate impact of the Games on buyers of corporate travel and meetings. It found that because buyers used the economic downturn to analyse their meetings strategy and cut out unnecessary events, they will not be in a rush to slash budgets and costs.
Jim Quintrell, head of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) product at BSI, said this refinement of purchasing strategy will mean “business as usual”.
“I don’t see any drastic reductions in corporates’ 2013 budgets because of the sums being spent on Olympics-related activity,” he said. “Nowadays, companies only stage events when they need to. They will continue the best practices they have developed during the recession, although we predict that there will be a revival of enquiries from the public sector, coupled with more enquiries for larger events in 2013”.
The study, Leveraging the Legacy, found no short-term harm to London’s MICE business due to the Games, with room hire revenue reported to be up 40 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.
It emphasised that Olympic contracts have improved companies’ marketability to organisers of other major events, which will also have long-term benefits for the sector.
The report said the overall economic climate in the UK and Europe will have the greatest impact on the meetings and event sector.