BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
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The number of business meetings in the UK is set to grow in 2008 despite fears of a recession, pressure to cut carbon emissions and the country's new corporate manslaughter act.
The HBI (formerly Hotel Brokers International) Meetings Industry Report 2008 said that 44% of those surveyed said they planned to hold more meetings with 31% saying they expected more people to attend.
30% also reported that they had had an increase in their meetings budget for 2008.
The meetings industry is worth £22bn a year in the UK.
The survey found that in 2007, 67% of all UK office workers attended at least one off-site meeting a week.
But HBI warned that the biggest challenges facing corporates were the health and safety laws, the pressure to use internal meeting rooms and the cost of hiring venues.
But 88% of those questioned said the market was "buoyant."
Others findings were that:* the use of specialist venues, like conference and training centres was growing although hotels were the most popular venue;* the average meeting lasted 1.7 days but the one day, face to face meeting was still the most popular.* The adoption of online booking for venues was still growing only slowly but only 10% of meetings space in the UK was bookable online;* More firms were judging the success of a meeting by its return on objective (ROO) rather than its return on investment (ROI) with only 10% of respondents citing the latter.
* HBI compiled this second annual report by gathering information from meetings organisations including the MIA, the BACD, the BDRC and through questionnaires to clients.