Market development activities

  • March 3: BEC hosted a table of 10 top UK MICE buyers at the annual M&IT Awards. The M&IT awards are recognized as one of the most respected awards within the UK MICE industry. BEC walked away as Gold winners in the overseas convention bureau category.
  • March 9-14: BEC attended the MI Forum in Dubai in collaboration with Tourism Toronto.  The Forum was a series of 56 one-to-one meetings with top MICE buyers from Europe and offered a number of networking opportunities.
  • March 19: BEC hosted a post FAM trip evening in collaboration with Travel Alberta, bringing together clients from last year’s FAM Trip.
  • May 15: BEC hosted clients at the Canadian Embassy in London for a wine-tasting event.
  • May 18-21: BEC attended IMEX 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany, with 23 partners, participating in 47 scheduled appointments and several ad hoc meetings. 
  • May 19:  BEC hosted its 5th Canada Vision Awards, rewarding our key partners from European media and the European MICE market.


Current trends and considerations

  • UK event planners continue to look for the previously undiscovered. That’s the main theme from this year’s M&IT Trends & Spends survey, which examines destinations used for events by UK-based intermediaries in 2014. Economic recovery does not appear to be freeing up organizers just yet due to procurement departments continuing to drive down prices. The average cost per delegate was down in 2013, with UK agencies spending on average £2,957 per delegate. Twenty-five of the top UK intermediary agencies provided data for this survey.
  • The UK market had to contend with its first general election in five years on May 7. Predictions of the closest election in decades created hot talking points in the MICE industry. Many agencies speculated that a change in government would create uncertainty over the new government policies affecting UK businesses, resulting in a decrease of business budgets. The Conservatives won the election convincingly, which is seen as positive in the market.
  • The Meeting Professionals International (MPI) 2015 Q1 report shows that 2015 is projected to grow due to a continued period of stability and economic improvement.
  • Meeting planners have seen a renewed hunger for live events as the boom in virtual tails off, according to the latest MPI Meetings Outlook report. In the global survey of members of the industry association, 60% predict an increase in live attendance compared to 53% 12 months ago, while just 10% anticipate a decrease.
  • The 2015 Global Meetings Forecast from American Express Meetings & Events suggests that meetings are rising in importance as part of an overall return to business fundamentals, with activity predicted to grow (albeit slightly). American Express notes there is a strong focus on events meeting higher expectations and achieving more measurable results.
  • UK MICE publication C&IT has announced the five agencies to watch in 2015 are Zibrant, Eventful, WRG, Wolf & White and Black Tomato.
  • London-based agency SMYLE purchased event and communications specialist Pumphouse Productions, which counts Yahoo, BP and EDF Energy as clients.
  • The Business Travel Markets annual survey reports that the number of UK business travel managers with responsibility for meetings rose from 52% to 57% in 2014, while those with a strategic meetings management program in place increased from 27% to over 30%.



The top 20 UK agencies ranked by their event-based turnover for 2014 are:

  1. Motivcom
  2. Ashfield Meetings & Events
  3. Jack Morton Worldwide
  4. George P Johnson
  5. TRO
  6. Capita Travel & Events
  7. WRG Creative
  8. CWT Meeting & Events
  9. Grass Roots
  10. BCD Meetings & Incentives
  11. Banks Sadler
  12. Logistik
  13. DRP Group
  14. CI Events
  15. The fresh Group
  16. MCI UK
  17. Rapier Group
  18. Smyle
  19. RPM
  20. Concerto Live

Agency commentary:

Which sectors do you see being the biggest spenders in 2015?

  • Tina Morris, Managing Director, Events, Adding Value:“There is a lot of research and development currently taking place in biotechnology and nanotechnology, which at some stage will have to be taken to market and will involve communications and live events. These will be the booming industries that agencies will be looking to embrace.”
  • Richard Hingley, Group Creative Director, DRP: “We are starting to see interest and enquiries from potential clients in the construction sector who want to talk about projects and events that they haven’t run for some time, which is an encouraging sign for this sector.”
  • Guy Horner, Managing Director, TBA: “We are seeing lots of opportunities with our construction clients. Britain is in the top 10 for global infrastructure spend and this is filtering down to events.”