Confidence in the conference: More hotels sign up to service to grab slice of meetings market

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Management

Hotels are hoping to cash in on the increase in enquiries for conferences and meetings
Hotels are hoping to cash in on the increase in enquiries for conferences and meetings
A website which helps conference and meeting organisers find venues easier has seen an increase in the number of hotels signing up to its service which its managing director believes is a sign of greater confidence in the meetings market. 

Accor, Puma Hotels, Guoman Thistle and Principal Hayley are among the hotel groups who have added their details to websites run by ConferencesGroup so far this year as they look to take advantage of an upturn in the corporate events market​. 

ConferencesGroup managing director Simon Thompson said the company's websites, and CorporateDesk were attracting an increasing number of enquiries from event organisers, so hotels were rushing to get in on the act. 

He said: "The meeting and events industry in particular felt the strain of the economic downturn as businesses looked to cut back on corporate travel. However, whilst recovery remains slow, quarter one is certainly showing signs of improvement with new business levels exceeding expectations.

“Helping venues to adapt to meet clients’ changing requirements is a key focus for us in 2013.  Early indications show that venues are embracing the impact of change and recognising price and value for money are the most influential factors.”

Versatile conference spaces 

The news comes as research by QHotels shows that despite the recession, 25 per cent of businesses say they will book more conferences in 2013 with 64 per cent of the 626 businesses surveyed saying they look for versatile conference areas when booking. 

However, while the number of conferences could increase, they are likely to be short and close to the business itself with 70 per cent of businesses insisting that conferences only last a day and 65 per cent wanting them to take place less than two hours' travel away. 

Joanne Barrett, head of meeting & event operations at QHotels, said: “It’s great news to hear that the conference sector is set to grow in 2013 and it seems companies are keen to bring their teams together more frequently.

"We’re completely dedicated to making the conference booking / organising process as simple as possible and we’ve even be recognised for our dedication by VenueVerdict."

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