October maintained its traditional momentum as a key month for conferencing, but problems in the US economy has had a year-on-year impact on the provincial market.
According to the latest UK Conference Benchmark from ConferenceCare, day delegate rates in London grew by 11.86% year-on-year while accommodation rates increased by 7.18%.
Demand in the capital was so strong that organisers were turning down provisional bookings and demanding signed contracts from the outset.
Provincial rates, which were in line with inflation, represented a slowdown on October 2006.
The tumbling dollar, high oil and food prices, and the tight US labour market kept inflation top of the agenda for client industry sectors.
The association market showed signs of a slowdown in rates, while rates in the pharmaceutical industry evened out.
But the truest reflection of the UK economy came from the financial sector where rates have now fallen for three consecutive years.
The monthly reports from Conference Care benchmark meeting and conference expenditure, reflecting bookings from the UK’s major corporations and industry sectors.
The statistics - based on figures from group and independent hotels, academic venues, dedicated training centres and unique venues - cover eight- and 24-hour rates, rates by key UK destinations, lead-in times for events, conversion times, and key days and months.
Midlands-based Conference Care provides event management, venue-finding and technological solutions - including on-line bookings - for corporate and public sector buyers.