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Association market key for growth of Manchester conference industry

Conferences and business events generated £823 million for Greater Manchester’s economy during 2013 according to the new Conference Value and Volume 2014 study commissioned by Marketing Manchester.
The figure – stable with the £822 million reported for 2011 – represents the income to businesses in the Greater Manchester area due to conference and business events hosted during 2013.

There was a 76% increase in economic impact from the association market*, up from £185 million in 2011 to £325 million in 2013 and this is mirrored by an increase in the number of overseas delegates attending a conference or business event in Greater Manchester, which grew by 64% from 171,000 to 281,000.  

Overall Greater Manchester welcomed 4.9 million delegates and serviced 7.9 million delegate days throughout 2013. These figures were down slightly on 2011 figures and this is reflected in a fall in the number of overall conference and business events from 65,600 in 2011 to 59,200 in 2013. These decreases are largely due to a lower number of public, government and corporate events hosted during the period.  

Commenting on the results of the study, Andrew Stokes, chief executive at Marketing Manchester, said: “The value of conference and business events to Greater Manchester remains significant at £823 million. We are now attracting higher spending delegates, increasingly from overseas markets and this has made up the shortfall where fewer events have been held.”  

“The steady growth of the association market is particularly significant because in recent years the ‘Team Manchester’ partnership has increasingly targeted the sector as a central part of Greater Manchester’s overall economic development strategy. Not only do association meetings have a higher economic value, but they are also intrinsically linked to our academic and industry strengths, creating invaluable opportunities for the transfer of knowledge and allowing Greater Manchester to truly stand out on the global stage.  

“We have laid solid foundations to grow our target market and looking ahead Marketing Manchester will continue to work with partners to focus on associations and those opportunities which offer most synergy with our academic community whilst adding value to Greater Manchester as a whole.”  

The Conference Value & Volume 2014 study was commissioned by Marketing Manchester and carried out by TEAM Tourism Consulting who also undertook the 2010 and 2012 studies.

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