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BDRC study reveals Hilton No.1 Brand for Meetings & Events in the UK, while Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is most improved

2014 MeetingsMetrix Report

Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to dominate the UK meetings market, according to BDRC Continental’s MeetingsMetrix report, which was published today. The study measures key brand health metrics (awareness, usage, preference and loyalty) amongst corporate bookers and agencies.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts, which has more than 60 hotels in the United Kingdom at present, has topped the rankings since 1996, when the report was first published. In that time it has faced challenges from others, but continues to be the most frequently recalled, used and preferred brand in the UK market.

There was also positive news for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, which registered the greatest improvement in market metrics compared with last year. The Edinburgh based organisation most notably increased awareness of its brand amongst the corporate sector.

Other commendable performance was recorded by QHotels, Mercure, De Vere Venues and Rezidor’s Radisson Blu brand, which managed to consolidate many of the gains that made it 2013’s most improved twelve months ago. Marriott is also now the corporate sector’s leading choice for residential events.

Stephen Cassidy, UK & Ireland Area Vice President, Hilton Worldwide said: “I am delighted to receive the 2014 MeetingsMetrix ‘No. 1 Brand’ award on behalf of Hilton Worldwide. This prestigious award recognises the outstanding work of our team members across the UK, who deliver exceptional business meetings and events and unparalleled customer service every day, for which the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand continues to be world renowned.”

Other headlines from the report include;
• Volumes of event continue to increase, but at a slightly slower pace than beforebr/> • Rate growth remains patchy and differs hugely by region. Most of the country has seen growth since last year, but in real terms nowhere in the country is remotely close to having kept up with inflation since 2011br/> • Agents are more enthusiastic about next year’s outlook than they were last year, but corporates are slightly more conservative than they were 12 months ago

James Bland, client services director, observed that the meetings market seems to be reflecting economic opinion overall. “It’s often said, anecdotally, that our sector is a good proxy for the economy as a whole; it’ll be the first into a recession and perhaps the first out. With economic forecasts saying that GDP growth in 2014 is going to be higher than in subsequent years, the same does seem to be coming out of our data for the MICE industry. Growth over the next few years might well be slower, but I think the crucial thing to remember is that it still looks like growth”

The MeetingsMetrix study (previously the Meetings Market Survey) is BDRC Continental’s annual report into the sector. It is based upon 550 interviews with booking agents and corporate meeting planners, all of whom have personal responsibility for selecting and liaising with venues.

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