Conference News July/August 2017 - Page 19

19 Business Brief2Event up 22% Wiltshire-based booking agency and venue finder Brief2Event says it is on target to increase its turnover by 22% in 2017. In 2016, the agency says it helped place £4.5m of client business across venues and hotels. Six months into Brief2Event’s 2017 financial year, the agency says it has already surpassed that figure, and is forecasting £5.5m in business across its leisure, venue, hotel and events departments by the end of the year. A.O.B: Eventist buys Food Eventist Group has acquired event caterer Food by Dish. The partnership enables Food by Dish to drive sales through its established contracts by drawing on Eventist Group’s business resources. Food by Dish is listed at more than 25 of the capital’s visitor attraction and heritage venues. GOOD MONTH FOR: UKinbound calls for Brexit plan review Macdonald Hotels has created 12 new roles in its meetings and events team following an 11.5% increase in corporate bookings in 2016. The hires follow a £13m investment across Macdonald’s 48 UK properties. UKinbound has called for a review of the new Government’s approach to Brexit negotiations after the General Election results verified the electorate’s hard Brexit fears, which are shared by the association. UKinbound surveyed its members regarding the new Government’s tourism priorities and is calling on the Conservatives and DUP, should they confirm a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement, to implement a strong sector deal and visa reforms, as part of Brexit negotiations. Conducted in May, 75% of respondents stated the implementation of a strong sector deal and the improvement of the visa process for key markets, are their top priorities. With negotiations underway, UKinbound wants to remind the Government that the UK’s tourism industry employs over three million people across the country, and in 2016 was responsible for contributing over £22bn annually to the UK economy. UKinbound wants the Government to address the immigration system, open skies, visa-free travel between the UK and the EU and a focus on a strong narrative to promote the UK as a welcoming destination. BAD MONTH FOR: Lord’s could be set to receive £150m of investment in its Tavern and Allen Stands and Banqueting Suite. Gatwick has been ranked second worst airport in the world. Research by AirHelp also put Manchester and Edinburgh at the bottom of the list. www.conference-news.co.uk BCD M&E records increase in profits BCD Meetings and Events has recorded an 8% increase in profits in 2016, following its acquisition of events agency Zibrant in July 2016. Pre-tax profits of £810,000 includes combined trading for both BCD Meetings & Events and Zibrant for the 12 months ending December 2016, and compares to an equivalent of £750,000 for 2015. Nigel Cooper, managing director, EMEA, BCD Meetings & Events commented: “These results represent a good performance following the restructuring and integration of Zibrant into BCD Meetings and Events. It provides us with a solid platform to develop the combined UK business, with 20% growth forecast for 2017.”