15 Business Select acquisition London-based events agency, Select Event Solutions, has consolidated its growth with the acquisition of professional conference organiser, The Conference Agency. Select Event Solutions was set up in 2016 by Clare de Brett, MD, as a venue-finding agency and now supports over 100 events across the UK. The growing team supports over 300 meetings and events annually across the UK and Europe. A.O.B: M&S Bank new look The rebranded M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool has been unveiled, after M&S Bank became the official naming partner of the venue. Sue Fox, CEO, M&S Bank, said: “We’re proud to be the official naming partner of Liverpool’s top venue for music, sport, comedy and family entertainment, and it’s a proud moment for us to see the rebrand complete.” GOOD MONTH FOR: Creative agency Rapiergroup has been announced as the new event management company for UK AD and World Biogas Expo 2019 at the NEC, 3-4 July. BAD MONTH FOR: De Vere Cranage Estate, Cheshire, has unveiled the £200,000 refurbishment of its meetings and events spaces. Budget airline Ryanair has posted a net loss of £19.6m for the last three months of 2018. The airline had cut fares in the face of what it called “excess winter capacity in Europe”. DDR up 10%, says MIA Meetings venues across the UK have overcome a challenging economy to experience a 10% rise in delegate day rates (DDR) over the last four years, according to figures gathered by the Meetings Industry Association (MIA). Despite the ongoing economic uncertainty and a slowdown in the rate of GDP growth, the average DDR among MIA members rose by 2% in 2018 to £43.48, continuing the steady upward trend noted since miaTouchstone started tracking rates in 2015. Venues in the South West and East Midlands were among those with the highest rate rises. Both regions saw an increase of 20% in their DDR rates in 2018 while residential rates rose around 25%. Average 24-hour residential rates reported by the MIA member venues to the online benchmarking tool also rose by 2% in 2018 compared to those in 2017 with the latter months showing a bigger uplift. While rates rose, so too did the average number of meetings. Despite an immediate drop off in activity levels following the EU Referendum in 2016, the industry bounced back to experience 12% growth in 2018. www.conference-news.co.uk Republic record Hotel sales and marketing and representation company, Hotel Republic, has posted a record turnover of £10.2m for its hotel conference portfolio for 2018, including invoicing £1.2m in hotel fees alone. The agency also booked its biggest ever event worth £1.7m during the period, as well as 75,000 room nights which translated into £8.2m for its leisure hotel portfolio. Hotel Republic is celebrating its 15th year this year and MD Kai Schomann admitted it was a blow to lose its original client, Movenpick, after the takeover by Accor. However, he added, the new wins mean he will be hiring new sales staff in 2019.