Tony project-manages the annual 'UK Conference and Meeting Survey' research in conjunction with Richard Smith of RJS Associates. The ‘UK Conference and Meeting Survey’ (UKCAMS) seeks to:

  • monitor and measure important characteristics of the UK conference, meetings and business events market from a venue perspective

  • provide the best possible estimates for volume and value aspects of the market

  • identify current and emerging trends

Tony and Richard have also been contracted by the Events Industry Alliance to project-manage a major 3-year study into the UK exhibitions and events sector, entitled 'SASiE' (Size and Scale Index for Events).

Tony also serves on the the Research Group of the Business Visits & Events Partnership. He has also developed considerable research expertise into conference ambassador programmes, and details of the latest such research are shown below.

International Research into Conference Ambassador Programmes

April 2014

Conference Ambassador Programmes have shown signs of growth in almost every corner of the world according to a study by Tony Rogers of Tony Rogers Conference and Event Services and Sue Beverley of CHS Group.

The research is the most comprehensive piece of research ever undertaken on the subject with 34 convention bureaux and related organisations taking part. It produced information on volume, value, method of recruitment, key sectors, major wins and benefits to the organisation and Ambassador, as well as identifying potential future trends.

The research showed that, compared with previous research undertaken in 2010, there had been a huge 67 per cent increase in destinations interested in running a Conference Ambassador Programme despite a small decrease in staff size and marketing budgets available to support such Programmes. Some destinations reported upwards of £10 million pounds worth of economic benefit from relatively small marketing budget investments of just £10,000 - £20,000.

Other specific findings include:

  • Programmes are primarily targeting international association congresses, followed by regional association congresses
  • A new area is the development of corporate ambassadors, identified as important by 17 per cent of respondents
  • Healthcare / Pharmaceutical, technology and financial services are the key sectors for ambassador programmes
  • On average, almost 60 per cent of ambassadors are drawn from academia and 30 per cent from hospitals and the medical sector
  • Emerging trends include the recruitment of overseas-based ambassadors and the alignment of ambassador recruitment to a destination’s core competencies and principal economic sectors.

Conference Ambassador Programmes are typically run by convention bureaux and aim to bring Association conferences to a region by working in partnership with key “ambassadors” from businesses, hospitals and universities in that area. They have seen a surge in popularity over recent years as destinations strive to compete for the lucrative Association sector events and recognise the value of working with Ambassadors from their destination to help bid for and secure congresses, conventions and similar events.

In 2014, the following 34 destinations participated fully in the research and are operating Conference Ambassador Programmes:

  1. UK & Ireland cities/destinations: Aberdeen, Belfast, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dublin, Dundee and Angus, Edinburgh, Jersey, Liverpool, London, Manchester, NewcastleGateshead, Nottinghamshire
  2. Other cities/destinations: Adelaide, Amsterdam, Canberra, Calgary, Espoo, Frankfurt, Gold Coast, Gothenburg, Krakow, Prague, Rimini, Sydney, The Hague, Vancouver
  3. Countries/National Entities: Dubai, Malaysia, Poland, Scotland, Singapore.

Most respondents to the 2014 research are convention bureaux or destination marketing organisations (83%) – other respondents are academic venues (6.5%), conference centres (4%), and national tourism organisations (6.5%).

The research provides information on:

  • Programme launch dates and names
  • Staffing
  • Budgets, funding sources, financial support and partnerships
  • Analysis of budget expenditures
  • Types of organisations being targeted for events
  • Ambassador sources / types
  • Sectors being targeted
  • Numbers of ambassadors and proportions of ‘live’ ambassadors
  • Ambassador categories
  • Ambassador recruitment and research
  • Benefits for ambassadors
  • Training for ambassadors and initiatives to create a sense of ‘belonging’
  • Marketing and communications activities with ambassadors
  • Ambassador networking events
  • Use of social media networks
  • Economic impact of ambassador programmes
  • Current and future trends.

To order a copy of the full research results click here.

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