The official conference and events bureau for Cambridge and the surrounding area is reporting soaring levels of enquiries from organisations keen to book meetings and dinners as in-person gatherings.
Meet Cambridge, founded and funded by the Cambridge Colleges, has revealed that since the beginning of 2022, the team has helped 438 different organisations with 741 venue searches with enquiries worth approximately £5.3m.
These enquiries involved 38,559 day delegates, 40,919 diners and 5,319 residential guests.
Other positive signs have been event organisers conducting site visits ahead of booking conferences, including the first for an international association since the pandemic. This involved a client in Switzerland who had been unable to visit until now because of travel restrictions.
The Meet Cambridge team was also recently selected to take part in Meet GB Virtual, a showcase organised by VisitBritain, during which event organisers from around the world were keen to resume in-person events.
Judith Sloane, Head of Meet Cambridge said: “Our enquiry levels have soared in the last couple of months with a clear message that people want to meet up – and soon!
“Lead-times are short – one to three months – and with dining events the most popular there’s definitely an appetite to get together. February saw a 56% increase in enquiries compared to the same month in 2019 and 2020.
“Three of the international association conferences that we have been working on over several years and which should have taken place over the pandemic are now happening this year. These are the International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in August; the International Symposium on Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy in August; and the Symposium of the Section of Epidemiology and Social Psychiatry of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) in September.
“There are also other encouraging signs that we can look forward to welcoming more delegates to Cambridge soon. One of our ambassadors for The International Association of Music Libraries event planned for 2023 is now putting the finishing touches to the programme, with strong support from her association members for a face-to-face meeting.”
The Meet Cambridge team, left to right: Amy Beschizza, Judith Sloane, Leah Hill and Laura Rayyan.