Average Daily Delegate Rates (DDR) rose 3% from January to July, compared to the same period in 2018, according to the Meetings Industry Association (mia). While results from the latest miaTouchstone quarterly report show a positive start for many members during the first half of 2019, there are fears of a slowdown as we approach the Brexit deadline of 31 October. According to the latest report, which studies the enquiry levels, number of meetings, average daily and 24-hour residential rates of mia members, the average number of meetings held in the first six months of 2019 fell by 15% compared to the same period in 2018. Enquiry levels continue to grow by 5% but with a decline in the number of meetings actually taking place, the mia is advising venues to be more innovative to ensure better conversion rates, especially against a challenging economy. Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “We have seen a positive start to 2019, which reflects a reasonable level of confidence among our members. However, as we approach the Brexit deadline of 31 October, it is likely that many organisations will be holding back on major events until we know the outcome, so venues are advised to look at innovative ways to convert enquiries and help them continue to ride the storm.” Jane added: “Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the mia will continue to support its members through its events programme and by initiatives such as miaTouchstone that provides valuable benchmarking data enabling them to compare activity levels across the industry as well as among their peer groups.” To help members to take a fresh and look and increase conversions from enquiries, it is hosting a dedicated ‘Show rounds – the new world!’ event on 5 September at Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa. To find out more about participating and receiving miaTouchstone, visit: https://www.mia-uk.org/miaTouchstone.