Peter ran the audience through some data reports for event booking trends, which we'll delve into a little in the key takeaways. You can also watch the session recording below.
Table of Contents
Watch The Panel Discussion
Confidence is making a slow comeback
As shown in the data presented by Peter, which you can observe in the recording above, there was a significant upward curve in event bookings made in March for events later in the year, mainly meetings at this point, which continued into April and May. This suggests a trend that confidence was slowly returning in event bookers, which is encouraging for venues, however it's also important to recognise that the volume of events was still low when compared to a 'normal' year such as 2019.
So when are these events being booked for?
The booking trends report shows trends for the future and demonstrates the level of confidence bookers are showing at a certain point in time. For example, using the data, we can expect to see a rush in bookings for the last quarter of the year because that's when we are extremely confident that we'll be allowed to run large events.
We can also see that there will be a lull in bookings in the following Q1 as that's when we might anticipate another spike in cases due to the mass gatherings held in the previous Q4. Confidence will then rise once again heading into Q2 as the public begin to believe that cases are under control. These sentiments are ever-changing but these reports allow venues and planners to keep on top of the data and plan accordingly.
Keep an eye on event type
With these reports from Venue Performance, we can filter not just by when events are being booked, but also by what type of events are being booked and the confidence surrounding each type of event.
For example, there is a differing level of confidence surrounding booking a large conference than there is surrounding booking a smaller meeting or away day, but what we can see is that, at least for the end of 2021, there is much more urgency to book events in the private market (weddings, private receptions, dinners etc) than there is for booking events in the business market. This could largely be down to the legalities of holding events in an era where a Covid outbreak is possible; no one's going to sue a married couple for an outbreak at their wedding!
Keeping track of what type of events are being booked (or not being booked) will be extremely helpful for venues and planners to garner valuable insights and gauge confidence levels.
Venue recovery trends
Looking at the data, there isn't one particular venue type that is looking more likely to recover faster than others because there is so much variety in the events being booked. Although hotels have been tipped to recover faster due to the fact that everything is onsite and easier to contain (accommodation, restaurants and event spaces are all in the same building), the range of venues across London is so diverse and all have different safety policies in place that it's difficult to say cut and dry which venue type will bounce back the fastest.
The tables have turned
Before, decisions on events and budgets were decided further up the company hierarchy and event managers were then instructed to deliver the events. However, in these times and with access to these reports and data, event managers will find they are more valuable to stakeholders and senior decision makers as they are much more informed about the market and the best course of action. They can advise up the decision-making chain about what the market is looking like, what competitors are doing and how they should best move forward in a more informed way based on the data.
About The Speakers
Peter Heath, Managing Director, Venue Performance
Peter has worked in the meeting & events industry both in the UK & internationally for over 25 years and has always been focused on helping clients improve their performance. He created the Venue Performance benchmarking platform in direct response to requests from both event venues and booking agents.
Cameron Roberts, Digital and Community Editor, Conference News
A journalist by trade, Cameron has worked in and around the events industry for several years as a content manager and conference producer, creating content for both in-person and digital events.
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