Venues report 294% increase in event enquiries as confidence grows
Venues have seen a 294% increase in event enquiries since the prime minister announced conditional plans to permit all events to return from 21 June.
Digital marketing agency Patch said that its clients, which are mostly London-based venues, saw a large uptick in enquiries for both corporate and private events after the news, with some seeing increases as high as 550%.
The majority of bookings were concentrated within Q3 and Q4, however most also saw interest as soon as the end of Q2, and as late as 2022.
Jackson Clark (left), managing director at Patch, said the statistics demonstrate that having guidelines on what will be allowed and when is the confidence boost the events industry had been waiting for.
“Now that businesses and individuals have an idea of what the future will look like, all the pent-up demand has been released and those who have been waiting to start planning events can commit with some certainty,” he said.
Clark added that while there was still caution around committing to bookings, the prime minister’s ‘no going’ back attitude combined with the continued successful rollout of the vaccine was a welcome kick start towards the industry’s recovery.
He added that celebratory events made up a large portion of the enquiries. “While we saw no big pattern to what types of event people are prioritising, one common theme was an influx of enquiries for celebratory events – receptions, award ceremonies, dinners, and even summer and Christmas parties,” he said. “After a year spent making sacrifices by all, I don’t think anyone should be surprised that people are ready and raring to let their hair down.”
Almost all venues also saw an increase in interest for conferences, meetings and educational events, while demand for filming and photography bookings remained strong. Some of those venues with events scheduled for April/May also saw them postponed to later in the year, around Q3 and Q4.
Catherine Owen, head of venue sales and marketing at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace (pictured) said that while the roadmap was welcome and questions remained, there was enough confidence to kick start enquiries.
“We have seen a massive increase in wedding, micro wedding and celebration enquiries and it is evident people are ready to come together and celebrate after the year we have collectively been through,” she said. “We have also seen an increase in corporate bookings and the appetite remains strong for hybrid and virtual events, so we have our own dedicated studio to cater for that.”
Ruby Chagger, conference and sales manager at Congress Centre said that as soon as the announcement was made, the venue saw an increase in enquiries for large conferences in particular as well as some dinners and receptions.
“Many of these were for the last quarter of the year which just shows us that organisations can't wait to meet, and confidence is on the rise. We can't wait to get back to the hustle and bustle of live events,” she said.