Venues in Coventry
and Warwickshire have seen an overwhelming return to physical meetings, conferences and
exhibitions as enquiries for hybrid events decrease.
and Warwickshire, the region’s convention bureau, has been speaking with venues
across the area – with one venue reporting that 75 per cent of enquiries favour
face-to-face over hybrid events.
bureau canvassed major venues from across the region, including Coventry
Building Society Arena, Coventry Conferences, Warwick Conferences, British
Motor Museum, Telegraph Hotel, Eliot Park Innovation Centre and IXL Events
Conferences reported that four out of 10 enquiries are still requesting hybrid
capability, which is a stable level, while at Warwick Conferences there is a
decrease in hybrid enquiries.
venues emphasised there is still a place for hybrid events to reach global
audiences - and there is still work being done to improve hybrid capability at
Most of those
surveyed indicated that the reasons for the drop-off in hybrid requests are led
by the reduced impact of Covid-19, but were also impacted by a number of other
organisers not being aware of what hybrid can bring to an event, but after
discussions with venues they are more likely to request hybrid support.
Cost is also a
factor, with organisers increasingly cost-conscious and the number of virtual
attendees not able to justify the additional costs.
It was also
suggested that, on some occasions, organisers believe giving a virtual
attendance option will lead to delegates not attending in person, with
in-person attendance being the priority.
Society Arena, the region’s largest venue, highlighted that they do still have
hybrid enquiries but these tend to be from industries where Covid protocols are
still essential – for example Government or NHS.
Toby Batchelor, head
of commerce at the British Motor Museum, said: “Hybrid is still an element of conference
and exhibition delivery, but I think it is now being used more as an extension
for organisers rather than the focus.
“Clever and savvy
organisers are always looking for ways to extend the audience for their events
and reach further. Hybrid can help to do that.
“However, I would
say that hybrid is more of a focus for small meetings and not larger scale
events. The focus for larger events is certainly face-to-face.”
Beth Collins, event
sales coordinator at IXL Events Centre, added: “Hybrid events were a fantastic solution
to still host events during the uncertain times going through the pandemic.
“We have held some
hybrid events and are fully prepared to design two experiences - in-person and virtual
- should the client ask for it. However, in our experience, hybrid events are
not as important any longer as enquiries for face-to-face events have returned
to normal levels.”
and Warwickshire is part of the region’s newest destination management organisation (DMO),
Paul Jones, MD of
Conference Coventry and Warwickshire, said: “There has been a huge desire from
people to get back to face-to-face events and the inevitable impact of that has
been a reduction in enquiries for hybrid events.
“However, we would
say there is certainly still a place for hybrid and we have fantastic
technology and capability in venues across the region in order to deliver
high-quality hybrid meetings, conferences and exhibitions.
“But the return to
face-to-face events is fantastic for our visitor economy and we have a
wonderful, varied portfolio of venues for event organisers to choose from in
Coventry and Warwickshire.”