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The great escape? Why cities could see an events exodus

The big city: don’t you just love it? Actually, you probably don’t, judging by the exodus to the countryside that has been taking place since Covid-19 kicked off.

Estate agents have been reporting increasing numbers fleeing the confines of the city in search of greenery in the last few months – people want space to breathe and walk around.

And as ever, what is true in life also holds true in the events world. I’ve heard numerous reports of an increased demand for events at big country house hotels as opposed to city centre properties. There’s a perception that rural locations are safer.

Also, there’s the fact that organisers aren’t taking groups overseas at the moment – and the UK’s rural areas are stepping in to fill that gap.

That was borne out this week when the news dropped into my inbox about a new Cumbrian destination management company (DMC) launching this month.

Catering for meetings, incentives, conferences and private events, Into The Lake District offers a range of ground handling services for both corporate and private event organisers.

Founder Grant Seaman, who has 30 years of experience in the UK events industry, realised that moving into 2021 both corporate companies and private event organisers would be looking for UK destinations to bring teams together and for UK celebrations.

He says, “Having worked in the events industry I could see that many clients were planning to bring their events closer to home. I moved to the Lake District 33 years ago and my events agency business has been based here for 16 years. With a wealth of information to hand, it was a logical fit to offer DMC services for companies looking to hold events in the Lake District.”

Seaman more than has the chops for his new role, having worked across a variety of sectors including hotels, venues, events and the regional brewer, Jennings, with more than 300 events in the Lake District including the launch of a submarine for the Royal Navy.

Braving the current economic outlook must be daunting for any suppliers launching at the moment, but clearly Seaman thinks he can see where the market is going. My hunch is that he might be onto something.