City of London venues looking forward to Brexit boost, survey finds

The City of London could be set for a Brexit boost, with more than three quarters (77 per cent) of City venues expecting an increase in revenue in the next 12 months, according to a new survey.

The London City Selection (LCS) survey also had several other positive findings, notably that 70 per cent of respondents are optimistic about the coming year and 70 per cent have seen no movement or an increase in confirmed booking when comparing 2018 to 2019.

The State of the Industry survey was sent to LCS members to explore the affect Brexit has been having on the events industry in 2019.

“Brexit is something everyone across every industry in the City is speculating about,’ says Sarah McQueen, venues and hospitality manager at the Museum of London. “We wanted to go out there and pull together some facts so we could give our members, and the industry, some clarity about what’s really going on.”

Although the results of the survey look as though 2019 is going to be a good year for the events industry in the City, there are a few areas that may cause some concern – including customer spend. Nearly 70 per cent of those surveyed said they felt “client budget is becoming an issue in the face of Brexit.”

It also appears that more venues have seen a dip in overseas bookings (15 per cent) compared to only 8 per cent enjoying an increase and that venues are concerned about recruiting and maintaining staff in the future.

“Brexit is definitely playing a role in recruitment and staff retention,” one respondent said. “The recruitment pool seems to be smaller and overall time to fill a position is longer.” More than half (54 per cent) of individuals completing the survey were concerned about this area.

Paul Martins, LCS chair, said: “There’s no doubt that the uncertainty of Brexit is going to affect us all but it’s encouraging to see that, certainly in the short term, LCS member venues are generally optimistic about the next 12 months.”

The findings also echo the views of etc.venues MD Alastair Stewart, who told M&IT that he expects to see “masses of activity” in London int he next 12 months thanks to Brexit.