Lifting of restrictions fuels £1m booking spike at venue portfolio

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Venue portfolio etc.venues reported bookings had increased 500 per cent since UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced restrictions on meetings could be lifted.

As of Monday 17 May, indoor events for up 1,000 people or 50 per cent venue capacity, could resume in the UK.

“It is apparent that companies are looking to increase employee or member engagement with the events planned,” etc.venues director of marketing and US sales, Adam Simpson said.

Event bookings taken by etc.venues include corporate conferences, annual general meetings, association meetings and government departmental events, with London properties seeing the most bookings.

“Public sector events are bringing together whole departments that have been apart for over a year. Corporates are looking to bring senior managers and partners together to plan and strategise. Associations are aiming to gather their members to network and share industry updates at face-to-face annual events.”

The spike in bookings took place in the three days after the PM made his announcement on 10 May. “That is a 500 per cent increase on last week and supports the hypothesis that many businesses were waiting for this crucial date to be confirmed before committing themselves,” added Simpson.

“It’s not just the total value of these events that is very encouraging, the number of events being confirmed has also been increasing significantly.”

Many of the bookings are taking place within the next three months. “What is more promising in the figures is a major spike in enquiries and bookings for short lead meetings and events – taking place in the next three months. Enquiries last week doubled compared with the previous week.

“These bookings are largely from new customers and SMEs rather than large enterprise companies. Judging by the event titles these clients are seizing the opportunity to meet customers and are selecting our venues for their central location and safe and secure environment."

Simpson added that the majority of the bookings being made are for live, in-person events.

“We’re all set and ready for everyone with our safety protocols in place as we have been open for essential events – and it will be inspiring for all of us to welcome back hundreds of people to our venues.”

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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