Venues turn to discounts and quick reactions to speed recovery

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Nearly half of venues in a new survey are down around £500,000 in Q1 and 2 because of the coronavirus crisis – but many are also forecasting a bounceback by October/November.

The venues – ranging from stadiums and conference centres to large society buildings with meeting rooms, all in the UK – have reported limited availability in October and November thanks to cancelled events being rebooked.

And they have already deployed proactive strategies to recover as quickly as possible once it’s safe for attendees and staff.

The survey was commissioned by venue software provider NFS Technology Group and conducted in May. CEO Luis De Souza says the results show venues are working hard to mitigate the damage.

He said: “The effects of the lockdown continue to be severe for UK venues. Our survey showed:

  • 48% lost revenue of around £500K from Q1/Q2
  • 20% have lost £100 – 500K
  • 4% have lost £1m +

“The others have lost less than £100K.”

But the outlook includes some positives. The average venue has rebooked 50% of cancelled bookings into the 2020 Q3/Q4 diary, with10% moved into 2021

“Every venue we asked told us they have taken time to look at their marketing strategy to maintain brand awareness, and work on maintaining key client relationships,” said Luis.

“The events that venues are sure will bounce back fastest are the small 0 – 25 people Day Delegate bookings, with big conferences over 250 people being the last to recover.

“Venues say there will definitely be a need for effective AV and telephone conferencing facilities.”

Sales teams are proactively talking to a number of market segments like healthcare, energy, finance, IT and pharma, hoping to book events fast at the end of 2020/ beginning of 2021.

Clients with internal organisations who use their sites for meetings and events say this segment of their business is the most unpredictable. These organisations have cancelled without rebooking at this stage and are awaiting further guidance.

Luis said: “People are building their recovery campaigns on discounting room hire, extending payment terms, and providing a quick reaction time to all enquiries.

“The next stage in the recovery of the sector is to raise consumer confidence – It’s important guests and delegate attendees are confident that venues can fulfil safety guidelines.”

Discover how the Union Club venue uses Rendezvous venue management technology