Hospitality is an unpredictable beast at the best of times. Then 2020 happened.
Five months after lockdown was announced – and two since venues started reopening – we’re slowly getting back to normal. Eat Out to Help Out made Mondays busy and the weekends quiet. Exam results were revealed without incident. Regional lockdowns were announced via Twitter.
Okay, so things are still a long way from normal. But there are reasons to be hopeful and believe that the good times will return to our sector.
We’ve studied a sample of 2,221 venue booking requests and found there was an increase of 267% from April to July. Read on for a snapshot of the trends we’ve spotted, or click here for a longer read courtesy of Conference News.
- 1 in 4 enquiries were for venues with a garden, rooftop or other outside space.
- 89% of bookings have come from consumers instead of businesses; so birthday parties and private celebrations rather than conferences and meetings. We expect an increase in conference, training events and workshop bookings when business events are permitted from next month.
- 60,000 users searched VenueScanner looking for an event space in July.
- Demand for event space is only at 20% of where it was in February. This could be a slow transition rather than a fast bounce back to recovery.
- Organisers have been seeking countryside venues for multi-day, overnight stays.
- Corporate event planners are looking to combine multiple events in one go, for example a conference and Christmas party hybrid.
- There has been less of a focus on conferences and formal business events. The trend for corporate bookers has been about having fun and getting people together once again.
Rebecca Kelly, VenueScanner’s founder, said: “It is really encouraging to see these early signs of recovery as consumer confidence starts to pick up again.
“We need to ensure that appetite for corporate event space catches up with consumer demand to really drive this recovery.”
“Consumers and employers need consistent messaging, guidelines and timelines if these early signs of recovery are to continue.”