Almost half of UK venues in a new survey say they have lost around £500,000 in Q1 and 2 thanks to coronavirus – but many are forecasting a bounceback by October and November.
The venues – ranging from stadiums and conference centres to large London society buildings with meeting rooms – report very limited availability remaining in October and November because cancelled events have been rebooked.
And all have drawn up strategies to recover as quickly as possible once it’s safe to do so.
The survey was commissioned by venue software provider NFS Technology Group and carried out May – and CEO Luis De Souza says it found venues are working hard to mitigate damage.
He said: “Not surprisingly, the effect of the lockdown continued to be severe for venues during April. Our survey revealed:
- 48% have lost revenue in the region of £500K from Q1/Q2 due to coronavirus
- 20% have lost in the region of £100 – 500K
- 4% have lost £1m +
“The remainder have lost less than £100K at this point.”
However, the outlook is not all gloom. The average venue has seen around 50% of the bookings that cancelled rebooked into the 2020 Q3/Q4 diary and just 10% moved into 2021
“Every venue we spoke to has taken the time while the venue is closed to look at their marketing strategy to maintain brand awareness, and work on maintaining key client relationships,” said Luis.
“The events that venues foresee bouncing back the quickest are the small 0 – 25 people Day Delegate bookings and large conferences over 250 people being the last to recover.
“Venues believe there will be a need for strong AV and telephone conferencing facilities.”
The market segments that people are actively speaking to with plans to book events quickly at the end of 2020 beginning of 2021 are healthcare, energy, finance, IT and pharmaceutical business.
Clients with internal organisations that use their sites have seen this segment of their business the most uncertain. These organisations have cancelled bookings without rebooking at this stage and are awaiting more certain guidance from the Government.
Luis said: “The key points that people are mentioning in their efforts to recover are discounting room hire, extending payment terms, and maintaining a quick reaction time to enquiries.
“The next stage in recovery for the sector is consumer confidence – and it is important that guests and delegate attendees feel confident that venues can fulfil all government guidelines to ensure both attendees and staff are safe.”
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