Almost half of venues questioned in a new survey have lost around £500,000 in Q1 and 2 because of the coronavirus crisis – but many are also forecasting a bounceback by October and November.
The venues – ranging from stadiums and conference centres to large society buildings with meeting rooms, in the UK – report limited availability in October and November because cancelled events have been rebooked.
And all have drawn up positive strategies to recover as quickly as possible once it is safe to do so.
The survey was commissioned by venue software provider NFS Technology Group and carried out during May. CEO Luis De Souza says it discovered venues are working hard to mitigate damage.
He said: “Unsurprisingly, the effect of the lockdown continued to be severe for UK venues during April. Our survey revealed:
48% lost revenue in the region of £500K from Q1/Q2
20% have lost in the region of £100 – 500K
4% have lost £1m +
“The rest have lost less than £100K.”
But 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 surveyed has taken the time while the venue is shut 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, with large conferences over 250 people being the last to recover.
“Venues believe there will be a need for robust AV and telephone conferencing facilities.”
Sales teams are actively talking to market segments including healthcare, energy, finance, IT and pharma with plans to book events quickly at the end of 2020/ beginning of 2021.
Clients who have internal organisations using their sites say this segment of their business is the most uncertain. These organisations have cancelled without rebooking at this stage and are awaiting more certain guidance.
Luis said: “The key points people are mentioning in their recovery campaign are discounting room hire, extending payment terms, and providing a quick reaction time to enquiries.
“The next stage in recovery for the sector is raising consumer confidence – It’s 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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