Venues deploy discounts and quick reactions to speed recovery

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Nearly half of venues in a new survey admit they have lost 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 – report limited availability in October and November because cancelled events have been rebooked.

And they have deployed proactive strategies to recover as quickly as possible once it is safe.

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

He said: “The effect of the lockdown continued to be severe for UK venues during April. Our survey showed:

  • 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 others have lost less than £100K.”

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

“Every venue we questioned has taken 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 feel 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 are convinced there will be a need for robust AV and telephone conferencing facilities.”

Sales teams are proactively talking to market segments like healthcare, energy, finance, IT and pharma with plans to book events quickly at the end of 2020/ beginning of 2021.

Clients with internal organizations using their sites say this segment of their business is the most unpredictable. These organizations have cancelled without rebooking at this stage and are awaiting guidance.

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

“The next stage in recovery for 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