Whist many of us will welcome the confirmation that we are on track to fully unlock on July 19th, with the case rates still rising and other notes of caution, we should not expect unbridled confidence in a full return to live events just yet.
It is understandable that some larger organisations are still focussing on their return to office and medium-term working patterns, before they look at the role events will play in delivering key messages, improved loyalty and motivation and supporting their external marketing strategies.
Here are a few further observations and predictions from our Founder and CEO, Sam Gill:
The public interest to attend is back
We have all seen the TV images from Wembley and Wimbledon indicating a willingness from all ages to attend public events, but there is also strong indications from smaller events (including Taste of London this week), that smaller festivals and ticketed events outside of the sporting arenas will have a strong season ahead. We anticipate great sales and attendances for both B2B and B2C trade fairs and exhibitions from September onwards.
Slow, small and steady return to live
It is always the case that smaller companies are more agile and swift in their decision-making processes, so it is no surprise to see these clients driving the return to live internal events. Whether it be a client reception, a residential out-of-town offsite or a staff party in a summer garden or rooftop bar, it’s great to see these “early re-adopters” seizing the moment with confidence and enthusiasm.
Expect a record Christmas Season
All current indicators and client activity both at Story and Venue Search London point towards a very busy December season for London venues. This is, in part, due to postponed events for 2020 pre-populating many diaries, but there had also been strong and fresh demand, as many companies see this as a safe (if long overdue) month for a social gathering, with all the traditional benefits of staging a live end-of-year celebration.
In office events and installations
With many companies planning a fuller return to work after the summer holidays, we are seeing a good number of enquiries and bookings for “welcome back to workplace” receptions and events. In addition, with some ongoing uncertainties around safety and contracts for events at external venues, there is a higher than normal level of interest in hosting end-of-year events in offices, where space allows.
Conferences will still rely on Virtual/Hybrid
The benefits and learnings from 15 months of virtual conferencing will not be lost on boardrooms across the UK. The ability to extend the reach at a lower cost to the company and environment will ensure that this rapidly advancing technology will be here to stay and complement live conferences and meetings, especially for national and international meetings where travel costs and time can be reduced.
Overall, we think we will need to wait a few more weeks before people will feel more certain that the finishing line is in sight. We are very confident that we will turn the final corner and see case rates dropping sometime next month, when this final wave will show signs of petering out…
And finally, we are here to help you through the venue finding, event design and delivery process, whether it is a celebration in your office, a virtual or hybrid conference or a Christmas Party, so please do call us on 0207 870 9303 or get in touch for an initial conversation. Alliteratively, leave your enquiry here and we will get back to you within 24 hours.