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Tips & Guides

Rates and availability post-Lockdown

3 Jun 20201m read

Once lockdown restrictions ease, Venues will be snapped up quickly while the backlog of postponed events will dominate calendars for the foreseeable future. Never has there been a better time to engage with an experienced Venue Finding agency to help you to source a venue, negotiate rates, terms and conditions.
We can expect social distancing measures to be in place for some time to come and this will dramatically reduce venue capacities. Venues will need to be flexible, adapt to the changed climate and tailor their offerings accordingly. Under current regulations a minimum of 4sqm (2x2m) will need to be provided per person. This will result in most spaces having maximum capacity reduced by at least 50%. You may wish to consider a classroom or theatre set up as opposed to cabaret style which could reduce room capacity further.
Venues are reviewing their Day Delegate packages in line with lower maximum numbers and they will also represent the new lower minimum numbers that can be booked. Some venues are adding a small supplement of up to £10 per delegate to compensate for reduced capacities. These supplements will also reflect the additional space required and enhanced Health & Safety measures that the venues are required to have in place.
We are finding that venues are also offering more flexibility with timings of Day Delegate Packages. Some are offering earlier start times of 8am running until 4pm or 11am-7pm to avoid delegates having to travel at peak times.
Some venues are allowing clients to move their 2020 events to 2021 at no extra cost, however as meeting and event space is likely to be in high demand, we may see Day Delegate rates increase from January next year.
Whether you are planning a small meeting or larger conference we will obtain all the relevant information on room hire rates, package options, room capacities and availability from multiple venues so that you can compare the various offerings and make the right venue choice for your event!
The overwhelming sense we get from talking to venues all day every day is that they like the rest of us are finding the future incredibly hard to predict and forecast. This is reflected in the wildly different pricing strategies being pursued by seemingly comparable venues. In this scenario, now is the time to use an experienced venue finding agency, leverage our industry knowledge, contacts, proprietorial database, to save you both time and money.
The three broad tacks meeting and conference venues are taking are:
Increasing Prices:
This is built on a number of factors. Room capacities are going to be drastically reduced with social distancing measures in place, often by 50% and more. As such revenue per attendees is forecast to fall off a cliff. In an effort to mitigate this some venues are threatening to add supplements of as much as £10 per delegate to existing contracted clients, others are trying to push up rates for new bookings.

Decreasing Prices:
Many venues are worried about future events cancelling / whether the industry will ever return to its previous state. As such they are desperately trying to convert any business they have. In many cases this means reduced prices.
Doing Nothing:
Some venues are stuck not knowing how to price business into 2021 as such some simply aren’t offering rates, they are taking pencil bookings but not confirming rates for next year until they have more knowledge on what they can or cannot offer.
Other Strategies.
Many venues are trying to squeeze what little profit they can out of hybrid and virtual events, leveraging their client relations to shift to this new paradigm. Cavendish Venues are an example of this see here.
Booking terms:
Again, in the wake of Covid 19, meeting and conference venues across the UK have taken a match to their terms and conditions. Some are rigidly enforcing terms and conditions; others are offering levels of flexibility unheard of in all our 25+ years of industry experience. Be it offering dedicated Coronavirus clauses in case of a second wave, see here for more details, or allowing existing events to be pushed back without charge. Others are trying to offer more, i.e. flexible opening and closing times etc. All of this is another reason to use an experience venue search agency. Never has industry knowledge and experience been more important than now.

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