Over the past few months, event venues have undergone complete transformations. Social distancing markers, increased signage, sanitiser points, screens and re-formatted meeting room set-ups are just some of the visual measures that will greet delegates as they return to live face-to-face meetings and conference environments across Europe.
Behind the scenes though, venues have needed to do so much more to instil confidence in those MICE planners who have been up-skilling themselves for a future of virtual events since the start of the global coronavirus crisis.
Planners need safety guarantees and compelling strategies for a return to the conference plenary hall or meeting room and they’re looking to venues to provide them.
Collaboration between planner and venue therefore has never been more important. But is it fair to place the onus wholly on the event venue to communicate its adapted offer?
Planners have the same duty of care to their attendees as venues have to their customers, so who should be taking the lead to drive recovery in the meetings industry? And how are conversations between planners and suppliers currently evolving to navigate this new normal?
The fact is that the race for venue space across Europe is now on.
The number of postponed events in the second and third quarters of this year means that re-scheduling will likely cause date congestion and bottlenecks around Christmas and the first half of 2021, as planners either replace meetings with a well-earned festive celebration or postpone for 12 months and aim for the same dates next year.
New rules around social distancing have already resulted in a reduction in meeting space sizes, which may result in planners dividing their meetings up over more days.
For example, what may have been a booking for 200 delegates over two days in April this year, could now become a booking for 50 delegates per day over four days in the same month next year.
Securing more consecutive days at your preferred venue or meetings destination will certainly become challenging, especially if you require exclusive use. But will there be better deals and added value from event venues in different European countries as the competition for business hots up?
Join us to find out more
Answers to the above questions and more are something myself and Graham Pope, Head of European Sales for Cvent Hospitality Cloud, debated at length during our webinar.
We also covered the regulatory changes that are driving these conversations and how Cvent helps you to leverage the technology required to plan and host safe and secure hybrid or in-person events in the future.
One thing we both recommended is that event planners and venues should start communicating and negotiating right away. So, if you haven’t already restarted your venue sourcing activity, now is the time to log back onto the Cvent Supplier Network, check out our new Source Safely resource hub, analyse Event Diagramming-enabled floor-plans and speak to venues and hotels about your conference and meetings requirements.