Confidence levels have increased in London
In October 2020, Glaziers Hall asked the events industry to tell us how confident they were about hosting events and how things would change in the few months following the survey. Whilst the country wasn’t in lockdown at the time of the survey, that quickly changed, so when we published the results, the 2nd national lockdown had begun. Confidence levels were, understandably, low, with only 3% of respondents saying they were very confident about the future. Almost 50% were not planning any events at that time.
We wanted to find out how confidence levels have changed, so we ran the survey again over the last couple of weeks.
Confidence levels are up
Twelve months ago, just 43% of people were either somewhat, or very, confident. This year that number is 91%. That certainly resonates with our booking levels!
When we asked when people were expecting to book their next event, nearly half said they were not. That number has dropped to <14%
Event sizes are changing
We all know that Covid is still out there and it is impacting the size of events the industry is expecting to run. This may be a reflection in the people in our network, as Glaziers Hall doesn’t run really big events (500+ people), so we may need to take these numbers with a tiny pinch of salt. Over 70% of people are planning events of <30 people, compared to 31% last year. Larger spaces with fewer people in them will help organisers provide the additional personal space that some delegates are still looking for.
Face to face please
When covid hit and the lockdowns were in place, talk of digital and hybrid events exploded. They were considered to be the future and some people were worried that bigger attended events may be facing the death knoll. Our survey results suggest otherwise.
When asked about what type of events people planned to run, just 13% said hybrid. This compares to 23% last year. There are still a good number of people expecting to continue running digital/hybrid events for the coming months, but the figure is dropping ( 27% compared to 43% last year.). Interestingly, the number of people saying it is still too early to say increased from 18 to 31%!
Running a survey in October is always going to involved the festive season. Back in January we predicted that Christmas 2021 would be a very busy one – as 2020 as cancelled for the events industry. More than 3x as many people said they were organising a Christmas event this year, compared to last year. Our booking certainly reflect that.
Is Covid even important anymore?
Whilst there is still uncertainty out there about what will happen in the coming weeks and months, the impact of Covid on the thinking and planning within the events industry is reducing. 27% of this year’s respondents said that Covid is no longer important. Only 18% said they expected social distancing policies to be in place and even fewer (13%) wanted masks to be worn/available.
On the other hand, over a third still would like to see individual water bottles. This is way down on the 61% who wanted them last year, but it is still a significant percentage.
Covid certifications (such as Good to Go) no longer seem important. Last year, over half of respondents said they would expect to see certifications for any venue they considered using. This year that has dropped to just 9%, with 64% saying they don’t mind.
Food & Drink
We’ve already mentioned the desire for individual water bottles, but there is a different opinion for food. Only 27% of people wanted individually served meals (down from 58%) this year, with nearly half happy to have a buffet for lunch. Locally sourced food is still important, with 40% mentioning it.
Going forward from here
Whilst the statistics still paint an unpleasant picture across London, figures do look like they are starting to drop. Our survey clearly shows much healthier levels of confidence within the events industry, which can only be a good thing. Whilst many people said that Covid is no longer important, here are still things happening that show it is still part of the planning process – and that has got to be a good thing too.
A recent report suggests that the events industry will be worth £27.6bn a year to the UK economy, so increasing confidence levels can only be a good thing.
If you are planning an event and want to talk about how Glaziers Hall can help you deliver a great event, please get in touch. Call us on 020 7403 3300 or click here.