London venues expect fierce competition for business in 2012 as the Olympics come to town, according to a new survey undertaken by organisers of the UK Venue Show. Interviews with senior operators at key London exhibiting venues revealed heightened competition for business next year as well as changes to the usual events calendar.
Robin Parker, general manager at Church House Conference Centre said: “There are potentially many opportunities for 2012, but the fact that some buyers are leaving it so late would suggest that they are going to be looking for value, and will not accept inflated rates.”
Wendy Greenhalgh, director of sales and marketing at One Great George Street, added: “There are many great last minute, unexpected and ‘one off’ opportunities to play host to product launches, hospitality events and high profile meetings, events and press conferences in the first half of the year until the full extent of transport disruption can be seen and felt. The challenge will be quoting the right price to get the business, coping with transport disruption, recovering and activity to gain business in the post-Olympic Games period.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Leaver, head of events at Millbrook Events, noted: “Conferences and events are being moved into the early part of the year, away from June and July and those that would have taken place in London during the summer months are looking for alternative venues due to lack of availability and accommodation and accessibility concerns caused by the 2012 Games.”
UK Venue Show, exhibition director Tanya Cohen said: “The first half of the year will revolve around the Olympics, particularly in London but also across the country. Moreover, the Farnborough International Air Show and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will propel a further increase in business. The challenge for the venues will be to get the balance right between price and offering and when the Games are over to work closely with new and existing clients to get them through the New Year. The show is designed to be the business platform to meet all those important contacts.”
The UK Venue Show, 1–2 February 2012, will kick off 2012's season for the event market and will run in tandem with its respected sister exhibition the Event Production Show. Key buyers signed up to attend include Morgan Stanley, Network Rail, Zibrant, Ticketmaster, Met Police, Oxfam, Rouge Events, AEG Live, RPM Ltd, Jack Morton Worldwide, BBC Sport, L'Oreal UK.