London 2012 Olympics set to fuel competition among venues

Event planners can look forward to increased competition among London venues bidding for C&I business in 2012, according to research by the UK Venue Show.

London 2012 Olympics set to fuel competition among venues
London 2012 Olympics set to fuel competition among venues

London venues also predicted late lead times, transport disruption and finding competitive prices will be key issues for corporate events during major UK events next year.  

Major events such as the London 2012 Olympic Games will challenge venues to balance price and offering, said UK Venue Show exhibition director Tanya Cohen.  

Cohen said: "The first half of the year will revolve around the Olympics. 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."  

Millbrook Events head of events Kevin Leaver said: "Lack of confidence throughout most business sectors is a key issue and clients are still seeking to get the most ‘bang for their buck’. The pressure will be on agencies to seek innovative solutions. Venues that are prepared to help create pitches that stand out, whilst keeping to tight budgets, will ultimately help these agencies to win more business."

UK venues on 2012:  

Late bookings

Church House Conference Centre general manager Robin Parker 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."  

Alternative venues
Millbrook Events head of events Kevin Leaver said: "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."  

Increase in direct bookings
Unique Venues of London general manager Lisa Hatswell said: "Each year UVL carries out a survey of all its members. The latest survey has shown that the number of events is increasing, alongside an increase in direct bookings. We know that many of our venues have been booked for various Country Houses, by official Olympic Games sponsors, and as individual hospitality or entertaining spaces for other business."  

Opportunities and challenges
One Great George Street director of sales and marketing Wendy Greenhalgh said: "There are many great last-minute, unexpected and one off opportunities to play host to product launches, hospitality events and high profile meetings and events 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."

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