UVL properties expect strong summer thanks to last-minute bookings

Venues reveal C&I trends at Unique Venues of London's inaugural expo

UVL properties expect strong summer thanks to last-minute bookings
UVL properties expect strong summer thanks to last-minute bookings

Unique Venues of London (UVL) properties are expecting a strong summer thanks to last-minute C&I bookings, according to the at the collection's inaugural expo.

"This is our first event for third party agents," said UVL chairman Lisa Hatswell. "We have been at exhibitions before but have never held a business-to-business event. There has been a real demand for it this year."

Delegates at the event at the Royal Opera House included agencies such as Grass Roots and corporate clients including Sony Europe.

"We are seeing much shorter lead times," Hatswell added. "The turnaround on events is much quicker than before, but [venues] are learning to be flexible."

Gibson Hall, also a member of venue-finding company Venue Reservations' collection, predicted a strong summer despite shorter lead times. Venue Reservations head Nicky Pratt said: "We do lots of summer parties and these have only just started coming through in the past month, so now we are looking good for summer."

ZSL sales manager Adam Suggett said London Zoo was now seeing typical lead times of two months, compared to the six to eight months it had seen last year.
 
"The amount of business is still out there - we are not seeing a decrease in revenues or bookings, but a shift in group size," said Suggett. "Instead of a company event for 500 people, companies are splitting events by department. So for Christmas parties, for example, we are seeing more shared nights for departments and small businesses."

As part of the collection's preparations for the London 2012 Olympics, every one of its venues will have signed up to the 2012 UK Events Industry Fair Pricing and Practice Charter by the end of 2009.

UVL's venues include the Imperial War Museum, which is installing new AV equipment and wi-fi by the middle of June.

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