Current challenges faced by the industry
At Venues and Events International, we have been greatly encouraged by the confidence in our clients for the return of in-person meetings and events. Our sales pipeline increased by 30% between April and May - an incredible achievement in just one month, and 80% of this is contracted! We typically see 55% of our annual budgeted revenue covered by the pipeline in May, but the coverage was 88% this year.
As much as we're excited about this confidence, it comes with challenges. For months, hotels and venues were closed, staff furloughed, some redeployed and some sadly have left the industry altogether. In recent months, hotels and venues have slowly been reopening, but not to total capacity, due to lack of demand.
As a result of reduced staff, we are experiencing ongoing delays in some hotels and venues and there is an enquiry backlog, confirmation backlog and in some cases invoicing backlogs. This is not only impacting on our own resources and SLAs, but also impacting our clients. These challenges are set to continue for many months, until we catch up and also staffing numbers are increased.
We all want the industry to thrive again, but we must consider each other and work collaboratively to succeed. As agents, we must support hotels and venues as they train new staff and returning staff and advise them of expectations.
In return, we do ask that hotels and venues acknowledge each enquiry initially and share its anticipated turnaround time. This will allow us to have open communication with our clients to meet the demand.
It's so sad that we have lost so many talented people from our industry. And my call out on this is to let those people know our industry is back, and things are changing quickly, so it's a perfect time to return!