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Tobacco Dock sees demand surge, with professional services keenest to get back

East London venue Tobacco Dock has reported that there is an increase in shorter term demand for event bookings.

Talking to Conference News, a spokesperson for the venue said that in the wake of the prime minister’s announcement confirming that 1,000 person events would return indoors from 17 May, they had seen an uptick in bookings.

“We’ve seen a recent very positive uptick in both enquiries and bookings that were on option now signing contracts,” the spokesperson said. “Clients are enthusiastic but there is still caution about booking too far ahead, concentrating instead on events over the next two quarters. It seems that there is shorter term demand that needs to be satisfied before longer term planning is addressed.”

Booking trends

Tobacco Dock noted that bookings coming in where predominantly for conferences but there were signs of an increase in Christmas party enquiries. The venue noted professional services were the keenest to return to live, while tech firms are suggested to be slightly more hesitant, perhaps understandably.  

“Tech companies remain cautious with professional services the keenest to return to live events. US clients are more confident about live than those in the UK,” said the spokesperson. “While August is usually a quieter month, we’re anticipating an extremely busy summer and, looking further ahead, next April is already looking strong.”

The venue reported a surge in Christmas party enquiries with an emphasis on private events rather than shared events.

“One of the companies who have been in touch ran an in-house poll asking their team if they wanted a virtual Christmas event or a live party and 70% plumped for live,” the venue said.

“Smaller partner meetings seem to be the gateway for clients who want to work up to larger scale conferences, though larger scale conference enquiries have increased significantly in the last 2 weeks for Q4-21 and Q1-22.”