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Vaccine news sees increase in event bookings

Venues and agencies across the UK have reported an uptick in bookings and enquiries after news of three successful vaccines for the Covid-19 virus.

etc.venues, which runs properties in both the UK and US says it saw a “noticeable” increase in bookings for meetings and events on both sides of the Atlantic in the immediate aftermath of the vaccination progress.

Adam Simpson, director of marketing and US sales said that organisers of several major events provisionally booked for Q2 and Q3 2021 confirmed, while at the same time there was an increase in new enquiries and bookings for Q1 onwards.

“This clearly demonstrates that, given a reason to be more confident, event planners are ready to return to running live and hybrid events as soon as they feel safe to do so. It’s very encouraging,” he added.

Simpson also confirmed that the venue has seen £2m worth of bookings for its workspace.

According to the Government, business meetings for up to 30 people, inclusive of staff, may continue even during the second national lockdown, on the grounds that they are reasonably necessary.

Michael Begley, managing director of venuedirectory.com, a large data centre of venue information about the UK MICE industry, also pointed towards an increase in bookings. “After a four-week decline, we saw a 29% increase in bookings for conferences and meetings in the week immediately after the positive news about a vaccine,” he said.

The numbers are still low and difficult to analyse to give a forecast of direction as we’re receiving bookings for the next few months and also ahead into 2021/22,” he added.

A large business travel and events agency also told Conference News that they had seen an increase in bookings for 2021, but said optimism was clearly growing before news of the first vaccination had broken.

However, responding to a Conference News post on LinkedIn, Davide Traversa, head of sales at Leo Associates said that from a global exhibition and conference perspective there had been no significant change yet.

“The majority of large events have been postponed until June onwards so it is still a bit too soon to tell and much will depend on global confidence, particularly from the US. For now, virtual events continue to grow in demand and that is where we're seeing our enquiries,” he commented.