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April 6, 2008

Visit London predicts capital gains

Despite some venues being concerned about the impact the economy will have on the call for event space in London in the coming year, Visit London’s Business Tourism Monitor indicates that the majority are confident of a sharp upturn in demand.

The report states that conditions across the business tourism sector continued to improve during Q3 (July to Sept 2006) with the number of events being held increasing by 22%, the number of people attending events increasing by 37%, and the overall demand for space grew, particularly in the corporate sector.

Strong demand for event space also saw revenue grow for meeting venues across London. The value of enquiries to Visit London convention services jumped by 55%, and the conversion rate for enquiries also increased during Q3 with almost 60% of enquiries resulting in confirmed business.

“The signs for the year ahead are generally positive with market conditions remaining strong. London is blessed with an amazing choice of venues which inspire organisers to return to the capital every year, and attract new buyers from across the globe,” said David Hornby, Visit London’s commercial director.

The report also showed a shift in the balance of power between larger and smaller venues. In Q2, larger venues with a meeting capacity of more than 200 outperformed smaller London venues, but in Q3 small venues (with a meeting capacity of less than 200) outperformed larger venues. Smaller venues also experienced a steep jump in the number of attendees in Q3.

Charlotte Reeves, chairman of Unique Venues of London (UVL) and director of corporate relations at Somerset House, said: “This shows smaller venues rose to the challenge in Q3 to attract more event business. Increased competition is voiced as a concern by some venues, but healthy competition will only act to encourage venues to excel.”


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