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Sweet September for a full return to live events?

Friday 15 January 2021

 Conference venues in London  Summer party venues London

There are many industry leaders forecasting when we might see larger live events return to our amazing array of wonderful London venues. Whilst it's hard to imagine these events returning as we battle with the current challenges of lockdown, the future is looking bright for an Indian Summer season..

Here at Venue Search London, having spoken to several of the larger venue groups and industry associations, our belief is that the month for a full return to large live events will be September.

Our logic and reasoning for this is as follows:

1)  Whilst it may be possible to run the above events safely before the summer holidays, there will be uncertainty for the next three months as to whether these can be run without social distancing measures that would impact on the success of any large live formats.

2)  Corporate buyers will want to know with more certainty that their employees will be happy to accept an invitation to a large event with strong social/networking element. We know that younger adults will be offered the vaccine over the summer months, but many will not have been vaccinated by June/July and may be reticent to accept until they have had the jab.

3)  We sense that the first May Bank Holiday will be a big moment for the UK public’s confidence in traveling and returning to enjoy hospitality venues in large numbers.  This should give event buyers more confidence in event attendance for the post-summer season.

Our overall sense is that, until the case rates are suppressed and the vaccine impact becomes fully evident, most companies will focus on short-term virtual events. By Easter, we hope and expect that we will see restrictions easing and know with more certainty how our personal and work lives will benefit from increasing freedoms later in the Spring.

Whilst small meetings may be permitted (and take place) in late March/April, virtual will dominate the next four months.
For internal events, this will require effective online conference platforms to ensure effective communication and engagement and our creative bespoke events team at Story are ready, willing and able to help you with planning and delivering your virtual events over the coming months.

We also see an increasing need to focus on Employee Wellness Programmes to help with the continued challenges of working from home over the darkest months. We are working with several clients to deliver weekly and monthly programmes in February which include mental and physical wellbeing sessions, team activities and a “focus on fun” for the more informal social sessions.  (See our recent programme for Thoughtworks here.)


So, our advice for the Autumn is to start the planning and venue research/options now, so that dates and budgets are ready to be signed up when more certainty is apparent. Most venues offer Covid postponement of cancellation clauses and we are here to help you plan and design your safe “Return to Live”.
We also see the traditional Christmas party season as the long-awaited return to larger social events and packed dancefloors (and we may even be missing Mariah Carey by then….?!).

We are here to help, so please get in touch with our free venue finding experts by email, or give us a call on 0207 870 9305 to discuss your virtual or live event plans for 2021.

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