4 Trends to Know When Sourcing
UK Hotels for your Next Event
The world has changed dramatically in a relatively short time and we have seen our sourcing practices evolve just as quickly as a result. Here, we share some of the key trends that have shaped the way meeting and event sourcing experts approach the marketplace in light of our clients’ needs and priorities.
Duty of care and delegates’ safety is at the heart of our new sourcing processes. Providing evidence that a venue is COVID-19 safe is now standard sourcing practice and provides planners peace of mind and reassurance. Our sourcing teams now go through a comprehensive 35 points safety checklist to ensure all aspects of the venue are compliant with local and national government guidelines throughout the delegate journey-from arrival experience to F&B and meeting space provisions.
Rebooking of events that weren’t able to take place and utilisation of credits will invariably take priority and is holding back new events from availability. Additionally, corporate events are no longer competing for space within their business mix. The new challenging parties for mid-week dates are leisure and weddings. The reality of the corporate and leisure events backlogs, which have formed over the past 18 months, is creating new competition for annual events calendars
Venues are showing flexibility around terms and rates in the short term. However, they are holding firmer ground when looking further into 2022 and beyond. Force Majeure and pandemic provision are now becoming standard within client and venue-led contractual terms. It's a fine balance between getting flexible terms, minimal monetary commitment and holding space firmly with venues. Long contracting times are a thing of the past. Venues have been found to drop options with established clients for new business coming in with a promise to pay and contract faster.
Spotlight on sustainability
A consistent across our client base is that sustainability must remain at the heart of what they do and their ambition to hold more sustainable events has not been impacted by the pandemic. Tracking performance against defined sustainability goals remains a key focus. Venues are working collaboratively with clients to re-introduce sustainable practices throughout their offering such as establish whether bottled water can be used over single use individual plastic bottles, etc. Venues will be held accountable to demonstrate they have delivered against their commitments and this will form part of their contracts going forward.
There is uncertainty but an increasing appetite for the return to in-person events. This is a combination of coronavirus safety measure in place with suppliers and new sourcing practices that are enabling our clients to make that commitment with the peace of mind that they are protected should things change along the way.