The positive attitude of the UK meetings and events industry towards returning to live events was shown by a survey during the recent UKickstart event instigated by etc.venues.
During the event, which was attended by 1,419 event professionals either in person or virtually, almost a third (32%) said that they are planning to run live events this year.
The poll also revealed that the recovery will continue into 2021 as 29% of respondents are likely to run live events in Q1 2021, while 30% expect Q2 and 9% stated Q3 and beyond.
Commenting on these results, Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Tourism, Conventions and Major Events at London and Partners, who took part in the Panel Session at UKickstart said: “It’s a great testament to the power of live events that there is such a strong will to get them going again so quickly; and such a strong demand from our audiences to attend.”
The UKickstart audience, of which 305 attended in person at 12 venues across the UK, were also asked who they believed was the most confident about returning to live events. The results showed that 43% believe suppliers have the most confidence, followed by planners at 40%, corporates at 10% and delegates at 5%.
Simon Hughes, Chair of BVEP called for greater focus on “the corporate and client base, and delegates” saying part of the solution is “the ROI piece,” adding that we need to work with senior stakeholders to show them the benefit of LIVE events.
UKickstart was a nationwide showcase of a major hybrid event, powered by Glisser and PSAV, and confidence levels and the commitment to running hybrid events has been on an upward trajectory over the past few months, according to previous surveys conducted by etc.venues. Over a four-week period in July, for example, the percentage of event organisers planning to hold hybrid events in 2020 grew from 73 per cent to 95 per cent.
Adam Simpson, director of marketing at etc.venues who initiated UKickstart, said: “It is great to see so many people planning events for this year. Although the Government’s recent announcement created a slight dip, we are already seeing the momentum towards our recovery increasing once more. In fact, we were among those who remained confident that the recovery of the meetings sector would continue and will remain committed to building the momentum.”