An enterprise-grade venue & event management solution
Posted in Trends
Published on 22 March 2020

The Top 5 Trends Affecting Venues in 2020

With more than 20 years’ experience working with venue managers across the globe, we’ve noticed some clear trends on the rise that will certainly impact the industry in 2020 and beyond. From sustainability to data security, here are the top 5 trends in the venue & event industry you need to be aware of over the next 12 months:

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1. Sustainability
With so much attention being placed on climate change, sustainability and carbon emissions have been forced into the spotlight. As a result, this has changed the expectations that both event attendees and planners have on venues that host events.

Attendees are starting to consider how their attendance impacts their carbon footprint. Therefore, companies who are hosting events and event planners alike are seeking venues that have adopted sustainable practices across their businesses, i.e. energy, food production, wastage etc.

What can venues do to prepare for this trend?

  • If you haven’t already, start by conducting a review of all of your standard business practices to find ways to reduce or offset carbon emissions.
  • Document all of your sustainable initiatives, incorporate these in your proposals and quotes and outline them on your website so that your customers can see that you are taking a proactive approach.
  • Join associations that support sustainable event practices to demonstrate your commitment to the cause, e.g. The Sustainable Event Alliance.

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2. Face-to-face Still Reigns Supreme!
Given the focus on sustainability, attendees are becoming more selective about which events they choose to attend in person. However, in a world with so much digital noise (e.g. emails, social media, webinars, mobile phone applications), people still value the face-to-face interaction that comes with attending meetings and events in person. This is primarily because the networking and rapport building opportunities that are present at events are very hard to manufacture in a virtual setting.

With this in mind, event planners are designing event programs that combine large-scale plenary sessions with more opportunities for smaller-scale breakout sessions where attendees can really connect with one another and build lasting relationships. Furthermore, rather than designating which break-out sessions attendees are assigned to, event planners are now giving attendees more control over their breakout program by allowing them to choose which sessions they attend.

What can venues do to prepare for this trend?

  • Consider how your venue encourages collaboration and networking opportunities for attendees at events, i.e. Do you have great breakout spaces that can be used to encourage networking? Is there something you could offer attendees to ensure more collaboration at the event?
  • If you only have one space that is suitable for events, could you change your standard layout and partition it to create smaller spaces for breakout sessions? If so, add this to your event proposals, so that event planners are aware of the flexible nature of your spaces.

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3. One-Stop-Shop – The Rise in Centralised Sales Teams
One of the biggest trends that we have seen emerging with our customers across the globe is the rise in centralised sales teams. Where previously, venues appointed one person to look after sales and bookings for one space, now, companies that offer multiple event spaces are shifting towards having a dedicated sales team that sells all of their events spaces. This approach not only provides a better service experience for customers, but it also increases the cross-selling opportunities and brings awareness to the range of venues available within your portfolio.

What can venues do to prepare for this trend?

  • Ensure you have a centralised booking system with real-time availability for all of your venues – this will ensure that when one venue is not available, your team can quickly suggest an alternative.
  • Allow your customers to submit enquiries for multiple spaces via your website.

 

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4. Data Security
In the wake of the GDPR enforcement, data privacy continues to be a primary focus for businesses across the world and venues are no exception. Since the introduction of our Data Privacy feature, we have seen first-hand the benefits that can come from automating data management processes to ensure compliance and keep databases up to date. We expect to see the trend in venues refining their data privacy measures continuing throughout 2020 as similar policies are adopted outside of the European Union.

What can venues do to prepare for this trend?

  • Review your existing database and purge irrelevant contacts who have not booked events at your venue(s) and/or who do not engage with your marketing emails.
  • Review your existing data management processes to ensure they are compliant with GDPR or whatever policies apply to your region.
  • Document all of your data management processes and make sure these are readily available for your staff and customers.

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5. Live Availability & Self- Service Bookings
The trend towards live availability and instant bookings is fast becoming an expectation for meetings and events spaces worldwide. The great news is, by offering live availability through online self-service bookings portals, busy venue teams can limit time spent on administrative tasks – like responding to enquiries. This time can then be invested back into focusing on managing their upcoming events and bookings, thereby increasing the level of service that they can offer their customers.

What can venues do to prepare for this trend?

  • If you haven’t already, consider adding an online bookings portal to your website.
  • If you do have an online bookings system, is there a way that you can give your customers more control over what they can book online? I.e. can they add inventory and catering items to their booking? Or make payments online?

Luckily, optimal platforms, like Priava, make it easier for busy teams by offering live availability through online self-service bookings portals.

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While there are lots of other trends that will impact venues in 2020, the five outlined above are what we believe to be the most important as they will have a significant impact on how venues operate now and in future. It’s important for venue management teams to be aware of these so that they can review their existing processes and find ways to stay ahead of the game. For more information, please get in touch.

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Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about how you can introduce live availability and instant bookings at your venue using Priava.

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