By Wendy Greenhalgh, Board Director, The Westminster Collection
The stage has been set and Westminster is alive and kicking like never before thanks to 2012 and all the domestic and global profile this year’s events have attracted. So far there’s little evidence of a shadow being cast over post-Olympics London when you hear that 45% of the capital’s venues have already forecast revenue increases of up to 30% from now through to December.
The outlook was upbeat for conference and event venues, tourist attractions and hotels when we released our 2012 London Venues Business (LVB) Report. 30 member venues of The Westminster Collection confirmed that a collective £11.75m of bookings had already been contracted or forecasted to take place in Westminster over the Olympic Games period as of May 2012, when the original meetings and events survey was completed.
With National Hospitality Houses of Italy, Qatar, Georgia, Japan and Slovakia and the London Media Centre amongst the role played by Westminster’s prestigious community of venues, there’s little doubt this figure can be inflated now. Three months before the Olympic Games officially began, more than half of all 100 London venues surveyed were already reporting direct commercial gains.
Now’s the time to capitalise on that optimistic outlook and absorb the lessons we’ve learnt about world-class execution of events for global audiences. We were a culturally diverse city well able to service the needs of visitors from different countries long before the Games came to town. But now we’re even more aware of our responsibility to promote the unique quirks of Westminster as a destination for all sorts of events. It’s a place where decisions and policies are made, on the doorstep of exciting entertainment and iconic attractions.
The LVB report shows that London venues have been quick to respond to buyer behaviour and demand for exceptional value for money, with offers of flexible pricing and free service add-ons creating healthy competition in the events market. As a borough, Westminster boasts a high concentration of unusual and unique meeting venues to offer choice and flexibility to the event buyer. Some are ornate buildings of historical significance and some set trends with their ultra-modern design.
Business tourism is a dynamic sector that’s critical to the UK’s economy. Successful business is impossible without contacts, exchange of technologies and information, exhibitions and business trips so let’s keep the noise loud and retain the incredible momentum achieved in recent months.
To purchase a copy of the full 2012 London Venues Business Report, priced £95, please call 01483 740747.