Regent’s Conferences & Events has reported its most successful summer of outdoor events in a record breaking few months.
The central London based events venue has seen an all-time high of both guest numbers and average spend per head. Welcoming over 10,000 guests to the lawns between May and July, firms and private planners forked out an average of £137 per guest – a 40% increase in guests on pre-pandemic levels.
With only very minor F&B rate increases for 2022, the surging average spend is largely attributed to companies wanting to reward staff and individuals hoping to ‘make up for lost time’, putting extra spend behind their events.
An average of six lawn functions per week across an 11-week period has been in addition to the regular indoor event operation, with weekend clients using over 30 classrooms and 50 weekday classrooms for language schools, training events and meetings.
The venue was virtually booked out by April, but even after inevitable COVID dropouts, rail strikes and cancellations, it still saw 90% occupancy – 30% above target.
Regent’s has observed an increasing preference for savoury treats over sweet, with the crispy fried chicken burger eclipsing the former winner – the classic BBQ beef burger. With 80% of all outdoor guests opting for barbecued catering and 50% having a street food stall option too, the Taste of Greece menu and Italian Pizzeria were next on the popularity list.
Summer party entertainment trends have seen a shift from competitive sporting activities to more holistic wellbeing activities and interactive drink experiences like cocktail making.
Regent’s’ External Events Manager, Rafael Azzopardi said: “This summer has been quite remarkable for outdoor business. We knew we were in a fortunate position throughout the pandemic to offer such vast outdoor space for events, but even we didn’t foresee such demand continuing at this scale. The desire to celebrate, paired with the uncharacteristically brilliant British weather we have had has made for an unforgettable summer.
“The events team have been stretched like never before, delivering exceptional service through temperatures reaching 40 degrees and the catering team has continued to respond to demand and update its innovative offering. The searing heat boosted the popularity of ice cream as the most popular dessert, serving over 7,000 ice creams! Half the event planners have opted for two food servings per event and more cocktails per guest than we’ve ever seen before.”
Located within private gardens in Regent’s Park, the venue offers four acres of landscaped lawns for summer events of up to 1,200 guests, with a sheltered marquee available from May to September.
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