London City Selection, the consortium of handpicked venues, has announced the results of its annual members survey, which revealed business growth for more than 90 per cent of respondents in 2017, 15 per cent more than last years’ survey.
Of those questioned, 78 per cent revealed that meeting and events bookings were the business area of greatest growth, up from 69 per cent last year. Of these, 25 per cent saw a rise between 6-10 per cent, and almost 40 per cent of respondents confirmed that their M&E business had increased by up to five per cent year on year.
The business area of least growth for member venues was Christmas parties, with almost 40 per cent reporting a positive yet consistent level of bookings in 2016, however 30 per cent confirmed a growth between of 1–10 per cent. Another business area that mirrored 2016’s bookings were summer parties, with over 45 per cent of venues confirming bookings remained the same year on year.
Rowan Kitching (pictured), chair of LCS commented: “The findings of the report and the feedback given by the members that took part is very encouraging, despite the economic and political uncertainty. The positive business growth reported by almost all our members is brilliant. We’ve had a great year, with a number of new members taking our total to 32 compared to 25 this time last year, and we hope to welcome more in 2018.”
Social media played a role in generating bookings for venues in 2017. 90 per cent of respondents said they used Twitter as part of their sales and marketing efforts, 60 per cent used Instagram and Facebook, whilst 50 per cent used LinkedIn. The survey revealed that 72 per cent of those who used Twitter found the social media platform an effective way to secure enquiries and bookings, followed by Instagram as the second most successful platform at 36 per cent and 27 per cent for LinkedIn.
When asked whether business had been affected by the EU Referendum in June 2016, almost 67 per cent hadn’t seen any effect at all. In fact, 17 per cent saw a positive impact, stating: “Events relating to Brexit has meant more business.” Though the other 16 per cent did see an initial negative effect, one member said: “Immediately after the vote business was affected negatively, but it did then stabilise, and we’re now seeing an increase in demand.” The uncertainty surrounding the longer-term impact of Brexit on the industry is prevalent, as almost 60 per cent responded ‘don’t know’ when asked.
Kitching added: “We asked all our members what encouraged them to join the consortium or repeat their membership, and we were very pleased to learn that the main reasons for joining were “to co-promote the City of London as an events destination” and to “share knowledge among industry peers”, both of which are at the heart of what we set out to do each year.”
The recent success of the consortium’s efforts was seen in the level of enquiries generated by the agency’s annual FAM trip, ‘Game of Venues’, which took place in February 2017. A quarter of venues have since reported enquiries collectively worth tens of thousands of pounds.
The 32 venues currently within the London City Selection include, 58VE, ACE Hotel, America Square-Cavendish Venues, Barbican Centre, Bishopsgate Institute, CCT Venues Barbican, Crowne Plaza London Kings Cross, Dorsett City Hotel, etc.venues – St Pauls, Furniture Makers’ Hall, Institute of Structural Engineers, Farmers’ and Fletchers’ Hall, Guildhall, The HAC, DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London, Inner Temple, Ironmongers’ Hall, London Capital Club, London Stock Exchange, Museum of London, One Moorgate Place, Painters Hall, Plaisterers Hall, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Sadler’s Wells, Skinners Hall, St Pauls Cathedral, The Mermaid London, The Montcalm London City, Thistle City Barbican, Trinity House and Qbic Hotels.