We all look forward to a long, Indian summer, but it is a strange time for the UK events industry. For those in the outdoor events sector looking at festivals, sporting events and hospitality, everything goes mad. Business happens, people meet; and Britain comes alive with some of the most iconic event brands on the planet.
It’s strange then that other parts of the industry go to sleep. How often does the phrase ‘don’t organise an event in August’ get slipped, unchallenged into a conversation?
There seems to be a universal acceptance that business meetings can’t happen during the summer. Of course in many cases this statement has merit; summer holidays, especially for those with families, certainly do have an impact on delegate conversion. However, are we too quick to dismiss every business event?
Amongst our portfolio of venues June is the most popular month for both summer meetings and dining events, however they also see good levels of events in May, July and even a smidgeon in August. In fact, last year the group has showed a 25% growth in banqueting events and is predicting a further growth of 16% in 2016; we’re still very excited about the summer.
The reality is, for successful companies, business never stops. For those with the right audience and the right content, summer is actually a great time to have an event. Not only is it an opportunity to embrace the positivity we all feel, from a financial perspective there are excellent deals and promotions that incentivise meetings across the summer. Days are longer, and the lack of competition has to be a good thing.
From a venue point of view, organisations can unlock a whole host of goodies that inclement weather otherwise blocks out. We can go outside for incentive extensions, we can choose summer venues with light, air and genuine atmosphere. As a brand that works within the unusual venue sector, we offer settings such as Zoos, Castles, Country Houses and Sports Stadia as a fitting backdrop to a summer meeting.
Also, it’s not like we have a Grande Vancance here in the UK; not every employee, customer or client is permanently on holiday from May to September; in fact many seem to find their way to Cheltenham, Chelsea Flower Show and Wimbledon.
The summer is a place where business can and will be done; sunshine and long days transform the meeting experience and give the option to combine formality with relaxation, outdoors with indoors, business with leisure.
To write off ‘the summer’ is restricting the industry to an eleven month calendar at best, an eight month one at worst. It also denies us a chance to engage our audiences with a better type of meeting.
At Lime Venue Portfolio we’re looking to introduce more love into the summer programme. We think it needs more respect; the same that is often paid to Christmas parties or spring conferences. Inevitably for business events, summer will still be a shallow period, but not as low as it is across the industry.
By embracing it we can give the industry a much needed boost, offer a different looking product and potentially a more engaging style of event. Through the use of an unusual or unique venue we’re already making our delegates think twice about attending vs hitting the garden and the gin and tonic instead.
Summer needs Lovin, and we have it in abundance.
You can view all our summer party venues here.
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