London events sector reports 231% increase in September

 Thursday, November 18, 2021 

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According to new data released by London & Partners’ meetings and events benchmarking partner, Venue Performance, the number of events in London is increasing exponentially. The data shows London venues increased the number of events they ran by 231% in September 2021, compared with August 2021. 

London hosted an average of 12.6 events per venue in September 2021, compared to an average of 3.81 in August 2021. It also shows that event planners are increasingly confirming forward bookings in London, revealing an average of 8.4 confirmed bookings per venue in September 2021 compared to 5.31 in July 2021, an increase of 58%.  

Despite the pandemic, a range of new venue have opened across the capital in recent months. According to new research from the London Convention Bureau, 18 new hotels has opened in 2021 alone. The new hotels have added 2,509 new rooms to the city, representing a 1.4% increase. Thirty-two percent of these rooms are luxury 4- or 5-star options, while 34% are in the budget end of the market.

The news comes at a time when the London events industry has undertaken to improve its sustainability credentials. Over the last 18 months, several hotels and venues have used quieter times during the pandemic to innovate and reinvent their offerings and integrate sustainability into everything they do, aligning with evolving customer expectations around green solutions.

This has pushed forwards innovative solutions, from using reclaimed materials in design and maintaining living rooftops full of vegetables and bees, to planting trees in London’s iconic Hyde Park and using biodegradable cutlery. Tracy Halliwell, Director of Tourism and Convention Bureau, London & Partners, said in a statement that it was “fantastic to see event planners putting their faith in London” as seen in the exponential growth of London events in recent months.  

She mentioned that London is a city that is constantly reinventing itself and it has been fantastic to see London’s venues and hotels turn their attention to redevelopment and sustainability during the last 18 months of huge challenge. She mentioned that due to the advancements and fantastic host of new openings, she is confident that London will soon be back even stronger.

James Reese, Executive Director, ExCeL London, the city’s largest venue confirmed that the centre had returned to pre-pandemic levels of business. Since events have been allowed to run once more, Reese revealed that the venue has hosted 25 major events for more than 500,000 people. He said that as the home of world-leading events, authorities are delighted to have returned to pre-pandemic business levels since reopening doors earlier this year. Indeed, it is very encouraging to see market confidence in the London events industry now flourishing.

He mentioned that the venue has already successfully and safely delivered more than 25 major conventions and exhibitions in that time, welcoming some 500,000 international and domestic visitors and delegates through its doors, with a further 25 to come. He said that they are delighted that 11 of those events are new to ExCeL London including the recent 18th European AIDS Conference. Last month, it was confirmed the ExCeL would be increasing its floor space by a further 25,000 sq. m., with construction due to begin in 2022.

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