Eurozone rescue plan puts pressure on London suppliers

London could lose
events business to foreign venues in the wake of a last-ditch bailout for the
euro.

The prospect of billions of newly printed euros flooding into the
continent’s economies has sent the currency tumbling on the foreign exchange
making events in Europe cheaper for UK-based organisers.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has pumped
€970bn (£760bn) into the crisis-torn eurozone in an attempt to kick start the
flagging economies.

Event organisers warned that London risks pricing
itself out of the running for future events.

Amanda Harrison,
marketing executive at Grass Roots Group said: “London will always be an
attractive city for events, but if rates become more competitive within Europe
and help fit a client’s budget while offering similar value, London is
naturally going to be challenged, especially for global activity. “

Jane Lees, marketing
director at Banks Sadler, said: “London is always popular with our clients as a
destination but clearly value is a going to be a key deciding factor. You need
to factor in travel and travel time for the majority of delegates so it is not
always as straightforward as like-for-like value from venues.”

Luke Flett, head of
sales and marketing at Ashfield Health Care said: “We have numerous clients
that have their headquarters in Europe. We also deliver over 500 meetings and
events a year in the countries which form the eurozone.

“The event location
and venues need to meet the overall commercial objectives.

“London has the most
expensive rooms in Europe so a reduction in eurozone rates could be seen as a
threat to the capital. However, London rates have been sustained and occupancy
levels remain high. This will continue as certain clients will look for a safe
haven against risk and be prepared to pay higher rates.

“In terms of value,
the eurozone may be cheaper but clients will want to avoid the uncertainty in
countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal, and they will want to be assured
that they will not have to pull their event at late notice due to the
volatility in the eurozone.”

Do you have a story
for CN? Email:
jkeenan@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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