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Be prepared to be kind

As we start to see the return of meetings and events, Jacqui Kavanagh, CEO of Trinity Event Solutions and EDGE Venues shares a word of advice – "be prepared to be kind".

Despite the industry making a dramatic return, it comes with its challenges and the landscape has changed. Not for the want of trying to retain employees, the meetings, events and hospitality industry lost a vast number of talented staff due to the pandemic. And it's taking time for people to return.

Whole teams have changed within venues; they haven't been running events together for long. Be prepared to be kind, and be flexible.

As an industry, we must support each other and collaborate for the benefit of our clients. If hotels and venues are delayed in responding to enquiries, we must support them by providing as much information at the initial enquiry stage as possible. We also must ask for our clients to be patient with us. Turnaround times might not be as fast as we would like, but we are working hard to meet deadlines. Through our honest and open dialogue, clients have shown understanding and appreciate the climate we are currently working our way through.

At EDGE Venues, web metrics have returned to pre-pandemic levels, indicating that the appetite to book live events is there and growing month-on-month.

With the current landscape, hotels and venues are embracing technology platforms, such as EDGE Venues, to simplify the enquiry process in booking meeting space.

"We have been using EDGE Venues since its initial launch in June 2018. We saw its value then, and we see it even more now as meeting enquiries continue to increase. The requirement for an innovative platform to manage these enquiries has a huge impact in the RFP process. With new team members joining us in recent months, it is even more important to have a simple platform that requires minimal training," said Elana Kruger, Church House.

In the last week alone, Trinity Event Solutions has seen over 20% increase in confirmed bookings. October bookings already are equal to those of September, so will result in a percentage increase on September confirmed bookings. November bookings are already 13% above September and 44% ahead of October so far. Booking lead time is now increasing, meaning bookings for December are coming in, and 2022 is showing positive signs, too.

So, with these figures indicating positive growth for the industry, I'll finish with where I started: be prepared to be kind. We are in this together. We have supported each other throughout the pandemic; let's continue to do so. I've already seen signs that our industry is coming back stronger, and I truly believe this is only the start of things to come.