The Eastside Rooms’ cost of living impact survey reveals that organisers are seeing significant changes in delegate behaviour due to financial challenges. In particular, 45% have seen a growing reticence to travel long distances to attend meetings and events, causing the centrally located UK venue to support organiser in their work to bring delegates back to face-to-face events.
The Eastside Rooms, a leading, modern venue in the heart of England, conducted a survey of 125* event professionals from around the world in October 2023 to identify challenges and opportunities faced due to economic challenges.
A key finding from the report was that 83% of organisers saw an increase in event costs last year. However, alongside the impact on the organisers, the survey also explored differences seen in attendee behaviour.
Overall, the results showed that 35% of respondents are seeing a reluctance to attend events in person. However, this figure jumps significantly to 41% when it is broken down to just look at associations/not for profits, compared to 25% of corporates.
Financial restriction causing a reluctance to attend in person has in turn led to increased virtual attendance across the whole sector, with 36% of all respondents seeing an increase in digital attendance. However, with greater number dropping out of in-person conference and events, it is no surprise that associations/not for profits are seeing their attendance increasing online – 43% compared to 25% of corporates.
Looking more closely at the reasons for changing attendance, 38% of corporates and 51% of associations/not for profits say the challenge is delegates’ unwillingness to travel long distances. This is underpinned by 27% of the respondents saying their delegates are reticent to stay in hotels.
The Eastside Rooms has been responding to these challenges with a greater focus on the promotion of its highly accessible location, via both public transport and car, as well as its investment in hybrid-ready production equipment and AV technology. These have combined to help organisers and subsequently their delegates feel more comfortable with travel to events, whilst highlighting the fact that their accessibility means The Eastside Rooms is not far from anywhere in the UK.
The proximity of the Aloft hotel to The Eastside Rooms also alleviates the discomfort with hotel stays due to its prime location and the venue/hotel’s ability to work together and make a delegate’s stay easier.
“It is clear the industry continues to evolve through the current economic challenges faced by both associations/not for profits and corporates. Delegate needs and opinions are a key part of those changes, and everyone involved in event delivery, from organisers and the supply chain needs to understand these shifts in opinion,” comments Leanne Bladen, Director of Sales & Marketing at The Eastside Rooms. “We undertook this survey to ensure we are delivering the best possible service and offering for our clients. The output has been incredibly powerful, and we are considering many of the key findings in our ongoing communication and activity with our clients, in particular focusing on ways to draw delegates back to live events, whilst demonstrating how easy we are to reach.”
*The Eastside Rooms surveyed 125 event professionals in October 2023. During the survey they were asked what type of organisation they worked for; these were combined into two groups as follows:
- Association, charity/not for profit, government/public sector and agencies focused on these sectors. Total – 80 respondents – described as associations/not for profits above
- Corporate company 500 or more employees, corporate company less that 500 employees, agencies focused on the corporate sector. Total – 40 respondents – described as corporates above
- The remaining 5 responses were excluded as industry suppliers
69% of the respondents were from the UK, 19% from Europe and the remaining 12% from the rest of the world. For more information about The Eastside Rooms and its commitment to sustainability, please visit https://eastsiderooms.com