|2024, here we come (although we’re already 8.3% through the year), but from the data analysis perspective, we’ll use 2023’s data to predict 2024.
Thomas Pugh from RSM gave a brilliant talk at HOSPACE at the end of last year, which encapsulated the position we are currently in.
He used a brilliant ‘misery index’ chart to demonstrate the correlation between how we feel and what we do (spend money on), which showed that, although the general mood amongst consumers was pretty grumpy – we are worried about interest rates, inflation, the cost of living – we are still eating out.
We feel miserable, so we do things which make us feel better, which is what the hospitality sector delivers.
Pugh said the correlation between sentiment and actions was out of whack, which he’d never seen before. Of course, we’ve never had a post-pandemic global slump before, so there is a lot left to be learned and a lot to play out. It will be interesting to see if that correlation returns.
The meetings and events sector is looking good for 2024 despite the challenges ahead. We’ve got several wars going on, we’ve got inflation, we’ve got other economic issues, and something like a third of the world is going to be voting on its leadership. So it won’t be plain sailing, but the tide is definitely lifting.
We reported that 2023 was good, and we forecast that 2024 will be better (first half of ’24 will be tough).
Last year saw a little drift towards audiences getting smaller, but we are seeing signs of change; audiences are coming back up again, and it’s all looking quite positive.
The only downside is that lead times are still short, so you can’t predict the future with great certainty because you don’t have the business on the books. You used to have plenty of business booked in, and organisations were merely trying to top that up, but that’s been turned on its head.
But that said, there are early signs that it’s getting better, and venues need to have faith, hold their nerve and focus on yield management and flow-through to reach those profit targets. Using Venue Performance’s RevMet™ calculator/metric will be a crucial tool to help optimise your performance.
Going into what looks likely to be an interesting year economically and politically in the UK, we have a few things to keep an eye on:
Cost control will be critical for profitability flow-through; F&B and yield management are key focuses, as are staffing: training, retention and cost control, so as ever, there will be plenty to keep us up at night. But plenty of hope to keep us going.
Watch out for 2024 banana skins.
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Have a great month Venue Performance team