But then perhaps a better greeting would be – “Here’s to a better year ahead!”.
The special events industry, like all aspects of the UK economy, has taken quite a beating this past year with fewer events taking place, companies downsizing and budgets being cut to the bone. It is sad to say, but several well-known companies in our industry have not survived this recession, which despite what the ‘powers that be’ say, does seem to be hanging on.
So are things beginning to improve in the special events industry? Well from what I am hearing it appears that would be the case. However to what extent remains to be seen.
A recent e-mail article from Events magazine reported that, “Profits across the Christmas party industry were hit by up to 30%.” It seems that although many venues were sold out and the number of people attending often exceeded expectations, margins have definitely been hit. Event companies have had to drop their prices, in some cases up to 20%, thus the significant drop in profits for the industry.
A very wise person who has been in this industry for many, many years said to me not long ago that he feels our industry will definitely recover but it will never be quite the same again. “You will no longer see companies having large expensive parties for clients or arranging big events at Christmas for employees,” he stated. “It is simply not PC.”
In his article in this issue of The DatebooK, William Bartholomew expressed very much the same thing. “I am afraid the traditional Office Christmas Party will no longer be the elaborate ‘bash’ but I think we will be moving back to a simplier party.”
I feel that this is going to be true across the board – whether it is a corporate party or a charity event. Organizers will be planning simplier events and in many cases, charities will be having fewer events and opting for smaller functions. Pencils will need to be sharpened, budgets reduced and prices watched very carefully.
I have no doubt that the future will bring an improvement for the special events industry however it will come gradually. The times …. they are a-changing!
“Here’s to a better year ahead.”