PA Life kicks off a series of articles speaking to venues and events specialists about opening up following the restrictions, and the demand they’re already seeing. First up, we speak to The Lowry Hotel’s General Manager Adrian Ellis, who is also the Chair of Manchester’s Hoteliers Association…
When are you expecting your venue to open for events?
We are delighted to re-open our doors on May 17th. We look forward to welcoming our guests back and to start hosting events from this date. Needless to say, this will be in line with the requirements set out in the Government’s guidelines on meetings and events.
What sort of demand are you seeing currently for events and meetings once restrictions are lifted?
The demand is a gradual build-up from opening. We are seeing a steady stream of enquiries from delayed events such as weddings, as well as social events including Charity Galas that could not take place during the Lockdown. Smaller meetings are more inclined to take place post May 17th, with the larger enquiries being mainly focused for the latter part of the year.
Do you think there’s a big ‘latent demand’ for events and meetings? Ie. are companies keen to get ‘back out’?
Indeed. We definitely think there is a latent demand for meetings and events, and this is backed by surveys conducted by various governing bodies of our industry. Some surveys reflected that up to 56% of bookers worldwide are ready to get their Meetings and Events booked and as soon as the end of 2021. This is a positive for a business such as ours.
What are the biggest concerns from venue bookers – and how are you alleviating their fears?
I guess one of the biggest concerns for bookers would be a venue’s ability to ensure a COVID safe environment for their delegates during their meeting or event. Other examples of concerns that rank high for bookers range from ventilation in a venue; the question of how their event will look like should social distancing still exist; to catering (buffet vs. plated). Here at The Lowry Hotel we have worked tirelessly to not only meet the original Government guidelines, but exceed them. We readily share our risk assessments and COVID Protocols with our clients to set their minds at ease. Most importantly, we work with flexibility, empathy and utilize technology to help our clients visualize their meeting, even if they have not been to the hotel in a while.