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Butlin’s 2023 events forecast: focus on flexibility, fun and festivals

Booking and enquiry trends from Butlin’s indicate a growing demand for events with an emphasis on “fun,” with particular interest in festival style events. Clients are also looking to provide more flexibility for their attendees.

According to Dan Elliott, National Sales Manager-Conferences and Events, Butlin’s resorts are seeing an increase in requests for exclusive hire, particularly from the retail food & beverage and the leisure sectors.

More customisable options for food and drink during events is also a key trend, with requests for street food, dine-arounds, and “around the world” buffets on the rise.

Trends for Butlin’s 2023 events

Elliott said, “We have studied the market and have listened to what past, upcoming and prospective clients have told us. We’ve even gone back and looked at the shift in culture pre-pandemic to post-pandemic when it comes to Conference & Events and what people are looking for. The latest trends we’re seeing through the conversations we’re having, that fit perfectly into our proposition, are festival themes and informal dining. We recently invested in food carts at each resort that can be moved around to offer clients a tailored food offering on the go. This complements any team building or activity they are doing on the day. It’s also great at the end of the night when delegates want something to eat after the event, before they retire for the night.”

Big Weekenders adult-only festival style: Butlin’s 2023 events with top acts

The team recently showcased how Big Weekenders, the adult-only breaks offered by Butlin’s, are the perfect template for bespoke festival style events by inviting four eventprofs to experience the new Oktoberfest Weekender in Minehead.

Elliott explained, “With strong contacts in the entertainment industry because of Butlin’s family and Big Weekender breaks, clients are really impressed with how we can support in securing acts and DJ’s for their events. We are finding a lot of our agency partners and direct clients are also leisure guests who come on our Big Weekender breaks in their personal time. On these breaks they’re able to see how we transform our resorts, giving them confidence when it comes to delivering their event. People choose to come to Butlin’s not because we provide pads and pens, complimentary water and flip charts, but because they want their delegates to have a good time and make memorable experiences and Butlin’s 2023 events will do just that. Our Big Weekenders have become the blueprint of what we can do for Conference & Events clients. It’s a very exciting time for us.”

Butlin’s can host over 1000 people with an overnight stay

Elliott continued, “There are few resorts that can bring over 1,000 people together to all eat, meet and sleep in one location without having to transport people around on buses. All three Butlin’s resorts offer that. When you throw into the mix our Studio 36 venue that can hold 1,600 people along with the vast amount of accommodation we have, a fairground and multiple locations for food and drink across the resorts, it puts us in a great position. For eventprofs, having and delivering an event at Butlin’s is very straightforward.”

Studio 36 venues have been a huge success

Studio 36 is rapidly becoming the home of conferences and events on each of the Butlin’s resorts. The size and adaptability of the space along with the world-class AV and tech is making it extremely popular with event bookers.

For Elliott, Studio 36 featured in one of his highlight experiences of 2022.

“This year’s highlight has been seeing the amazing feedback and response we’ve had from people within the Conference & Events industry. Not only in terms of our proposition and what we offer across our three resorts but also the incredible venue we have in Studio 36. A perfect example of this was when we hosted the Wickes Conference at Bognor Regis in March this year. The way the client used Studio 36 led to the event being a major success. The feedback from the client was fantastic.”

Butlin’s Conference and Events team impressed at the 2022 Confex and they look forward to seeing you in 2023.