Updated: Apr 19
The buzzword on every Event Planner and Venue Coordinator’s lips this year is “Compression.” Maybe Compression has made its way over to your radar and if it hasn’t yet, allow me to introduce you.
The world has been Zooming off to meetings for the last 18 months and after what felt like forever, people are finally returning to in-person events. In fact, we’re craving them. We’ve missed the social interaction that in-person events give us. Humans were not designed to do life in isolation so it’s no shocker that people are clamoring to get to an in-person event, which leads us to the Compression problem.
With mass amounts of people looking to travel and enjoy their in-person experiences, venues have a slight problem to tackle: DEMAND.
The events that were postponed in 2020 and even 2021 are not going to miss out on hosting their events in 2022; plus, the forward-thinking hosts that book out their events years ahead of time, hence we have 2022 compression. Hosts have been waiting to host their events and presumably have already spent considerable financial resources. Money that would have been handy to have in 2020 and 2021 and money these companies presumed they would have recuperated as a result of their event.
** Check out our blog post Why You Need Event Insurance.
The events that weren’t canceled for 2022 are still on the books, and all of the 2020 and 2021 postponements are hitting the calendar finally. It's going to be super-important to get negotiations and venue-hunting done now, or you may find yourself unable to get what you need when you need it.
By contracts and a spirit of cooperation, many groups are choosing to get back to meeting in person after frustration with the impersonal nature of virtual meetings. There also exists a pent-up demand to network and get back to rebuilding the relationships that they felt were lost over the last year and a half.
There is no doubt that the demand for space for meetings, events, retreats, and conferences (with size dependent on COVID safety rules) will drive prices up. Event producers are now trying to fit in the canceled and postponed events from the last 18 months, along with the events already booked for next year. Finding available space soon could become a problematic and costly endeavor. With higher demand, increased rates will follow.
Events on the smaller side of the scale (100 people or less) are not yet affected by the ‘compression,’ but venues in critical markets for larger events are less flexible with contract terms and conditions, and negotiations can be more challenging. They’re also less likely to hold space over an extended period of time. It’s a classic example of economic supply and demand. Demand is high, availability is slim, and prices are at a premium.
Cindy Y Lo from Red Velvet says, “there is a need for planners and their clients to start planning much sooner than the typical pre-2020 timeline for organizing a meeting or event. Events that would normally require 3-6 months of planning could need 6-12 months to organize, if not more.” With more events than usual being held, places are limited, and it is recommended that you book what you need, not what you might need.
It's going to be super-important to get your venue sourcing, negotiations, and contracting done now, or you may find yourself not able to get what you need when you need it.
Have an event in the pipeline and don’t know where to begin with finding the perfect venue? Book a complimentary venue sourcing call with us to get the step-by-step.
Planner Tip: Provide as much information as possible (in an organized and concise format) so your first round of proposals provide you with as many details and prices as possible, eliminating all the time going back and forth filling in the blanks.