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BVA BDRC research: Better experiences driving better rates at venues


BVA BDRC’s Venue Verdict study shows improved customer experiences at venues lead to higher rates and value perception in Q1 2024.

Venues have been listening to customers’ appetite for better experiences, which is translating into higher daily rates, according to BVA BDRC’s Venue Verdict study for Q1 2024. Despite rates reaching all-time highs, the improvement in service meant that customers felt they were receiving value for money.

London reported a rapid growth in rates, with the Provinces and the Overall UK and Ireland average increasing by almost £5 year on year, to reach £61.25. The capital was at £92.32, with the provinces up at £52.36.

Louise Tawadrous, client services director, BVA BDRC, said: “The recovery of on-site experience we were starting to see last near is now properly embedded and customers are telling us that, when the experience before, during and after an event is right, they are happy to pay more.” 

The feedback module of VenueVerdict reported an all time low in Q4 2021 UK National average Net Promoter Score of 44.

There was divergence in scores between the programmes towards the end of 2023, but performance at the end of Q1 2024 was at an all-time high of 71%, beating 2019 scores.
Handling of events enquiries, pre-event communication and understanding priorities continued to improve over the course of the year.

Of the three sales attributes –  Enquiry Handling, Pre-Event Communication and Understanding Priorities – all were on track to beat past year’s scores. The first two months of 2024 were slower, but March scores were at an all-time high.

Tawadrous said: “Of the three, Understanding Priorities has the biggest influence on customer experience scores, underscoring the importance of building better customer relationships.” 

She added: “The softer customer service skills, including friendliness and flexibility, showed a good improvement, beating 2019 levels and scoring very highly. This area should remain one of focus, as it impacts overall satisfaction.”

VenueVerdict’s Sales Enquiry Performance UK industry average continued to grow in 2023 and 2024, at an all-time high of 80% at the end of Q1 2024, beating 2019 performance.

There remained work to be done with response times, which are vital for winning business. In 2019, around 80% of venues were sending the proposal within eight hours, and around 70% were within four hours. There was a real dip in response time in 2021, with a low of 54% sending the proposal within eight hours in Q3 2021 and 44% sending it within four hours.

BVA BDRC saw a steady increase in this metric throughout 2022 and 2023, with Q1 2024 finally beating 2019 levels with 86% of venues sending a proposal within eight hours, and 80% within four hours.

As in past years, F&B quality and delivery scores remained the lowest from all attributes, suggesting this could be a real area of opportunity for improving customer satisfaction.

Tawadrous concluded: “At BVA BDRC we have come to understand the importance of customer experience and how it can deliver to the bottom line, both at the time and in terms of creating loyalty for future events. It is wonderful to see the progress being made by venues and building on these improvements should mean that a strong year is certain.”

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.