April 27, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Australian venues are predicting the second fastest revenue recovery amongst survey respondents from the Americas, Europe and Australia, according to the latest IACC Spring 2022 Barometer undertaken as part of the global venue association’s Meeting room of the future research initiative.

Only Denmark is anticipating a faster recovery than Australia, with 2019 revenues expected to be reached or surpassed this year. Australian venues are expecting to hit the same milestone in 2023, along with Sweden and the UK, later in the year, while the Americas are not expecting to hit marks set in 2019 until 2024.

The survey of 87 venue operators undertaken in March 2022, shows actual event venue revenue was down 45 per cent in 2021, compared to pre-pandemic, while in 2022, the deficit is expected to shrink to just 8 per cent, showing confidence in a significant recovery this year around the world.

The latest Barometer report also showed the increasing importance of the carbon footprint of events, with 87 per cent of all respondents reporting increasing request for carbon measurements of events delivered in their venues.

Other insights of note relate to the recovery of the workforce, with labour shortages mostly biting in the first two quarters of 2022 and an influx of new people to the industry, with 24 per cent of new hires having less than 12 months industry experience.

Venues are also expecting live events to make a major comeback in 2022, with significant drops in the number of events expected to offer virtual access to business events.

“The study clearly points to the fact that recovery is moving forward, and the future looks bright for our industry, with a renewed value placed on face-to-face events,” said IACC CEO Mark Cooper.

“However, we still face a number of challenges. Recent social and geo-political events have brought into sharp focus the need to focus on sustainability and the report shows that this is an area where there is significant scope for investment and improvement and which IACC venues must focus on going forward.”

As part of the study, over 56 percent of venues reported still using plastic bottles, 49 per cent reported single use plastic utensils and 41 per cent reported single use hot drink cups at their venues. In addition, 44 per cent of operators reported not having processes in place to donate unused food to community organisations.