Yet another year full of surprises
Well we all thought 2016 was a strange one, but who knew that 2017 was going to be even stranger! However, at the end of it all I am feeling optimistic about things, at least in the short term.
Personally, I think we have had a roller coaster of a year, starting on a high, before crashing in the middle of the year and then recovering to finish the year in a very strong position, hence the positive thoughts as we turn to look ahead to next year.
So, what happened in 2017 to cause such fluctuations? For us the biggest factor had be the surprise General Election, with the even more surprising result, well at least for the Tories! This put a spanner in the works for us, with numerous cancelations and a slow down in bookings through May, June and July. But since then we have had an excellent few months, which seem to be continuing into next year.
What have we learnt from 2017? Well to be honest probably nothing new, but it has certainly reinforced all the things that we should now consider normal rather than unusual. For example, “business is last minute”, while this has become a real cliché, it is certainly true for the smaller meetings and events, and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. However, for the larger events that need exclusive use, or more than one day, lead times are increasing as availability becomes an issue at peak times.
Other surprising factors in 2017; it looks like we will end the year with the same American President as we started. It also seems we will have the same British Prime Minister, but I am not putting money on that one, even at this late stage. We have Germany without a working Government, no agreement on Brexit and net migration falling by over a third, leaving us with potential labour shortages across our industry. But still I am optimistic, as are many of our clients, maybe in some cases it’s the British stiff upper lip, and for overseas clients it is simply the cheap pound, whatever it is, for the moment it seems to be working.
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