With hopes soaring that a COVID-19 vaccine is within reach, the UK events industry witnessed an increase in venue bookings.

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reported 95% efficacy in a clinical trial of almost 44,000 people, with no significant safety problems so far. AstraZeneca found its coronavirus vaccine candidate to be 70% effective on average, while Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate was found to be 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 in clinical trials, the company announced last week.

With high hopes that these vaccines will bring a potential end to a pandemic that has killed more than a million people, battered economies and upended daily life worldwide. These promising developments have cumulatively shown positive signs in the UK’s event industry as well with a slight increase in bookings and enquiries for venues and agencies across the UK.

etc.venues, a collection of urban day venues which runs properties in both the UK and the US, says it saw a “noticeable” increase in bookings for meetings and events on both sides of the Atlantic in the immediate aftermath of the vaccination progress.

Adam Simpson, Director of Marketing and US Sales said in a statement to the conference news that "the organizers of several major events provisionally booked for Q2 and Q3 2021 confirmed them, while at the same time there was an influx of new inquiries and bookings for Q1 onwards."

“This clearly demonstrates that, given a reason to be more confident, event planners are ready to return to running live and hybrid events as soon as they feel safe to do so. It’s very encouraging,” he added.

Simpson also confirmed that the venue has seen £2m worth of bookings for its workspace.

In an interview with the Conference news Michael Begley, Managing Director of venuedirectory.com, a large data centre of venue information, also pointed towards an increase in bookings. “After a four-week decline, we saw a 29% increase in bookings for conferences and meetings in the week immediately after the positive news about a vaccine,” he said.

Responding to a post on LinkedIn, Paul Hutton, Director at Amplified UK, commented “the morning after the Pfizer announcement, we received an enquiry for an event overseas for 1,200 people over three days. And a couple of enquiries that we had already received which had been sitting doing nothing for some time have now begun to move (firming up dates and availability, etc).”

While big events, and the ones that require a greater degree of travel, will have to wait a bit longer. Event companies have reported an increase in bookings - mostly for smaller events.