It has been a while since I took a deep dive into the data on how the event business is doing. With over 2,000 venues and more than 1 million events managed by Tripleseat, we have a deep data set to understand such things as the average price per person for an event per year or what the average event is worth. Now, obviously, every restaurant, hotel, or unique venue is different and your average may be different, but the data set a good benchmark on how you are doing.
Private events never take a day off
It is a common belief that the event business has a “slow season.” Usually, this slowdown is after the holidays in February and again during the summer months. What the data shows is that there is more of a peak than a slowdown. The holiday season in December and January is the peak but after that, it is pretty consistent with a small bump in May and June (graduations and weddings). The data show that there are no peaks and valleys in the event business. This is good news as it proves that the event business is a consistent source of revenue and profit for venues.
Average event value is growing
The value of the average event has been growing slowly over the last few years, but in 2015 it really took a jump. From 2010 to 2014 the average event grew $303 dollars from $2,949 in 2010 to $3,252 in 2014. While growth is always good, the amount of growth is not so great. In 2015 the average event really shot up to $4,900 that is an increase of $1,648 or 66%. Hopefully, in 2016 the trend continues.
Average price per person is improving
The average Price Per Person (PPP) is calculated on the actual spend on the event divided by how people attended the event. We do not include tax, gratuity, admin fees, etc., in the calculation of the PPP. Like the average event, the PPP is growing, but growing at a faster rate than the average event. In 2010, the PPP was $65 compared to $78 in 2015; that is a 20% increase over five years. My conclusion on why the average PPP is growing is because of upselling food by event managers and the rise in prices for wine and cocktails.
Booking pace ahead of 2015
By all accounts, 2015 was a breakout year for the event business. The average event grew by double digits and the average Price Per Person also grew by 20%, Occupancy was also up, with a majority of the events taking place during the week. Bookings in 2016 are already outpacing 2015 bookings by 48% with the PPP and the average event growing.
In conclusion, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for restaurants, hotels, and unique venues. The key is to continue to close business quickly and once the business is closed, upsell the menu to drive the average PPP and overall average event.