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What is the ‘new normal’ and what will it look like?

So here we are; just over one year since lockdown started and only a few days away from the re-opening of many bars, restaurants, shops, gyms and other businesses who have been massively affected by the juggernaut of COVID.  We won’t rehash the devastating effect that this has had on the hospitality industry, particularly the mobile event bar side of things, but suffice to say that it’s been a tough twelve months and we are relieved to be heading into a ‘new normal’.  We’re feeling lucky to still be in existence, as many of our colleagues in the industry have unhitched their bar trailers and left them to rust in their back yards.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom!  We here at Neptune Bars have used the time wisely; we have been planning furiously for the future and we have purchased new, branded workwear for our staff.  Most importantly, the phone has been ringing once more with bookings for the coming months – we have even booked a couple of wedding bars for 2023!

In a recent interview with a London-based digital marketing agency in the publication ‘Conference News’, it was advised that local venue enquiries for events had risen by a whopping 224% in the first three months of this year.  Most of those enquiries had been for the second half of 2021 and were not only for weddings, but corporate Christmas parties, engagements and awards ceremonies.  This would seem to indicate that people have confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccine and the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of the crisis.

Here at Neptune, the enquiries that we have received are a bit of a mixed bag.  However we are hearing more about ‘micro’ weddings and parties.  Because it is generally expected that there will be a rise in COVID cases as people begin to mix again (and the fact that there are still a lot of people who have expressed a reluctance to get back to ‘normal’ straight away), many are playing it safe and planning smaller events for between 30-50 people.  This is a great idea for several reasons:

1. It takes away the conundrum of inviting people you haven’t seen for years, particularly for weddings.  You know, the great aunt of your fourth cousin twice removed whom you once met at a party for three minutes when you were aged seven, yet you’re still expected to invite them to your engagement, wedding or celebration.  Problem solved!

 

2. Having less people at your event, but those who you really care about, makes it more authentic.  You will enjoy your celebration a lot more if you have more time to spend with those who mean a lot to you, rather than flitting around, spending thirty seconds with each guest and barely getting past the “Hello, how are you?” stage.

 

3. Having less people at your event means that you can really hone in on what YOU want out of your celebration.  There will be less worries about spending a fortune on all sorts of food that only a few people may eat, and you’ll only have to provide a selection of drinks that you know will go down well (which means you can focus on drinks packages that really suit your individual budget).  However many people you decide to invite to your party, the only thing guaranteed for certain is that it will be a wonderful, emotional experience to be able to get people together again.  We would love to be a part of your special occasion, so do get in touch with Mat to have a chat about what we can do for you. 

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