Mid-year conditions for most venue managers are steady compared to last quarter and the average of 2014. Sixty-five percent of industry professionals say that overall current business conditions are positive, comparable to 62 percent last quarter and 64 percent for all of 2014. This indicates a stable marketplace overall, except for arenas, which report a bit of positive news. Arena professionals seeing positive business conditions have increased by 17 percent since the first quarter—from 49 percent to 66 percent—and those indicating negative current conditions dropped from 23 percent to 16 percent. Compare this also to the 2014 averages of 56 percent positive conditions and 17 percent negative.
For the overall industry, business outlooks are also stable to positive, with a slight increase in those predicting net increases in business conditions for the coming year from 70 percent in Q1 to 77 percent in Q2—consistent with the 2014 average of 77 percent. And few (11 percent) are currently forecasting net decreases in the marketplace in general.
In the Seats
General attendance across venues reflects these steady business conditions, with half (51 percent) of professionals currently reporting increases in attendance, compared with the 2014 average of 54 percent. However, for this quarter, the trend seems to be toward flat attendance, with 30 percent of managers reporting level attendance compared to 18 percent in Q1. That said, outlooks are rosier for attendance than what current conditions show. More than two-thirds (70 percent) of venue professionals foresee increasing attendance in the months ahead, and this number has been consistent for months and is level with the average of expectations for all of 2014.
Money, Money, Money
Revenue dollars tell a similar story. Currently, 65 percent of venue managers say they are seeing a positive increase in net revenue, 21 percent say revenue is flat, and just 15 percent say numbers are down year-on-year. There includes a slight movement up to level quarter on quarter; in Q1 a full quarter of industry professionals reported decreases in revenue over 2014 numbers. For the next year, 70 percent of venue managers expect net increases in revenue, and only 15 percent predict that their numbers will fall.
Business is steady, and that’s good for business. There aren’t many variances in the marketplace at this time, nor have there been for the last year or so. For most industry venues this is positive news (especially for arenas). And outlooks for the next year continue to be optimistic, as the majority of industry leaders predict better business conditions, more revenue, and higher attendance for the next 12 months.
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