No Relief for European Events Industry

live events industry

While some parts of our industry thrive in the pandemic, we should not forget our brothers and sisters in the events business.

A year-end 2021 study just released by KdG Expert (Centre of Expertise for the Event Sector) highlights the pain with some research results in Belgium that will sound familiar to many in Europe (and probably elsewhere as well).

  • Compared to 2019, the average turnover for 2021 is estimated to be 52% lower.
  • For 2022, almost 6 out of 10 organisations expect their turnover to be lower than 2019.
  • 51% of organisations had to dismiss employees or terminate contracts with fixed freelancers in 2021—a number higher than 2020.
  • One third of the event professionals say they have worked on more unprofitable than profitable events in 2021.
  • Since the start of the corona crisis, almost 6 out of 10 organisations have more than once considered stopping their work in the event sector.
  • 86% of professionals say the sector has shrunk since the start of the crisis by an average 30%
  • 57% of the organisations think the control and enforcing of COVID-measures is put way too much in the hands of event organisers by the government.
  • 63% of the event professionals indicate if it were up to them, non-vaccinated people should be banned from events until the corona crisis is over.

What about event visitors? The survey asked and found these results:

  • Until the corona crisis is over, 58% will avoid events as much as possible.
  • 39% only buy last-minute tickets for events.
  • 68% wants compulsory mouth masks at events, even if you have a valid corona pass.
  • 52% would rather go to an event wearing a mask than not go to any event at all.
  • Compliance with corona measures at events is not sufficiently monitored, according to 59%.
  • The corona measures for events are not strict enough for 21%.
  • When they go to an event, only 66% are perfectly aware of the corona measures in place.
  • If the corona measures allow it, 60% of the visitors will go to an event in the next 12 months.
  • 52% of visitors really, really miss being able to go to events

The Belgian event sector, before the crisis, included more than 3200 companies. 21% of all event professionals were organisers. 79% were suppliers (e.g., venues, audiovisual support, catering, entertainment, etc.).

The sector employed about 80,000 people, half of whom were salaried.